Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dulce de Leche

Mmmm....dulce de leche.  Or in english, sweetened condensed milk (goat's or cow's) heated to produce a wonderfully thick, rich caramel.  I've made it in the past by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk, completely submerged in water, for 3 hours.  This is an incredibly easy method with incredibly tasty results.  However, recent warnings against this method (namely, that the cans can explode) and the fact that our house was like a sauna for several hours because of the steam, have led me to find alternative methods.  The first of which is the easy way - just go out and by it!  Well, as this product is not quite in the mainstream of grocery items available in Stevens Point, we drove down to Plover's Mexican grocery store, La Guadalapana.  And Hooray!  They actually carried two different types - one made with cow's milk and one from goat's (I had read about both on the internet).  So I happily scooped up both in order to make Alfajores this weekend, which is a Peruvian sandwich cookie, made with almond cookie dough and dulce de leche (or a similar product, manjar blanco, which I'll never find in Wisconsin unless I make it!) sandwiched in between.  
So this afternoon, after getting up from an un-nap (laying on the couch WANTING to nap, but Norm kept coming up and poking me in the face, grrrr), I set to my project of deciding which type of dulce de leche we liked better.  I rolled out the cookie dough, baked the cookies, and then set to our taste test.  I cut several cookies in half, on the left side using the cow's milk dulce de leche, and the right side using the goat's milk type.  While both were excellent, we all agreed that we liked the cow's milk type better.  
It had a richer, smoother, caramel-y flavor, while the goat's milk dulce de leche was a much stronger, cooked milk flavor.  I'm thinking we'll save the goat's milk type for over ice cream or with apples, and I'll use the cow's milk type for the rest of the cookies, and will stick with that in the future.  Plus, it is the same cost as a can of sweetened condensed milk, with out the work (or fear of destroying the kitchen).

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