16 November 2010

Dulce de leche

I have been remiss. I live only half an hour from Mexico, but I have not been taking full advantage of the cuisine of our southern neighbors. Aside from a dessert topping, and an occasional fajita.

So how will I resolve that?  How about a dessert topping?  This classic dessert topping, known as cajeta in parts of Mexico, dulce de leche more commonly, is caramelized, milkish goodness incarnate.  I used the recipe in My Sweet Mexico.  It makes approximately one cup of dulce de leche:
4 cups goat or cow milk
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp light corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
¼ tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1 tbsp water
Slice the vanilla bean open from end to end.

Vanilla bean

Scoop out the vanilla guts into a pot. Toss in that wretched vanilla bean carcass on top of the vanilla guts. Pour the milk, sugar, salt and corn syrup in.

Vanilla and milk

Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Add the baking soda dissolved baking soda, and watch it bubble and boil furiously. The baking soda will aid in the caramelization of the sugar. When the boiling subsides, put back on the heat. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, being careful to not burn the milk.

Simmer.

Caramelizing milk

And stir.

Caramelizing milk

Simmer.

Caramelizing milk

And stir.

Caramelizing milk

Simmer.

Caramelizing milk

And stir.

Caramelizing milk

Simmer.

Caramelizing milk

And finally, after 2 to 2 ½ hours of simmering and stirring. When the mixture has reduced to a golden brown mixture. It will thicken on chilling.

Cajeta

Keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks. This delightful dessert topping works well as an ingredient in other desserts, or on top of cakes, muffins or ice cream. Enjoy. Delish.

2 comments:

Dr. Ricky said...

You know, that vanilla is probably nearly superfluous. Such extended cooking probably boils off most of the essential vanilla flavoring compounds (tasting tests over at ATK demonstrates that in baking applications, *artificial* vanilla survives longer). May be a better idea to stir it in right near the end of cooking.

Bbq Dude said...

Ricky,

I rather wondered about that myself. And given the consistency of the final product, it would probably be better to use vanilla extract right at the end, not vanilla bean.

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