Dulce De Leche Recipes

Dulce de leche, pronounced DOOL-say duh LAY-chay) is a luscious sweetened milk sauce that is literally finger-linking good!  The name means “milk sweet,” “milk jam,” and “sweet milk sauce.”  Dulce De Leche is a decadent and amazing dessert sauce that is sweetened milk that condenses down to a caramel sauce after a long period of slow cooking.

 

I would consider this the bacon of dessert sauces!  Just like bacon seems to enhance the flavor of most savory foods, Dulce De Leche enhances the flavor of almost any dessert or fruit where you want to top with sweetness or elevate the height of flavor.

I brought the Dulce de leche to a recent dinner party as a dip for fruit.  Everyone just wanted to scoop the sauce up with their spoons and enjoy it straight.  I had to slap their hands away to save some for dessert!  You can also use the dulce de leche to make Alfajores cookies which are a Latin American treat.

 

Dulce De Leche

 

Dulce de leche originated in Argentina, but is also popular in Brazil, Columbia, Chile, and Cuba.  Colombians know it as Arequipe and Peruvians as Manjar Blanco, but the recipe is basically the same.  In Puerto Rico, dulce de leche is made into a soft candy rather than a sauce.  It is a slow reduction of milk and sugar over low heat to produce a creamy, caramel spread.

Today chefs often mix in vanilla, cinnamon, and/or liqueurs.  This decadent butterscotch-like sauce is spread on toast, hot cakes, waffles, and served as a topping for crepes, pound cake, served with fruits, and ice cream.  Let your imagine be your guide!

I have provided three different techniques on preparing Dulce de Leche in the recipe below:

Baked oven version

Stove Top version

Quick microwave version.

 

Dulce de Leche is used in making the popular South American Alfajore Cookie.

 

 

Dulce de Leche Recipes

 

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Oven Cook Time:  1 1/2 to 2 hours

Microwave Oven Cook Time:  20 minutes

Stove Top Cook Time:  2 to 3 hours

 

Dulce de Leche Oven Method Recipe:

This oven method is easy-to-do and very safe.  The oven version also eliminates the need for stirring.  Just check the water level halfway through cooking.

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of coarse or sea salt
Hot water

Adjust oven rack to center position.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Open cans and pour the condensed milk into a deep pie dish or straight-side 5-cup capacity baking dish; stir in a pinch of salt.   Cover tight with aluminum foil.  Place baking dish in a roasting pan.  Bring the water for the water bath to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan to come half-way up the sides of the baking dish.  I had two different brands and types of sweetened condensed milk in my pantry. They worked great together!

Sweetened Condensed Milk    Baking Dulce

 

Bake approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how thick you want it.  Check a few times during the baking time and add more hot water to the roasting pan if necessary.  Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned, carefully remove from the oven and let cool.

Once cool, whisk until Dulce de Leche is smooth.

Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for at least a month.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

 


Dulce de Leche Microwave Oven Method Recipe
:

I am all about saving time, so I found an easy-to-follow microwave cooking instructions from Chris Scheuer and her cooking blog, The Cafe Sucre Farine.  The microwave process cooks the sauce in 20 minutes versus 2 to 3 hours cooking on the stove. With this microwave version, I saved a lot of time.  As I was cooking sauce, it would get really thick, so I had to frequently thin it down with milk during the cooking process.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 vanilla bean (split open bean pod and scrape out seeds)*
2 cups milk, half and half, or heavy cream (as needed to thin)
Coarse or sea salt to taste

Equipment Needed:
Large Microwave bowl
Long handled wooden spoon
Spatula

* Can substitute 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

 

Empty the can of sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl.  Add seeds from vanilla bean, stir together to combine.

Pouring condensed milk into bowl    Adding vanilla to condensed milk

 

Microwave on medium (50%) power for two minutes.  Remove bowl from microwave and stir with wooden spoon.  Use spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl.  Use caution as the bowl and mixture will get extremely hot and remain that way through the entire cooking process.

Microwave on medium (50%) power for two more minutes.  As the mixture starts to boil and bubble up, stir vigorously until bubbles and foamy consistency are gone and the sauce is smooth.  Use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Continue this process in two minute increments until mixture is thick and caramel colored.  Total cooking time is about 20 minutes.  Add a pinch or two of sea salt to taste.  Stir until smooth with wooden spoon.

Microwaving condensed milk


Troubleshooting Tip:
 If sauce starts to get too thick to stir: add a couple tablespoons of milk at a time and stir together to combine until it reaches the desired consistency of thickly coating the spoon but still able to drip off the spoon (think of a consistency slightly thicker than honey).  You will most likely have to do this several times during the microwave cooking process as the sauce can thicken easily.

Adding additional milk


For darker caramel color:
 Continue to cook in two minute increments, stirring down and thinning with warm milk as needed, until desired color is reached.

To thin sauce:  If mixture is too thick after it has cooled downed, add a tablespoon or two of milk.  Microwave for 30 seconds to warm up, then stir to combine milk into sauce until it is smooth and thinned out.

Serve with fresh fruit, over ice cream, with cake, eat by itself and enjoy!

Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for at least a month.

Makes 1 cup.


Dulce de Leche Stove Top Method Recipe:

Some people like to make Dulce de leche by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk on the stove top.  If you are going to make the stovetop version, please read and make sure to follow the safety instructions that I outlined below.

1 can sweetened condensed milk (remove label)
Hot water
1/3 vanilla bean (split open bean pod and scrape out seeds)*
Coarse or sea salt to taste

On a small simmer burner (do not use large burner) over medium heat, place sealed can of sweetened condensed milk in a large pot and completely cover with water (about inch of water over top of can).  Bring water just to a boil and turn heat down to medium-low heat.  Cover with a lid and let simmer for approximately 2 hours (up to 3 hours for darker color and thicker consistency).

Sweetened Condensed Milk    Stove top cooking

 

Safety Instructions:

Set a timer to check the water level every 30 to 40 minutes.

Lift the lid and check the water level.  Add more water as needed to make sure the can is always covered with water while simmering.

Warning:  Do NOT boil on high heat and do NOT let water level get below the top of the can or the can will overheat and build up too much pressure and explode hot liquid and cause burns.

 

Turn off the heat and let can completely cool in water before removing or opening the can.

When can is completely cool, scrape sauce into a bowl and add vanilla bean seeds and pinch or two of sea salt to taste, stir to combine.

Opening can of cooked Dulce de Leche   Finished Dulce de Leche

 

To thin sauce:  If mixture is too thick after it has cooled downed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk.  Microwave the milk for 30 seconds to warm it up and then stir to combine he milk into sauce until it is smooth and thinned out.

Serve with fresh fruit, over ice cream, with cake, eat by itself and enjoy!

Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for at least a month.

Makes 1 cup.

 

Comments and Reviews

3 Responses to “Dulce De Leche Recipes”

  1. Mary

    I used the microwave, it came out graying. Can I fix it?

    Reply
  2. Caroly.

    Hi! I loved your recipe and will be trying it today. However, being from Uruguay, I couldn’t help bit cringe at the phrase that said it originated in Argentina. There’s been a life-long conflict about this with Uruguay, because Argentines proclaimed the recipe as theirs and have completely left Uruguay out of the story. XD

    Reply

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