Argentinian Caramel Sauce (Dulce de Leche)

Dulce de Leche is a quintessential Argentine recipe. This toffee-like sweet is used on pretty much everything- from pancakes to birthday cakes to the famous alfajores cookies. Kids love it for breakfast on toast instead of butter, jam, Nutella, or peanut butter.

Dulce de Leche- Argentinian Caramel Sauce

You can make your own Dulce de Leche at home. It's fairly simple to make, but does require patience as the mixture has to cook for 2 to 3 hours. It stores for months in an air tight container, if it can actually last that long without being devoured. If you don't feel like making it, good quality Argentinian Dulce de Leche can be purchased online. Shown below is a traditional dulce de leche recipe as well as a easier, less original, version.
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Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Argentina, South American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Large soup pot

Ingredients

  • 13 cups Whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 4 cups Sugar
  • ½ cup Heavy cream
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • 14 oz For making alternate recipe: can sweetened condensed milk (Magnolia brand)

Instructions

  • Traditional Version – In a heavy bottomed pot over high heat, combine milk. sugar, cream, and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add baking soda and lower heat to medium-high. Cook untouched for 1 hour. Cook untouched for an hour or more. Once the mixture starts to thicken, keep stirring so it doesn't stick. Keep an eye on it for the next hour-or-two. Once the mixture turns a deep golden brown color and is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon, remove from the heat. Let it cool and store indefinitely in an air tight container.
  • Alternate Version – In a large pot, place an unopened can of condensed milk and cover with water by a few inches. Boil for 2½ hours, being sure to keep the can covered with water. Add more water as necessary. Remove pot from heat and let the can and water cool completely before removing and opening the can.

Notes

  • When dulce de leche is hot it maintains a more fluid consistency. If cooked too thick, it will become a hard ball when it cools down completely.
  • Baking soda is what gives it its toffee coloring. To make it darker, add a pinch more.

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