Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dulce de Leche - Confiture de lait

In my last post on Cannelés (have you tried  making them yet?Are you planning on making them this coming week-end?), I stated that I have a hard time purchasing something that I can make myself for less money and fewer additional ingredients I don't control (what was the Western world eating before their government started subsidizing they discovered soy, tell me ???). A posteriori, there might be one exception to this rule of mine: Dulce de Leche.
Dulce de leche, aka Confiture de lait in France, is a thick caramel-like spread that Argentinians (and other people in South America) eat on and in everything. Like Americans with Peanut butter.
Dulce de leche is way too sweet for me to enjoy it but because we had Argentinians friends over a few weeks ago, I decided to make Dulce de leche ice cream for dessert. And because I like to make things from scratch, I decided to make my own Dulce de leche. I actually made it twice since I made another batch, using a different recipe, the other day.
Don't get me wrong, the result was delicioso and since that comment was made from people who were  born swimming in Dulce de leche, I can assume it was a compliment, n'est-ce-pas? So what's up with my exception? Well, you see, making Dulce de leche from scratch has one of the longest time-to-table: 3 to 5 hours on the stove! And although I have become much more patient with cooking time since I started cooking a lot, 3 to 5 hours for  milk + sugar to turn into this thick caramel-color spread is not worth it to me. Unless, like here in rural France, I don't have access to Dulce de leche and don't want to change my dessert plans (all started because we had an excess of milk that needed to be used and because of cholesterol-levels among my relatives, I could not use eggs to turn the milk into a custard of some sort.) But I won't make two batches of Dulce de leche this Summer. There are plenty of other desserts worth my time and energy to be made before!  I leave it up to you to try it your way!But don't tell me that I did not warn you that it was really time-and-energy consuming.  Bon Appétit!

Recipe 1:
- 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
- 1/2 vanilla bean or vanilla extract (optional)

Recipe 2: 
- 1L (33.8 Fl oz) whole milk
- 250gr (8.8 oz) sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean or vanilla extract (optional)

Recipe 1
  • Pour the Condensed milk and vanilla into a pot and cook for 3 hours on the stove. The milk should never boil and you have to stir occasionally so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. The milk will take a caramel-like color and thicken.
  • Cool before eating
Recipe 2
  • Pour milk, sugar and vanilla in a pot. Bring to a boil and then cook on the stove for 3 to 5 hours until the liquid thickens and turns into a caramel-like color.
  • Cool before eating

My Personal Comments
  • The Recipe 1, even though I did not control the ingredients, gave a thicker Dulce de leche.
  • You can spread the Dulce de leche on bread or use it the same way you would use Peanut Butter in baking, making ice cream.


  1. I adore ducle de leche and had no idea it was so simple to make! I am totally trying this! Thanks!