Dulce de Leche - Doce de Leite Mineiro

I think everybody have already had the pleasure to taste dulce de leche, probably on ice creams, cakes or candies. Well, this caramelized sweet treat was part of my childhood, and why don’t say part of my life too. I grew up watching my mother, grandmother and aunts making large amounts of dulce de leche using big copper pans on the farm. Dulce de leche still remains the main dessert of my family reunions.

Dolce de leche is a common dessert in Brazil, mainly in my state. Dairy companies all over the country produce tons of these specialties daily. Nobody knows exactly its origin, but it is believed that to preserve the milk, the producers of sugar cane on the 16th century cooked it with sugar cane molasses.

There is only on way to prepare dulce de leche by slowly simmering the milk with sugar and stirring constantly. However, according to the proportion of milk and sugar, and how much water will evaporate from the milk, you can obtain different types: creamy or hard and white or darkcaramel. All of then you can eat pure, but the white creamy is excellent with fruits and the darkcaramel is perfect for ice creams and cake fillings.

Dulce de Leche

1 quart whole milk
1 cup sugar

Combine the milk and sugar in a large, 4-quartsaucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate the foam that appears on the top of the mixture. Continue to cook for 1 hour. If you want  a darkcaramel color continue to cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer if you want. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.