Two ways to make homemade dulce de leche and seven recipes in which to use it (if you don't eat it by the tablespoon first)

For the past 25 years, every October 11, the World Dulce de Leche or World Dulce de Leche Day has been celebrated. Homage to one of the most representative products of Argentina, recognized as the country's Cultural Food and Gastronomic Heritage, very popular also in other Latin American countries and even in France.

This icon of Argentine gastronomy is loaded with myths about its origin. Some argue that the dulce de leche was created by chance in 1829, when a maid of General Juan Manuel de Rosas ran to warn him that his enemy Lavalle was in the house, forgetting a pot of milk and sugar on the fire.

Other theories about the origin of the dulce de leche claim that the liberator José de San Martín tasted the sweet during his stay in Chile and there are also those who place its origin in the France of Napoléon, in 1815, where it was consumed confiture de lait, a sweet very similar to the current Latin American milk candy.

Whatever its origin, the dulce de leche is has stolen our hearts. It is very easy to prepare and we show you two ways to make homemade milk caramel, the traditional one and the quick one. But the thing does not end there, we also show you seven recipes in which to use it ... if you do not eat it by the tablespoon first.

Two ways to make homemade dulce de leche


Preparing dulce de leche in the traditional way takes time to prepare, but it has no complications. The personal satisfaction of the home and the superb result make it worthy of investing the time it requires. It is much smoother and richer than commercial.

We start the process by heating a liter of milk (better if it is whole) with 350 grams of sugar. We will do it over medium heat so that the latter dissolves. We add half a teaspoon of baking soda. If we want to flavor the dulce de leche, we can incorporate a pinch of vanilla essence (extract or seeds will also be worth it).

We cook the mixture for about two hours, over low heat and without letting it boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon so that it does not catch on the base of the casserole. The water contained in the milk will evaporate, the liquid will decrease and we will notice how, little by little, it thickens and takes on color. The time is a little indicative, according to the fire of each one. The last hour is the most delicate since the dulce de leche is thicker and we should not stop stirring to avoid lumps or stick to the bottom of the casserole.

We remove from the fire when we get a consistency similar to that of a custard. Outside of the fire we continue stirring for another five to ten minutes so that the dulce de leche cools down a little. We will notice how it still thickens and reduces a little more. Once completely cold, pour into jars and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

In fast pot

This dulce de leche can be made in a saucepan, but if we make it in a fast pot (express or pressurized) we reduce the cooking time considerably and there is no need to pay any attention to the process. You just have to be aware to put out the fire when the time comes and remove the pot from the heat source.

It's sucked. We put a 740 gram bottle of condensed milk in the pot and cover with water, without going over the recommended limit. We close, place the valve in position 2 and bring to a boil. When the steam starts coming out the valve, we count 20-30 minutes.

The cooking time will depend on the caramelising point and the density that we want to give to the dulce de leche. The longer, denser and darker, and vice versa.

At the end of this time, we remove the pot from the heat source and let it lose the accumulated pressure before opening. We remove the pot with the help of tweezers and let it cool before opening, never hot.

Seven recipes in which to use our homemade dulce de leche

Traditional alfajores

  • Ingredients for 10 units: 75 g of butter, 75 g of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, 4 egg yolks, 200 g of refined corn flour (or cornstarch), 50 h of wheat flour, 5 g of chemical yeast, salt, dulce de leche to fill and grated coconut to decorate.

  • Preparation: In a deep container, mix the butter with the icing sugar, stirring until integrated. Add the vanilla essence and the egg yolks and stir. Next we add the chemical yeast, a pinch of salt, the refined cornmeal and the wheat flour. We stir well until obtaining a homogeneous mass. We stretch the dough between two sheets of baking paper and let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. We cut into 6 cm discs and cook in the oven, preheated to 180º C for 10-12 minutes. Chill before filling with dulce de leche and coat the edges with grated coconut.

More recipe details, with video included, here.

Glasses of banana and dulce de leche without oven

  • Ingredients for four people: 100 ml of liquid whipping cream, 15 g of icing sugar, 50 g of cream cheese, 4 Digestive-type cookies, 100 g of dulce de leche, 30 ml of milk, 1 banana and dark chocolate to decorate ( optional).

  • Preparation: We beat the cream, which must be very cold, with some metal rods and, when it begins to take shape, add the icing sugar and cream cheese. We continue beating the whole until assembling. We pass to a pastry bag with a star nozzle (optional). Crush the cookies in a mortar or with a rolling pin. We heat the dulce de leche together with the milk and stir well until homogenized to make it more manageable (30 seconds in the microwave will be enough). Peel the banana, cut four discs that we reserve to decorate and chop the rest into cubes. We assemble four glasses forming layers as follows: crushed biscuit, dulce de leche, diced banana, crushed biscuit, dulce de leche and whipped cream. We decorate with chocolate shavings, cocoa powder or similar and top with the banana discs that we have reserved. We keep in the fridge until serving time.

