Blog :: Ramblings of a health nut

House

Posted on 27 Dec 2010 by maisha (posted in: blogs)

I can literally describe my Christmas with one word: House. Because that is where I spent it and it is also what I spent watching the entire Christmas weekend. I settled myself on the couch, with lots of tissues, green tea, fruit and veggies. Sniffing and snottering I made my way through countless episodes of House, while the snow piled up high outside and public transport almost died out due to the extreme winter conditions. I hope you all had a healthy and wonderful Christmas!

I feel a bit better today and hope to be fit again tomorrow! For now, I'd like to share with you a post that has already been sitting on my desktop for over a week.

Homemade Dulce de Leche

In middle school (Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador) one of my close friends was a girl from Argentina, Carolina Sasse. She introduced me to alfajores: a typical Argentinian sweet treat made from a fat blob of dulce de leche sandwiched between two crumbly, buttery cookies.
I was seriously hooked on alfajores from then on ^^ Thanks Caro, for introducing me to that delectable cookie, and of course for all the good times we shared :-)

Dulce de leche is a caramel paste prepared by slowly heating milk and sugar. It is very popular in South America and I've had my fair share of it in Ecuador and Brazil.
Here in Holland, some organic health stores sell it. Other than that I depend on my sister making it or buying it for me *hinthint* LOL!
Yet the winter has come and still no dulce de leche, so I was left with no other option than to make it myself...

There are many recipes on the internet, all with varying ratios of sugar to milk, and some using condensed milk. I guess I'm just adding to that mass of information ;-)

Ingredients


  • 800 mL milk (I used 1/2 skim milk and 1/2 2% fat milk)
  • 160 grams palm sugar (or sucanat if you wish)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda (apparently it's to prevent curdling?!)



Method


  1. Mix all ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, together in a pan and bring to a slow boil on medium heat.
  2. Let it simmer on low heat, checking on it and stirring it every 15 minutes. Most recipes claim you need to really watch it after 2 hours. I might add a new rule of thumb to that: if the cats emerge from the kitchen covered in drops of caramel milk, ya know you gotta stay at the stove! In my case this was after 1.5 hours. I added the vanilla extract after 2 hours.
  3. Let it thicken until the desired consistency is achieved, this really is a matter of personal taste. I let it thicken quite a bit and transferred it to a jar after 2.5 hours. Then I licked out the pan like a little girl and got caramel all over my face and clothes o_O Hhhhh, another word of advice, make sure you've cleaned your hands thoroughly after licking out the pan before doing anything else!



While you're stirring and whisking your dulce de leche, think of all the wonderful things you can do erm make with it: gingerbread cookie and dulce de leche chocolate bark, alfajores, dulce de leche meringues, oatmeal Argentinian-style, dulche de leche slathered crepes/pancakes/waffles... the variations are endless! It also goes extremely well with PB. Just a thought ;-)

 

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