Dulce de leche, a traditional dessert in South America, is actually a thick, consistent and very thick caramel, usually made from milk. Those of you who usually cook won’t have any trouble making this dessert at home, following the traditional method, meaning putting sugar and milk in a pot and waiting for the fire under the pot to transform the mix into a caramel (in fact, the process is slightly more complicated than how I described it here, but I’m saving words these days). Those of you who don’t usually cook at home are offered a shortcut, condensed milk, which comes already mixed with sugar. I posted the method of obtaining canned caramel, but I will do it again, for one simple reason: when I posted it the first time, a lot of people told me they can’t find condensed milk in a metal can. It is, indeed, pretty rare in Romania, but it’s about to change. A buddy started importing cans of condensed milk, which can be found in Cluj, at Cora and at Real for now, but not in supermarkets, on aisles, but at the cash register, in bakeries (you’ll probably see the cans, if not, ask and you’ll get assistance). You will probably have the possibility of ordering them online soon. It would be useful for those of you who aren’t in Cluj.
This is the packaging. Inside, you will find condensed milk and sugar. And nothing more. For now, this is the only type available, but the easy open can will be available soon, along with other types of condensed milk in different concentrations.
To transform it into caramel, put it into a pot filled with water, wrap a towel around it (it helps maintain a relatively constant temperature) and place the lid on top of the pot. It should be ready in two hours, but if you want it thicker, you can keep the pot on the stove for another hour. On very low heat, remember. If you’re nervous and you want to make sure there will be no explosions in the kitchen (I mean cans of milk that could explode – there’s a small possibility, but you can never know), drill a small hole in the lid of the can, using a nail. The milk inside won’t be affected.
This is what the caramel made from milk looks like.
It can be eaten as such or you can use it in desserts.
It can be used as frosting for cakes.
Because it was cooked for a long time and also because it contains a lot of sugar, the caramel will last for weeks in the fridge. I will soon show you other ways to use condensed milk, but until then, stay healthy.