Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dulce de Leche

Have you noticed that dulce de leche seems to be turning up everywhere? Apparently Starbucks has a dulce de leche latte, and I think I heard it mentioned on the last episode of The Next Food Network Star.

Essentially dulce de leche (dool-say de lay-chay) means sweet milk. It's a very close cousin of caramel, and I noticed that Haagen Dazs added the word "caramel" to their delicious dulce de leche ice cream (probably to clue in those of us who aren't familiar with it?). I was first introduced to this treat a long time ago by a woman who made her own dulce de leche. It can be found ready-made in stores featuring hispanic foods, but she made it by cooking an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in water. After cooking, the runny white milk inside had been transformed to a caramel-colored gooey treat. She ate it every day spread on bread for breakfast.

For most of us dulce de leche falls into the desert category. It goes well with ice cream, and there are loads of recipes topping old favorites with it. One bit of caution, though. Dulce de leche is really sweet. If you like caramel, you'll probably like dulce de leche, but if you don't have a sweet tooth, this isn't the flavor for you.

Five cupcakes for dulce de leche ice cream.


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