Dulce de leche (or confiture de lait)

Months ago I discovered an evil genius had put crème caramel and baked chocolate pudding into small preserving jars. I decided I needed a set, and so set about forcing myself, my husband and other guests to eat the delicious contents. Surprisingly no-one complained!

I’d been serving small desserts in the jars when we had dinner parties. But whilst at the grocery store, I decided that my cute little preserving jars needed to contain one of my favourite discoveries. They needed to become sweet Christmas gifts containing dulce de leche (or confiture de lait in French).

What is dulce de leche? Basically it is a jar of caramel. If you’re Australian you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s a caramel slice ( what the English call millionaires shortbread) without the chocolate or biscuit base. It’s thick creamy caramel goodness is fabulous in a multitude of recipes, on bread, in a milkshake, eaten over ice-cream… or with a spoon straight from the jar!

I had visions of huge pots of steaming milk and sugar boiling down for hour upon hour to create them and so was pleasantly surprised when researching recipes that it’s exceedingly easy. Some say just to boil a can of Condensed milk in the can. But it sounds terribly dangerous! And I’m not really into extreme cooking!

If you have the items shown below and an oven you can make it. That’s it! There is now no need to go and buy jars of it for 6 chf from the grocery store!

Basically you just pour two cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk into an oven proof dish.

Place the smaller oven proof dish inside a larger one and fill the larger dish half full of hot water.

Cover both with aluminium foil. And place in the oven at 220 degrees celsius for an hour and a half. Checking every half hour or so to see if you need to top up the water level (it should always be around half full).

And this is what comes out of the oven.

Give it a good stir with a fork or whisk until it’s smooth and spoon into the sterilised jars.

I sterilised the jars by putting them in a large pot and covering them with at least 3 cms of water. I brought the water to the boil and then turned down the heat and let them simmer for 15 minutes. Taking them out with tongs and letting them dry on a clean tea towel.

I filled the still hot jars with the hot dulce de leche (carefully!), left them to cool for a few minutes and then closed them. When completely cool, store it in the fridge.

It is a very easy recipe, but it does require some care. It all gets very hot, and you need to be very careful when removing the aluminium foil to avoid steam burns.

The dulce de leche should keep for at least a month in the fridge (if you can avoid eating it!).

The two tins of dulce de leche filled 5 of my small jars.

Next week I’ll post the packaging template for the festive wrap I’m adding to these little pots!

What a shame. It looks like I need more little jars…




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