Saturday, February 16, 2013

Caramel (Dulce de leche)

I'm not doing a valentines day post, it is not really an event of high importance in our household. Sure it's nice to be spoiled for a day but when you are in a loving relationship, every day is like valentines day ( awwwww cheeeesey!)

I decided to try new recipes this year and to challenge myself in the kitchen, so this week I kept that in mind and decided to make caramel. I've always been scared to make it from melting sugar in a pan for fear of burning the sugar or myself and destroying my pans. So when I saw this recipe for caramel on SBS Food Safari I knew it was the one for me. It didn't involve melting sugar (YAY!), instead it used milk and sugar boiled until it thickened and caramelised.

This recipe is so easy, it uses few ingredients and its pretty hard to stuff up. The only down side to this recipe is that it takes a very long time. I didn't time myself exactly but I know it took at least an hour to make and that whole time you have to be there stirring the mixture. I even thought that maybe I had done something wrong and it wouldn't turn out but then you finally see it start to thicken and change colour and EUREKA you have caramel (an hour later).

This caramel can be used as a sauce for desserts, a filling for sweet pies, pastries and chocolates or simply eaten on its own! 

Caramel (dulce de leche)

Adapted from SBS Food Safari

What you will need

1 litre full cream milk
230g caster sugar
50g brown sugar
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp vanilla

What you will need to do

Place one cup of milk, the caster sugar, bicarb soda and vanilla in a saucepan and on medium heat stir until all is dissolved. Cook while stirring until the mixture starts to turn caramel in colour.


Cooking and bubbling...

Caramel colour change! Now add another cup of milk and the brown sugar, still stirring.

When it starts to thicken add another cup of milk and continue cooking and stirring.

As it thickens some more add the last of the milk and turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture darkens and thickens.

When it is ready you should be able to see the bottom of the saucepan when stirring. Take off the heat and continue to stir for another minute or two.

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