Dulce de LechePosted: October 24, 2011
Lately I’ve been very into the idea of Argentina, though I’m not entirely sure why; I’ve never been there, and I can’t say I’ve ever met more than one or two Argentines. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I started learning Spanish last year and imagined where I’d be able to practice the language. Or maybe it’s the fact that several of my friends have talked about their experiences working and traveling in Buenos Aires (my friend Louise was there this summer and took some great photos). Or maybe it’s that I’ve watched some Argentine films recently and have been inspired. And then there’s the food; I’m dreaming of medialunas (those sweet croissants), some nice milky coffee and maybe some maté. And as you must have gathered, I’m all about the sweets, something that Latin America supplies in scores.
That brings us to the point: Dulce de Leche. I talked about it a bit already when I mentioned the Freggo ice cream shop here in London, but it definitely deserves a post all its own. It’s sweetened condensed milk, already a gift from God, transformed and turned into a smooth, shiny caramel. I started off making it the old-fashioned way by boiling it in the can, but then I got freaked out that the can was going to explode in my face and I was going to die (an embarrassing death if there ever was one). So instead I opened the can, poured it into a pan and caramelized it for an hour in the oven, David Leibovitz-style. Next time I think I’ll compromise and pierce some holes in the can and simmer it in some water for a few hours. I’ll let you make up your own mind how to cook yours; WikiHow has lots of ideas. (Note: A few days later I tried the method whereby you pierce some holes in the can–it didn’t work for me; four hours in a pot of simmering water and all I was left with was warm condensed milk).
Once you’re done making your Dulce de Leche, you can do anything you like with it. I ate mine on ice cream, toast and spread on cookies. You can go traditional and make Argentine alfajores, or you can take a note from Brazil with these faux brigadeiros. I forgot to take photos, but I passed them around to friends and they were quickly eaten up.