More recipe details here.

Dulce de leche ice cream without refrigerator

  • Ingredients for eight people: 400 g of dulce de leche, 350 ml of milk and 200 ml of liquid whipping cream.

  • Preparation: In a saucepan, heat the dulce de leche and milk over low heat. When the two ingredients have been well integrated, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it warm up before putting it in the fridge until it is completely cooled. We assemble the liquid cream with the help of electric rods. For it to mount well, the cream must be very cold. I recommend you put it in the freezer about 15 minutes before you start to beat together with the container in which we will do it. Incorporate the dulce de leche mixture (once cold) to the whipped cream and stir well, but gently, until obtaining a homogeneous cream. Pour the mixture into a container suitable for freezing and put it in it for at least five or six hours before serving.

More recipe details here.

Dulce de leche muffins

  • Ingredients for eight units: 60 g of dulce de leche, 15 ml of whole milk, 85 g of butter at room temperature, 40 g of brown sugar, 1 L egg, 100 g of baking flour and 1 teaspoon of chemical yeast.

  • Preparation: We heat the oven to 180º C. Beat the butter with the sugar until obtaining a white cream. Add the egg while continuing to beat, the milk and the dulce de leche. We pour the sifted flour attached to the impeller. Mix with a spatula until you get a homogeneous cream. We pour the dough into medium-sized capsules, for this amount of dough 8 muffins have come out. We put a little dulce de leche on top of the dough, it can also be put in the middle if you like it a lot. Bake for about 15 minutes or so, depending on the oven. We take the muffins to a rack and let them warm before consuming. If we use one of the baking cupcakes, the baking time may vary. The cupcake will be ready when it is up, slightly golden and soft to the touch.

More recipe details here.

Dulce de leche panna cotta

  • Ingredients for four units: 300 m of liquid whipping cream (35% MG), 260 ml of milk, 6 g of gelatine in sheets (3 units), 200 g of dulce de leche at room temperature, 5 ml of vanilla essence and 30 g of sugar.

  • Preparation: Hydrate the gelatin leaves in a deep container with plenty of cold water for approximately 10 minutes. We heat 100 g of dulce de leche, 200 ml of milk, all the liquid cream, the vanilla essence and the sugar in a saucepan. We stir with some rods so that the dulce de leche melts and the mixture amalgamates. When it begins to boil, add the hydrated gelatin (drained), remove from the heat, stir well and strain to make it fine. We distribute the mixture in four glasses and let it warm before moving to the fridge, where we let them take consistency for a minimum of three hours. Meanwhile we prepare a sauce by heating the remaining 60 ml of milk and 100 g of dulce de leche, stirring well with a few rods to make it homogeneous. Let cool before covering the panna cotta and decorate to taste before serving.

More recipe details, with video included, here.

Dulce de leche express custard

  • Ingredients for four people: 250 g of dulce de leche, 80 g of sugar, 500 ml of whole milk, 1 egg and 4 yolks, a splash of vanilla essence. For the caramel: 6 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water.

  • Preparation: In a saucepan put the six tablespoons of sugar and three of water and heat on the heat without stirring until a dark caramel is formed. Bathe the bottom of the flannel and the sides with the caramel. Let cool. On the other hand, heat the milk, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan without boiling. Beat the yolks and the egg, add the dulce de leche. Mix it until it dissolves. Gradually add milk to the previous mixture while continuing to stir. Pour it into the flanera and close the lid. In the espresso pot add about six fingers of hot water, put a grill for steaming or a metal lid so that the bottom of the pan does not touch the bottom of the pot. Put the flanera in and count fifteen minutes from when it reaches the pressure. When the time passes, separate the pot from the heat and let it lose pressure little by little. Leave to warm and refrigerate in the fridge for a few hours before removing from the mold or better overnight.

More recipe details here.

Dulce de leche sponge cake

  • Ingredients for six people: 260 g of flour with incorporated yeast, 165 g of sugar, 125 ml of dulce de leche, 155 g of butter, 3 L-size eggs and 180 g of crème fraîche.

  • Preparation: Preheat the oven to 180º C with heat up and down or 170º C with turbo. Grease and flour a mold, better in the form of a crown to make cooking more uniform. Melt the butter for a few seconds on the fire or in the microwave until it is liquid and let it warm for a few minutes until it loses temperature. Mix in a bowl the flour with incorporated yeast and the sugar. In another container, combine the butter, eggs, dulce de leche and crème fraîche. Stir with a few rods until the ingredients are fully mixed. Add the flour and sugar and continue mixing until there are no lumps in the dough. Pour the mixture into the mold and bake for fifty minutes or until you prick it with a toothpick it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave it about five minutes in the mold and then unmold it on top of a rack until it cools.

More recipe details here.

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