Dulce de leche

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Dulce de leche (Doce de leite)
DulceDeLeche.jpg
A jar of dulce de leche
Alternative namesManjar, manjar blanco, arequipe
TypeConfectionery
Place of originArgentina
Region or stateLatin America
Main ingredientsMilk, sugar
VariationsCajeta, arequipe

Dulce de leche (Spanish: [ˈdulse ðe ˈletʃe]; Portuguese: doce de leite IPA: [ˈdosi dʒi ˈlejtʃi]) is a confection from Latin America prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a substance that derives its flavour from the Maillard reaction, also changing colour, with an appearance and flavour similar to caramel.[1] Dulce de leche is Spanish for "candy [made] of milk" or "caramel". In Chile dulce de leche is known as "manjar de leche" or just "manjar".[1] Its origin is disputed.

Preparation and uses[edit]

The most basic recipe calls for slowly simmering milk and sugar, stirring almost constantly. Other ingredients such as vanilla may be added for flavour. Much of the water in the milk evaporates and the mix thickens; the resulting dulce de leche is usually about a sixth of the volume of the milk used. The transformation that occurs in preparation is caused by a combination of two common browning reactions called caramelization and the Maillard reaction.[2]

Muffins with dulce de leche sauce

A homemade form of dulce de leche sometimes is made by boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for two to three hours (or 30 to 45 minutes in a pressure cooker), particularly by those living in countries where it cannot be bought ready-made. This results in a product that is much sweeter than the slow-boiled kind. It is dangerous to do this on a stove: if the pot is allowed to boil dry, the can will overheat and explode.[3]

Dulce de leche is used to flavour candies or other sweet foods, such as cakes, churros, cookies (see alfajor), waffles, crème caramel (known as flan in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking regions), and ice creams; it is also a popular spread on crepes (panqueques) and toast, while the French confiture de lait is commonly served with fromage blanc.

A solid candy made from dulce de leche, named Vaquita ("little cow"), was manufactured by the Mu-Mu factory in Argentina until the company went out of business in 1984. Subsequently, other brands began to manufacture similar candies, giving them names such as "Vauquita" and "Vaquerita" in an effort to link their products to the original.

In the Midwestern United States in the 1950s, a version of dulce de leche, called "sticky dessert", used Carnation sweetened condensed milk.

In Israel, the United States, and several other countries, it is often used as a filling for the traditional ball-shaped doughnuts popular around the Jewish holiday of Hannukah.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Origen mítico del dulce de leche" [The Mythical Origin of Dulce de Leche] (in Spanish). Clarín. 6 April 2003. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  2. ^ McGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York: Scribner. p. 657. ISBN 0-684-80001-2. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Kijac, Maria Baez (2003). The South American Table: The Flavour and Soul of Authentic Home Cooking from Patagonia to Rio de Janeiro, with 450 Recipes. Boston, MA: Harvard Common Press. p. 391. ISBN 1-55832-249-3. Retrieved August 8, 2012.