Love’s Labour’s Leche

November 11, 2010 Ella
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Today is the last day to vote for my friend Chrissy!! So go to this site and clickity click! VOTE!!!

Speaking of races the New York City Marathon was this weekend…Did I mention Chrissy is a Marathoner? Just another reason to VOTE!!! Anyway I have yet to even complete a 5K.  Marathons are grueling from what I can tell and you must be just about nuts to participate. With the time it takes to train, not to mention the lack of refined sugar you can consume… for me at least it’s not in my immediate goals.

So I start thinking about what I could accomplish in say 3 hours.  For an elite athlete, you could get from Staten Island through Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, to the finish line in Manhattan.  I decided instead to have a little race of my own, at the stove.   Dulce de Leche a gooey delicious caramely filling/ frosting.  Its sooo GOOD!!!  But if you choose to actually make it– you should plan to set aside a marathon’s worth of time…standing at the stove.

So this afternoon I attempted to simultaneously make Dulce de Leche the traditional way and the easy way.  I figured it would be good to contrast and compare.  I was pretty dissappointed with the traditional way of boiling milk and sugar.  Three hours after continuously stirring milk and sugar over the stove I’m pretty sure I burned it…BUT I was truly impressed with the easy way to achieve this finiky filling.

I found all sort of ways to make Dulce de Leche on a fellow foodie’s blog. What’s for Lunch, Honey? Five ways to make Dulce de Leche?!– I’m impressed!!  So if you are like me and want to try the traditional way and challenge yourself try the first recipe.  I can’t say I recommend spending all that time, considering my result came out craptastic! but for all I know I skipped a step, having lost my focus continuously, mind-numbingly stirring.   I do know that next time I need this sweet South American filling I will opt for the second recipe.

From What’s for Lunch, Honey?

Dulce de Leche

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Small sauce pan with simmering water

Peel label from can.  Pop holes into the lid using either a can opener or bottle opener.  It is imparitive that you place holes in the lid, else the can will explode!! You can remove the lid completely, but be very careful not to spill the milk or get water inside the can.


The first pan is the traditional method, the second the easy way.

Place the can in a sauce pan 3/4 full of water.  Bring the water to a simmer.  Keep the heat on Low/Medium heat.  If you’ve kept the lid intact, save for the holes, you’ll notice that some of the condensed milk will bubble up.  This will stop after about 15 minutes and shouldn’t spill over.

The water level should remain at about 1 -2cm from the top of the can.  Don’t let it boil over of course, again just a gentle simmer.   As the water boils it evaporate of course.  Continue to maintain the water level by adding water to the pan as it boils down.  Simmer for 3 hours to achieve a thick gooey Dulce de Leche.


Remove from water with tongs or a pot holder. Open the can and you will have a thin layer of thin milky cream, just beneath a thick gooey Dulce de Leche. Mix until smooth. Though its a long time, you aren’t chained to the stove, like you would be if you were going for the traditional version.This can be used a filling, or even a frosting if you choose.

UP NEXT: A cake to compliment this finger licking good sweet, a give away– should Chrissy make the top 20, and a cupcake recipe by the weekend!

Also if you have any thoughts to add about making Dulce de Leche, share them in the comments!  What’s your favorite method to make it?– Any time savers so as not to stand at the stove stirring for hours? Share! share! VOTE!!!


Entry Filed under: Filling,Frosting

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. krisja  |  February 12, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    So, this is my second time trying this recipe for the dulce de leche, and the first time i used a can that had expired in 06!(oops) which i of course didn’t realize until after i spent the hours cooking it. it came out pretty, but smelled like cheddar cheese(yuck). This time around, i did it again with a brand new can of condensed, and it still smelled horrible, like cheddar again. I don’t know if it is supposed to smell like this…. and i’m afraid to taste it, i cant get past the smell! Please help???

    • 2. Ella  |  February 13, 2011 at 1:43 am

      If the dulce de leche has a stinky cheese smell I’d say not to eat it. When i made it the traditional way– spending hours stirring the milk I do recall that by the end it smelled faintly funny– but it was also kind of burnt from what i could tell. I would say if you are willing to try one more time that to make sure the heat is really low, and that you replenish the water repeatedly as it evaporates. Also make sure there are no dents in the can as this could have made the condensed milk rotten from the beginning. Also the thin layer of milk left on top of the condensed milk when its finished cooking might be what contributing to the smell. Make sure to drain that top layer off first and see what you think. Hope this helps.

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