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Learn how to make dulce de leche two different ways. One is more hands on than the other but both are delicious and rich.
Dulce de Leche. Thick, rich, caramel like sauce that I can eat with a spoon. Even if you’ve never heard of dulce de leche, you’ve probably had it. It’s similar to caramel, delicious on so many desserts and today I’m sharing two ways how to make it at home.
One method takes just one ingredient and is fairly “hands off”. The other method calls for 4 ingredients and takes a little more babysitting. Both are amazing. Let’s talk through everything you need to know for dulce de leche.
Dulce de leche means “sweet of milk” or “candy of milk”. It’s a popular treat in Latin America and is found in other countries such as France, Poland and Italy.
You may have eaten this and not even known it! It looks very similar to caramel and has a caramel flavor. So what is the difference?
Dulce de leche and caramel are very similar and made in a similar fashion. The difference comes in the ingredients.
Dulce de leche is a combination of cooking down milk and sugar. It ends up a thick, spreadable or sometimes pourable sweet treat that is generally used as a topping or filling for other desserts.
Caramel is a combination of cooking down water and sugar. It is usually thinner than dulce de leche and not quite as heavy in flavor.
In these two methods that I mention below, I found the sweetened condensed milk version to be thick. I would use this in a recipe as a filling or a topping or for dipping. The from scratch version was not as thick so I would mostly stick with this as a topping to cheesecake and ice cream.
There are two ways to make this at home. Both are delicious and have their benefits. Try both and let us know which you like better.
This is by far the easiest method. I love it because it is so hands off. Pop it into the oven and you’re ready to go! You’ll end up with a thick, rich caramel-like filling.
This method is nice if you don’t want to use your oven. It is made entirely on the stovetop which means you’ll have to watch it and stir it often so that it doesn’t burn. It is important to use a high quality, heavy bottomed saucepan for this method. It will help prevent the sugar mixture from burning or scorching.
This method ends up slightly runnier than the sweetened condensed milk version.
Both methods are ready to use as soon as they are done cooking. Or you can cool it and use it later.
Because they have a similar flavor, you can usually use them interchangeably. However, if you’re looking to be authentic to a certain recipe, it is best to use what that recipe calls for since it will slightly change the texture and flavor of the dish.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
The possibilities are endless! Serve dulce de leche on cheesecake (even pumpkin cheesecake), ice cream or pancakes. Use it as a filling for brownies or brownie cups or use it to make homemade ice cream.