Almost Caramel: Home-Made Dulce De Leche

Last week-end we stayed at some friends’ idyllisk summer house. The place has everything nostalgic city dudes (like me) are more and more longing for: a beautiful vegetable garden, a glasshouse, and happy lambs walking nearby.

On the way there, I found a shiny looking food magazine all dedicated to caramel-based desserts. There they proposed a pretty complicated method to make dulce de leche. Frustrating! After looking at all the pictures of caramel and dulce de leche dripping from every sort of sweet accompaniment, I was seriously craving some of that divine ambrosia (which is impossible to find in Sweden). So imagine the size of my eyes when I understood that our hostess was going to treat us with home-made dulce de leche. And imagine my eyes getting even bigger when she showed me how incredibly easy it really is to make it (scroll down for the step-by-step method).

The flower garden

Come look at the frog


you need: 1 can condensed milk, water, a pot, a stove (long list, isn’t?).

how to: put the can of condensed milk (without opening it) in a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Boil uncovered for 2 and 1/2 hours.

Refill with hot water once in a while.

Now you can open the can.

Yes, it does look like the real thing!

To make an even creamier dulce de leche, add a spoon or two of milk and whisk.

Suggestion: try your best not to eat it all at once. It is also good with ice-cream.

CONSIDERATIONS: I am proud of myself for having the dulce de leche (well, most of it) still resting in the fridge waiting for some creative use. It was a struggle not to eat it all (this is even better than nutella!) thinking of all the infinite uses… oh well, right now I could just bathe in it… wasn’t milk supposed to be really good for your skin?

CONSIDERAZIONI: Questo caramello fai da te e’ incommensurabilmente buono (batte persino la nutella!). Gli usi in cucina sono infiniti e ora che sai quanto e’ facile farlo chi ti salvera’ piu’ dalla tentazione?

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Barbara Elisi

Hi there! I am the "soul" behind Bread & Companatico. My main interest is the preservation of bread tradition and craft, with an eye to health. I hope you are having a good time reading this blog, and please don't be shy to connect with me through comments or emails and do keep on bread-ing! :)
17 replies
  1. francesca
    francesca says:

    Davvereo si puo` dire: la scoperta dell’acqua calda!
    Ho sempre voluto provare…..avendo anche una zia sudamericana! Dopo questo barbatrucco non ho piu` scusanti!

  2. Baltic Maid
    Baltic Maid says:

    I never had it but my mouth is watering! It looks ohh so delicious! And that’s some self-discipline you have there… I don’t think I could have this sitting in my fridge for long… 😛
    By the way, I love your country pictures. So beautiful!!!

  3. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen says:

    Well, you’ve just made me very, very happy!! Isn’t this something? I can’t believe such a simple (and clean) process would have such a lovely and caramely end-result.. I can’t wait to try this:D Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I also love those pretty photos at the beginning! xx Smidge

  4. rita cooks italian
    rita cooks italian says:

    This looks very good! It ‘s almost impossible to resist the temptation to try to do it … To be honest I am not good with things dipped in boiling water, but this sounds very easy! Beautiful pictures, they reminded me why I love Sweden!!!

  5. vickyart
    vickyart says:

    buonaaaaa!!! sai da quando non la faccio??? una vita! è troppo buona mi piace da matti 😀 su piccoli dolcetti di sfoglia è un delirio!!! potessi ne mangerei a valanga! ciao cara! mandamene un po’ 😀

  6. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    What a beautiful place! That dulce looked amazing. I doubt it would last very long in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing such a simple method of making dulce de leche.

  7. Korena
    Korena says:

    I made this once and was floored at how easy it was… I think I used about 1/4 of it for spreading on cookies and ate the rest straight off a spoon 😉

  8. Veronika
    Veronika says:


    This looks absolutely fantastic – I actually did find dulce de leche in Stockholm, in an immigrant shop in Hagsätra – but it is a bit out of the way and so I am very tempted to try to make my own. Is there no danger of the can exploding or some such thing?

    • Barbara
      Barbara says:

      no risk of explosions as long as you keep the can always covered with water. this means checking on the process refilling with new hot water every now and then. thank you so much for the visit, I am coming over there to your site in a minute :)

  9. kim
    kim says:

    Good plain all by itself, like I said, it’s very hard to keep it around long enough to actually put it in a recipe.. LOL I went out and bought a can of condensed milk right after I saw this post on FB. :)

  10. Erin @ Texanerin Baking
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    How did I miss this?! I just saw it linked to from The Baltic Maid. You posted dulce de leche… and I missed it. Absurd!

    I’ve used this method and it’s great! Love dulce de leche. So very easy to make something so delicious. And great pictures! Just wish you had added some of the lambs… :)


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  1. […] about dulce de leche I never actually had the chance to try it until now. The other day, I read on My Italian Smörgåsbord  just how easy it is to make this yourself. My mouth was watering looking at the pictures. I had to […]

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