Number 27: Dulce de Leche

1 Dec

When I was in London a couple of months ago, I thought I was being extremely clever when I went to Borough Market and bought a small jar of dulce de leche.  I paid about $7 for it, I packed it nicely in my suitcase, and I toted it home like it was given to me by the queen herself.  When I came home and did a bit of research, I learned that you can make dulce de leche by simply taking a can of sweetened condensed milk and putting it into a pot of boiling water…which would have saved me like $6…and the trouble of toting a small glass jar around Europe.  Bollocks.

So what is dulce de leche exactly?  It is a kind of caramel sauce that originated in Spanish-speaking countries.  I had always heard good things about it and I wanted to try it immediately after I got back from my trip, but I ended up forcing myself to save it for Thanksgiving.  Why?  Because of Martha Stewart’s
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche, that’s why!

It was really simple to make; all you do is mix up the custard sauce, cut up some bread, then pour the sauce over the bread and sprinkle nuts over the top.  After it’s cooked, you heat up the dulce de leche and pour it on top.

The end result was a soft, rich, and VERY sweet dessert that was a lot of fun to eat.  I think the best part was the wide range of textures in the dish.  The spongy bread, the crunchy pecans, the smooth dulce de leche…mmm.  Here is a very orange photo of the finished product.

While this dish didn’t go over as well as the pumpkin pie – trying to beat pumpkin pie will always be futile – people still seemed to enjoy it.  I liked it, but I don’t think I’d make it again.


THE VERDICT
While the texture and the flavor of dulce de leche is very similar to that of caramel, there’s something different about it that I can’t put my finger on.  Its flavor seems slightly more complex, and while complexity is great, I think I prefer normal caramel sauce to this (I know, shame on me!)  I will say, though, that dulce de leche is gorgeous and so fun to play with!  I felt like a little kid swirling it around and drizzling it over the dessert.  Absolutely beautiful.

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5 Responses to “Number 27: Dulce de Leche”

  1. Miss Angie December 1, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Mmm, that looks marvelous. I want to eat it!

  2. IntenseGuy December 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    As a die-hard pumpkin pie eater the only thing that tempts me here is the … PECANS!!! Oh… they look yummy (on nearly anything!)

    I can understand why you’d be peeved at lugging a bottle around Europe only to find one in the local supermarket!

    Hope you are well!!

    Hey… when did you start this adventure? Are you still on track to eat all 100 things in a year?

  3. Laura in Cancun December 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m not a pumkin pie fan (anti-patriotic, I know!), so I would have been all over your dessert!

  4. Bridget December 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Oh, how I looked on with envy and rage while you were all enjoying this on Thanksgiving while I sat forcing myself to eat my gluten free, vegan strawberry shortcake bowl. It looked delish……people really liked it but your’e right, the one thing I heard a lot was “it’s REALLY sweet!” I found the dulce de leche to be beautiful as well. Like one million Kraft caramels melted into one gleaming pot o’ gold. 😉

  5. Monique December 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    That looks AAAAAAAMAZING! Since I’ve always lived in California and now Arizona, there are a LOT of Mexican products at the grocery stores. I always see Dulce de Leche and always wanted to try it 🙂

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