Friday, April 25, 2014

Dulce de Leche VS Confiture de Lait

Dulce de Leche.

Long before I know what it means, those words already looked sexy to me. Once I know what it means, candy made of milk (literally) or milk jam, and had my first spoonful of it, my mind wandered far back to my high school and college days. Why didn’t I make this when I was boyfriend-less? This stuff is legitimately Hell sent because it is too awfully good to be Heaven sent. Surely everything that is too damn good is either sinful, unhealthy, or fattening.

You don’t need to be an expert cook to make Dulce de Leche. You only need to slowly heat sweetened condensed milk until the moisture evaporates. The maillard reaction will then turn the color into brown. It is simple science. When you heat your food, the chemical reaction between amino acids and the sugar which is reduced by the high heat will brown the food and give it a new dimension of flavor. It also occurs on the surface of the bread, on the seared steak, and just about anything pan-fried. You just love that caramelization, don’t you?

There are many methods to make Dulce de Leche. You can read it here on WikiHow: Dulce de Leche. Here is mine cooked for 4 hours in the slow cooker with the setting on high.

Please don’t ask again how this tastes. It tastes like sin. 
Your wall of devotion will crumble and your faith will quiver with just a lick.

There is a problem though with this technique. In this era of research and technology, we now know that boiling can in hot water is not safe for so many health reasons like metal poisoning or the possibility of the BPA contained in the sealing agent of the can leaching into the food. But people throughout the world have been making Dulce de Leche this way for decades and they can swear to you that boiling the can in the water is THE best way to achieve the desirable result and they live to tell the tale. Such sweet, sweet, happy tale.

I’m a relapsing sweet addict.

I just gotta have it when I want it. But I graduated from just an addict to a fully functioning addict. Let me dance longer with my favorite substance by just cooking it in a more gallant way. That is by throwing away the can, put the sweetened condensed milk in a mason jar, and boil the jar just like boiling the can. It takes away the fear of getting poisoned by metal and BPA. If you think your jar can’t hold the long time cooking, well.. it can. Check this post on Natasha's Kitchen.

But if you are a purist that thinks sweetened condensed milk is an abomination or just a geek who loves trying out new recipes, then Confiture de Lait is just the right thing for you.

If Dulce de Leche originates from South America, Confiture de Lait is a specialty of Normandy, France. It is very much similar to a thick Dulce de Leche. As we know, some people like their Dulce de Leche thin, some like it very thick that it can actually be consumed like a soft milk candy. You can absolutely adjust the sweetness to your liking because Confiture de Lait is made by cooking the sugar with FRESH MILK.

Confiture de Lait
1 Liter fresh milk
150 gr sugar
150 gr brown sugar
A dash of vanilla
A pinch (or more) of salt

Cook all the ingredients on low heat if you want less stirring but it will require more cooking time. I cook mine on medium low and stir every 10 minutes or so. It is done in less than two hour.

There is no right cooking time for making both Dulce de Leche or Confiture de Lait because the thickness preference is different for each person. I like mine not too thick because I want it spreadable on my bread and easy enough to stir in my coffee.

From 1 Liter of milk and the amount of sugar I use in my recipe I get around 325 ml of Confiture de Lait. You can always increase or decrease the amount of sugar to your liking. If you do not have brown sugar, just use plain white sugar. The reason I use brown sugar is just to add  more depth to the flavor. 

I guess there is no need to deny your nature, human!

You want this. You need this. 


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