Baked Goodies,  Desserts

Dulce De Leche Brownies

I made several cans of dulce de leche without having a definite plan on what to use them for. I just wanted to.

By the way, is there a local store that sells them in Metro Manila? I don’t think there’s one. Then again, maybe I’m looking at the wrong places. I know for a fact though that there’s a small market stall in Nasugbu, Batangas (a 2-hour drive from Manila) that sells cans and cans of dulce de leche.

Just a side story on how they make it…

They build fire using charcoal and they literally throw the cans into it. Others come up with a really huge pot filled with water where they put the cans in, but again, they cook it over charcoal. Mom always told me, even when I was a kid and in fact, just last Saturday, that there was this one time back in the 70’s when a huge fire hit the market and everything got ruined. She said that the only store that made money from the fire was this little store that sold canned goods, condensed milk being one of them 🙂 People flocked to that store to buy really cheap dulce de leche!

So, for those of you who still haven’t Googled this up, this is how you make dulce de leche easy mode 🙂

there's real magic inside those cans

You’ll need as many cans of condensed milk as your biggest pot can hold. Not for anything really but to help you save up on gas or electricity. Boil enough water that will cover your cans. Put the cans in and pour the water that has boiled. Set the fire on low and cook away.

As a rule of thumb and depending on how dark you want your dulce de leche to be, cook it for 2 hours for the lightest color, 3 hours for the medium color, and 4 hours for the dark one. Remember also that the light-burnt-milk flavor really kicks in if you cook it between 3-4 hours 🙂

And that’s it. That’s your dulce de leche easy mode.

What you want to do with it rests upon your creativity. I’m still deciding on what to do with them next but meantime, I tried the Dulce de Leche Brownie recipe from David Lebovitz.

not as gorgeous as David's but just as good and rich

Ingredients (12 squares):

  • 8 tablespoons (115g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (140g) flour
  • 1 cup Dulce de Leche

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).

Line a 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. If it doesn’t reach all the way up and over all four sides, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts, if using.

pardon the low EQ. i just can't resist a bite.

David’s: Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Here comes the fun part. Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.

My take: Drop all the chocolate brownie batter onto the pan. Smother the cup of dulce de leche on top and swirl around. I am huge fan of the toasted flavor of dulce de leche, that’s why.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

close your eyes, take a bite, then go... oomph 😛

These should be good with proper storage for 3 days. The recipe says the brownies get better on the 2nd day. In my case, they didn’t last for two days because I can’t even wait for the brownies to cool down! I guess that will always be the case with anything that has dulce de leche in it 😛

Meanwhile, stay tuned for my other kitchen adventures with dulce de leche. Told you, I got lots of cans in my cupboard 🙂

So how about you? Do you also like dulce de leche?

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