Dulce de leche
» MAKES 410G (1½ CUPS) (STOVETOP) OR 550G (2 CUPS) (OVEN-BAKED)
Dulce de leche is eaten with almost everything in Argentina, but at its most basic you can enjoy it with a spoon straight from the jar!
STOVETOP DULCE DE LECHE
1 litre (4 cups) whole milk 300g caster sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
OVEN-BAKED DULCE DE LECHE
2 x 395g tins sweetened condensed milk
1 To make stovetop dulce de leche, heat the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Just before the mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat to very low, ensuring that the mixture maintains a very gentle simmer (you may need to adjust the heat accordingly). Cook, stirring often, for about 1 hour, in which time the mixture will darken and thicken. From this point, stir the mixture frequently to avoid it catching and burning. Continue stirring for 20–30 minutes, until the mixture is thick and toffee-coloured.
2 To test if the dulce de leche is ready, place a spoonful on a cold saucer or plate. Allow it to cool and thicken, then run your finger through the centre of the dulce de leche. If the mixture doesn’t pool back, it is ready. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely.
3 To make oven-baked dulce de leche, preheat the oven to 180°C.
4 Pour the condensed milk into a 1-litre (4 cup) baking dish and cover with foil. Sit the baking dish in a larger dish and pour in enough boiling water to come half way up the sides of the dish with the condensed milk. Cook in the oven, topping up with boiling water to maintain the level, for 2 hours, or until the condensed milk is toffeecoloured (the top will be darker).
5 Carefully remove from the oven and stir to combine while still warm. Set aside to cool completely.
6 Transfer to a very clean, dry glass jar. Dulce de leche will keep in the fridge for 2–3 weeks.
Edited extract from The Food of Argentina: Asado, empanadas, dulce de leche and more by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz. (Smith Street Books, $59.99)