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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche


As promised, here is the recipe and directions for the Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche I made and used in the cookies for Tuesdays with Dorie. I modified the recipe liberally from one by Nigella Lawson, using more vanilla to milk/sugar ratio in mine. I really wanted that vanilla flavor to come through and it really does.

This DDL is fantastic in cookies, but our favorite way to use it is to just scoop it up with apple slices to our little hearts' content. I hope if you try the recipe, you'll let me know how it goes. I've tried other recipes before and had them fail on me, mainly because I think I gave up too soon when the mixture didn't seem to be thickening or darkening within the time I thought it should. I persisted this time and finally got the results I wanted, and here you go!


Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche

Half gallon whole milk

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

½ teaspoon baking soda

In a large pan, bring the milk to a boil. Once it has boiled, use a fine mesh strainer to sieve the milk into a very large pan. The dulce de leche mixture will boil and climb like crazy, so choose a really large pan.

In the large pan, add the sugar and vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, into the pan. Add the baking soda and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture back to a boil – there will be a lot of foaming so stay close by to stir. As soon as the mixture starts to boil it will start to thicken.

Stir the mixture occasionally with the wooden spoon so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. I think that heat temperature, as well as altitude can play a real factor in how long it takes to get the mixture to the darkness and consistency you want. I have read several recipes that say to cook it for about 1 hours to 1 ½ hours. It took me closer to three hours, but I didn’t give up and the mixture finally did darken and thicken the way I wanted, so just don’t give up!

When the mixture reaches close to the darkness you want, take the pan off the heat and place it in a sink filled with cold water to cool it down. Store the dulce de leche in clean jars in the refrigerator.

Yields 3-4 cups

16 comments:

Memória said...

This recipe looks great! Maybe I will like this more than the canned version. Thanks! It looks amazing.

Nickki said...

Oh wow I so want to try this! That looks wonderful. It would make such a lovely gift, if one could bear to give it away that is! ;-)

Di said...

Yum! Just curious, how much dulce de leche did you end up with from the half gallon of milk?

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

This looks wonderful, I can't believe I've not noticed this in my Nigella books, I will go and seek it out.

Manggy said...

I find it very surprising that Nigella has a recipe that calls for a very long cooking time, but everything good is worth it! :)

Carrian said...

love this.

Susan said...

That looks fabulous! Next time I have a day off I will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

Teanna DiMicco said...

I definitely will use this recipe when I make my own dulce de leche!

theeclecticconnoisseur said...

You're DDL looks gorgeous! I love the pic of the ones with the hazelnuts. BTW, you're one of my favorite Kreativ Bloggers. Check it out: http://theeclecticconnoisseur.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/the-kreativ-blogger-award/

dinneranddessert said...

I've made David Lebovitz's version with success, but that won't stop me from trying another recipe!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Wow homemade DDL by Nigella! I can't even begin to imagine how good it must be!

Katrina said...

That looks deee-licious! My 6 y.o. always wants to go to McDonald's just for the apples and caramel. I'll have to make this just for him (and so we don't have to go to McD's--we don't care for it.)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

yum!! at a restaurant i used to work for, we made our own DdL from scratch, so i know this had to be delicious, esp with a nice vanilla bean!!

Allie said...

That looks wonderful!! I'll have to add it to my to do list.

Becky said...

holy yum! i must try soon! i have never made DdL from scratch!

Aimée said...

I've got a stack of vanilla beans--I'm making this! Thanks for the inspiration, Holly.

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