February 05, 2011
Coming Soon: World Dulce de Leche Day!
For any of you out there who may not be familiar with dulce de leche, (what rock have you been living under?) it’s a thick, caramel-esque spread which is Latin American in origin and whose name is literally translated as “sweets made of milk”. Dulce de leche is essentially sweetened milk that has been cooked to the point of caramelization but how this is achieved, varies.
One way to make dulce de leche is by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk, in the can, fully submerged in water in a pan on the stove top. If that sounds scary, it should. If you’re not careful, there’s a possibility that the can could explode. The thought of boiling hot dulce de leche being flung all over my kitchen in a single bang does not appeal to me. That’s why I’ve adopted David Lebovitz’s much safer method of pouring a can of sweetened condensed milk into a pie plate, covering it with tinfoil and baking it in a water bath at 425F for about an hour to an hour an a half, until it darkens. Same great results, minus the explosion potential. Win-win.
I’m going to get the February 28th Dulce de Leche Day festivities started early with, (another) David Lebovitz recipe, this one for Dulce de Leche Brownies. I already love brownies so when you add swirls of dulce de leche, it pretty much puts them over the top. And it’s easy to do too! Now then, on to official business, if you’d like to participate in World Dulce de Leche Day, simply make an awesome sweet treat using dulce de leche, take a photo and post about it to your blog on February 28th! Send me the link and your info to brilynnf @ yahoo dot ca and I’ll do a round up of all the awesomeness! If you don’t have a blog, that’s cool, just send me a pic and a line about you and your recipe and I’ll post that too. Spread the word! There’s no reason World Dulce de Leche Day can’t become as successful as World Nutella Day, (or why the two shouldn’t be combined for ultimate world domination).
Dulce de Leche Brownies, (from David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris)
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
optional: 1 cup (100 g) toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
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.
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.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Storage:These brownies actually become better the second day, and will keep well for up to 3 days.