I had a can of Amul condensed milk which had been lying in the fridge for few days. It was an open can which just needed to be finished. I was wondering how I could experiment with the little left over sweetened condensed milk. I knew I had many options of using it in halwa or probably ice-cream or may be a kheer. But I had other intentions for these.
I have been eying at some Dulce de Leche recipes for some time now. I like David Lebovitz's website where he not only masters the art of cooking, but brilliant photography. The photos are so good and tempting that I would lick them off from my monitor screen!!!
David, in his recipe says that the first time he had Dulce de Leche he began spooning it directly from the jar into his mouth and before he knew it, he had made it almost all the way through the jar. I too am in the same state whenever I open a can of sweetened condensed milk. I see myself indulging way too much directly from the can. This sweet temptation is just not too resisting. So I can imagine what Dulce de Leches can do to someone when offered!
I made these a few days ago. Before making them, I did a little research on how to go about achieving good results. Most common method was to set the can in a tub of water and bake in oven for 2-3 hrs. Well, that was too much of an effort for me. Not my types, as I have the least patience to carry out such tedious cooking tasks. Another great option was to use a pressure cooker with some water at the bottom of the cooker. Then place the tin in water and cook on pressure. This seemed easier. Since I had a little left over condensed milk, I went ahead with the third option, that's directly heating it on a thick bottomed pan. They were sticky and perfectly toffee like.
However, I find them way too sweet for my little dentures. So I added some crushed milk biscuits into these, shaped them to bite sized biscuits and chilled them for a while. Believe me, they were great. Fantastic!
There is a striking similarity between these with our very own Indian sweets. After all, a lot of our Indian milk sweets and burfis are made from boiling and reducing the milk which forms Khova and is later used in burfis, gulab jamuns, etc. Western countries use Dulce de leches in preparations like cakes, cookies, ice cream, creme caramel, banofee pies, etc. It is also a popular spread on bread toast.
Dulce de Leche
100 g of sweetened condensed milk
1 thick bottomed pan
A wooden spoon to stir
Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a thick bottomed pan. Heat up the pan with the condensed milk till the mixture begins to bubble through. Do this process on a medium low flame with continuous stirring as it's easily susceptible to burning, if left unattended. It took about 10-12 minutes for the milk to turn into toffee.
Once the Dulce de Leche is lightly browned and looks caramelized, turn off the flame and allow to cool. Dulce de Leche will thicken further when allowed to cool. Store in the refrigerator if you are not ready to use immediately. Warm if required before serving.
I would be making these again in future, but probably using the pressure cooker method. The next time, it would be the entire can. Is a Banofee pie waiting? Possible!
Since my purpose of making Dulce de Leche was just experimental, I headed towards experimenting a little more. I made and savored these little bites with my evening cup of tea. These are real quick No Bake Bites which we enjoyed.
No Bake Bites
A packet of milk biscuits
A spoon-full of Dulce de Leche
A few chopped nuts
In a freezer bag, throw a few milk biscuits and nuts. Beat them with a rolling pin. Transfer to a bowl and add the Dulce de Leche to it. The toffee texture is good for it to bind. Bring them all together and shape them as desired. The sole reason I used Dulce de Leche was because I found them way too sweet. This way, the intensity of sweetness was far reduced. Perfect for my taste.
I had a neighbor aunt drop into my home the same evening and she too savored these wholeheartedly. She said it was so good that she would love to re-create the same for her grand-daughter. Now, wasn't that sweet? And of course, she did come back to me for the recipe.