Dulce de Leche. Less fancily put, caramelized condensed milk in the easy versions of this much adored caramel flavored confection. Pronounced as dool-say day lay-chay meaning 'milk candy', its used as a dessert topping, as an ingredient in cakes, brownies, bars and several other desserts. And then, there is an entire population out there who can eat spoonfuls of it straight out of the jar!
I have never really been tempted to make Dulce de Leche as I am neither very fond of intense caramel flavor, nor a raving fan of anything seriously sweet. Curiosity more than anything pushed me into this. After all, I have never really been brave enough to pressure cook a sealed tin of condensed milk! Dulce de Leche is also made by cooking condensed milk in the oven, in the microwave (the fastest way) and also from whole milk on the stove-top. Each method comes with its own merits and disadvantages.
You will need
Sweetened condensed milk, I used Nestle (not unsweetened or evaporated milk) - 400 grams
A pressure cooker
- Fill your pressure cooker (10 liters) halfway through with water. Remove the plastic outer lid if the tin has any, make sure you do not open the tin. Fully submerge the unopened can of condensed milk in the water. Put the lid and the weight on the cooker lid, on medium heat, pressure cook for one whistle. This took about 25-30 minutes.
- After one whistle, lower the heat to low and cook (still with the weight on) for 20-30 minutes. If you like your Dulce de Leche very thick, dark and very intense, cook for the longer period. Its better to cook less than more the first time. Vary the cooking time as needed the subsequent times you make it. I cooked mine for almost 32 minutes and mine was very thick, quite dark, with an intense caramel flavor. I shall cook for maybe 20 minutes next time for a less thicker, less intense sauce.
- The cooking time and whistle can be used as a rough guide as it could vary depending on the efficiency of the cooker and the heat given. So make notes as you go, make changes depending on the result you are looking for.
- Once you turn off the heat, allow the pressure to drop. Open the lid of the cooker, carefully remove the can (leaving it in there may cook it further) and allow it to cool completely, again about an hour. Do not try to open it when hot as it could be dangerous.
- Once the can cools, open the lid and have your way with it! Refrigerate if not using immediately. You could push in half a pod of slit vanilla bean into the jar before refrigerating. The sauce thickens on cooling and refrigeration. Gently warm in the microwave to soften.