Homemade Dulce de Leche

During this quarantine time, many of us have taken to cooking to keep busy. I am not much of a cook, however, I do enjoy baking.  I decided to try and make homemade dulce de leche.  Dulce de leche is one of the most popular desserts originated in Latin America. However, its name varies greatly from country to country. In Argentina, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica it goes by the name of dulce de leche. In Ecuador, Chile, and Panama it is referred to as manjar. Peruvians and Colombians prefer arequipe, while Mexicans and Nicaraguans use the name cajeta. I am Cuban, and ever since I could remember, before dulce de leche became a thing, most Cubans simply called it leche condensada cocinada (cooked condensed milk). Dulce de leche for us was actually another dessert made from curdled milk and sugar (also delicious).

Dulce de leche can be eaten by itself with a spoon straight out of the can (my favorite way), or it can be spread on toast or crackers, as a topping for ice cream, on pancakes or crepes, etc. Many of you have probably seen dulce de leche cookie, cheesecakes and ice cream recipes all over Pinterest.  It’s all very yummy (my entire family loves alfajores!)

Most folks make dulce de leche in the pressure cooker or in a crock pot. However, I have always been scared (actually terrified) of the pressure cooker and after hearing how the cans may explode and such, I finally decided to make it a much simpler way, using a water bath.

Take a look at all of the delicious desserts you make with dulce de leche:

collage

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 425°F.

2) Pour the contents of the sweetened condensed milk can into an 8×8 pie pan and cover the pan tightly with foil.

IMG_E8203

3) Fill a larger roasting pan with enough water so that it goes halfway up the sides of the 8×8 pan, which will go inside the larger roasting pan.

IMG_8223

4) Bake for 1.5 – 2.5 hours, or until you reach your desired caramel color. Check to make sure that the water is still halfway up the side of the pie pan, checking every 45 minutes or so to add more boiling water if too much has evaporated. Take the pans out of the oven and uncover the pie pan. Stir the dulce de leche until smooth. It’ll thicken a bit while cooling. Cover and store in the fridge.

It should look like this:

IMG_8226

Have you made dulce de leche?  How do you enjoy eating it?

My Signature

Pie Oh My…

I have always had a sweet tooth. Well, truthfully, everyone in my family does.  I love cake, cookies, cake pops, cupcakes and of course a great slice of pie.  A few years ago I was introduced to Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop, a family owned and operated South Florida based bakery specializing in handcrafted pies, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies and decadent one-of-a-kind desserts. The bake shop was established by retired Miami fireman Derek Kaplan, who created his vision through a love of baking at a very young age.  Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop in Wynwood opened up in July 2014 and instantly became a hit.  By 2016, after years of juggling two careers, Kaplan retired from the fire department to pursue his baking career full time. In March 2019, Kaplan opened the Coconut Grove location located right on Main Highway (here’s the amazing backstory).

Derek

Wynwood location.  All photos courtesy of Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop.

I have yet to visit the original Wynwood  shop, as I live very close to the Coconut Grove store. Needless to say my family has visited numerous times, as they offer a variety of amazing pies, cakes, brownies, cookies, bread pudding, etc.  Here are my Top 5, although you really cannot go wrong with any of them:

  • Stuffed Guava White Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie.  Imagine a soft, chewy white chocolate cookie cheesecake pie stuffed with gobs of guava.  Melts in your mouth!

Guava white chocolate cookies and cheesecake

  • Guava Cheesecake.  Graham cracker crust signature guava cheesecake filling and guava and white chocolate sauce (can you tell I am slightly obsessed with guava).

Guava cheesecake

  • Key Lime Pie. Kaplan’s classic Key Lime made with condensed milk, egg yolks and freshly squeezed juice from nearly two pounds of local key limes.

Key Lime

  • Cookies & Cream Pie. Chocolate cookie crust, layer of chocolate ganache, cookies and cream mousse with crushed cookies and white chocolate drizzle. My daughter’s favorite!

Cookies and Cream

  • Salty Monkey Pie. Chocolate cookie crust, bananas in chocolate ganache, white chocolate and peanut butter mousse, with pretzels and chocolate drizzle. My husband loves this one!

Salty Monkey

As you can see they all look heavenly.  If you cannot decide on just one, you can always sample a few different ones, as they are also sold by the slice. Below is the menu, although I believe they also offer unique creations for holidays and special occasions.

Menu

Info
Have you stopped by Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop?  If you live in South Florida or are visiting, make sure to check them out.  I would love to know which pies/cakes are your favorites.

My Signature