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Dulce de Leche

Ever since I visited Baked and Wired in D.C., I've been infatuated with dulce de leche. There's this super delicious cupcake called The Tessita - it's a vanilla cake, with dulce de leche filling and a chocolate-hazelnut frosting. It's amazing.  For months I've been meaning to get my hands on some dulce de leche and I finally got around to making it.  After about four failed attempts, I finally got it!

I tried a few methods - like the oven method, and using a crockpot to cook it in the can (making sure that it was ventilated) - but the double boiler method is definitely my favorite. It  If you don't have a double boiler, you can make one by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.  

The amazing thing about the double boiler is that you can see when the sweetened condensed milk goes from the milky beige color to a rich, golden brown.  Plus, it gives you a lot more control over the exact color - I like mine a really deep caramel color.  Oh, and I would definitely suggest stirring it every thirty minutes or so to ensure that it cooks evenly.  It can a pretty long time to cook, but it's worth it!

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Start by pouring the condensed milk into a heatproof bowl or the top of the double boiler, ensuring that the bottom pot is filled with at least 2 inches of water.  Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the milk and then cover with aluminium foil. 

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Allow the bowl to sit over the simmer water for about 3 hours.  I would highly recommend checking the water level every time you stir the condensed milk, just to make sure that you don't burn the milk like I did on attempt #3.  Once the milk caramelizes and reaches a gorgeous brown color, remove it from the heat and let it come to room temperature.  Once it cools, stir or beat until smooth.  Then, feel free to eat it out of the bowl, pour it over ice cream, or use it as a frosting with your favorite recipe.  


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Dulce de Leche


  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • pinch of salt


  1. Fill the bottom of the double boiler, or saucepan if you're making your own double boiler, with 2 inches of water.  Bring the water to a simmer. 
  2. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the top of the boiler or heatproof bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the milk. 
  3. Cover the bowl with aluminium foil and place over the simmering water. 
  4. Allow it to cook for approximately 3 hours, stirring with a rubber spatula about every half hour.
  5. After the milk has caramelized, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool to room temperature, leaving it covered.  
  6. Once it has cooled, whisk or beat until smooth. You can store the dulce de leche in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 weeks.


Stay sweet!