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Actually, the obsession is getting totally sweeted out. You would be too, if you tried to make 3 batches of Dulce de Leche in a week. I had to make three, because the first two didn't work out for me. I had the thought to look online for a slow-cooker recipe for Dulce de Leche (DDL). There were recipes (methods, really) online! I was excited to try it out. The first recipe I attempted called for 4 cups of milk, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and a pinch of baking soda. The milk remained mostly white all day, even after cooking for longer than specified. It thickened a little. Finally, I got so tired of waiting for it that I just put it in a jar in the fridge. In the morning, I realized that I had made sweetened condensed milk in the slow cooker, not dulce de leche. So I used the David Lebovitz method I mentioned earlier, here, to make it into Dulce de Leche, and it was pretty good. It has that distinct DDL taste, but the texture (solid but not really smooth) could use some help.
I wanted to try making true DDL in the slow cooker, so I tried a second time, with a new recipe, calling for 4 cups of milk, 2 cups of sugar, and a teaspoon of baking soda. I figured, hey, since the other one hardly browned at all, and I was impatient waiting for it, I'd cook it in the slow cooker overnight. Well, that was a mistake. In the morning, I awoke to a burned, foaming mass. I cooled it, blended it, and jarred it. It didn't really taste like DDL and it got terribly gritty after being stored in the fridge for just a few days. The grittiness is kind of gross- I'm not sure what to do with it all.
For my third attempt, I used the same recipe as the second attempt, but I tried it during daylight hours, so I could keep an eye on it. It started foaming and turning brown around the 7-8 hour mark. It thickened a little too, but it didn't get so thick that it solidified in the fridge, like the canned Dulce de Leche. It has a way better flavor than the second batch, and the texture isn't gritty. I'm glad I was able to make Dulce de Leche from scratch, and not have to stand at the stove forever, but..... I prefer the taste and texture of Dulce de Leche made from a can of sweetened condensed milk better. (Blushing) I have yet to make it from scratch on the stove, and I do want to try that out sometime. Not for a long, long time, though. We have enough Dulce de Leche to last us quite a while!
Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche
-4 cups (1 liter) whole cow's milk
-2 cup (500mL) fine granulated white sugar
-1 vanilla bean, split in two OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) -- this is needed for a complete browning--google "Maillard reaction"
1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker, whisking well to dissolve the sugar.
2. Cook UNCOVERED! on high about 10 hours. (I whisked occasionaly). Stir and scrape the sides during the last few hours. Let cool about 30 minutes.
3. When finished, put in wide-mouthed jars or other sealed container and store in the fridge until use.**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **