June ’99 challenge recipe of the month


This recipe is adapted from an article which appeared in the daily New YorkTimes, Wednesday, May 19, 1999. Dulce de leche (pronounced DOOL-say duhLAY-chay) meaning “sweet from milk.” Is an Hispanic term for a caramel sauce,which is a traditional flavoring “south of the border” and  has beenadopted recently as an ice-cream flavoring in America.
The flavoring is made by simmering sweetened milk until it turns thick and amber.   Reprinted here are a recipe for the basic sauce as well as two recipes usingthis flavoring.  A note at the bottom of the page explains alternate methods forcreating or purchasing dulce de leche should you choose to sprint to the finaldessets, skipping the creation of dulce de leche from scratch.

Dulce de leche
1 quart whole milk*
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch cinnamon.

  1. Combine ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook without stirring until mixture boils, 15 to 20 minutes. Briefly remove from heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, 45 minutes to one hour. When mixture becomes a caramel color and is thick enough that you can see the bottom of the pan as you stir, remove it from heat. Use at room temperature or cover and refrigerate.

Yield: 2 cups.

Dulce de leche Cheesecake

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup dulce de leche.

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Place cream cheese in food processor and process until soft. With machine running, drop in eggs through feed tube, followed by heavy cream, then dulce de leche.
  2. Place mixture in a 9-inch pie dish. Put dish in a large pan and add hot water until it comes halfway up the side of pie dish. Place in oven and bake about an hour or a little longer, until a cake tester comes out clean and top is fairly firm.
  3. Let cake rest one hour, then serve at once. Or refrigerate, then remove from refrigerator about one-half hour before serving.

Yield: 8 servings.
The above  recipes have been kitchen tested. We are still tyring to come upwith a method to cook the dulce de leche cheesecake so it will”release” from the pan, in order to serve it with a fruit flourish etc.  Let us know if you have any luck with this.
If you have a question for Peter about this recipe, email him by double clicking here.

Souffléd Almond-Dulce de leche Crêpes

1/3 cup milk

½ teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs, plus 3 eggs separated 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons butter,melted and cooled, plus butter for pan
½ cup sliced almonds
1 cup dulce de leche or cajeta
½ cup heavy cream, whipped.

  1. Beat milk, almond extract and 3 whole eggs together until well blended. Mix flour and 1/3 cup sugar together and whisk into batter. Whisk in the butter. Strain mixture through a fine strainer and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a 6-inch crêpe pan. Very lightly butter it, then pour in a large spoonful of batter. Quickly tilt pan to coat bottom completely, cook until very lightly browned, peel crêpe off the pan, turn it over and briefly cook the other side and remove. Don’t worry if any of the crêpes do not turn out well; there should be enough batter to spare. Repeat with remaining batter, buttering pan as needed. Stack finished crêpes on a dinner plate, with the side that was cooked first facing down. You should have about 12 crêpes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° F. Butter jelly-roll pan and dust it with 1 tablespoon sugar. Toast almonds in oven or skillet. Set aside.
    Beat remaining egg yolks until thick. Stir in 2/3 cup dulce de leche . Beat remaining egg whites until softly peaked. Add remaining tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Stir one-third of egg whites into egg yolk mixture, then fold in the rest. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the soufflé mixture in the center of each crêpe. Roll crêpe around filling and place crêpes, seam down, on baking sheet.
  4. Bake until crêpes are puffed, about 15 minutes. Serve at once, with a little dulce de leche spooned on top, sprinkled with toasted almonds and whipped cream on the side.
  5. Yield: 6 servings.

    This recipe hs not been kitchen tested.

    Note: *In Mexico this sweet, smooth caramel sauce is often made with goat’smilk and called cajete (pron. ca-HAY-tuh), a term derived from cajas, thelittle wooden boxes in which it is used to be sold. To make cajeta, substitutegoat’s milk for cow’s milk; add 2 teaspoons cornstarch. The cornstarch is used as athickener when using goat’s milk, which has a fat structure different from cow’smilk.

    Some chefs use sweetened condensed milk as a shortcut, leaving the unopened canssimmering in water to cover for about two hours, a process that reduces and caramelizesthe milk. The method can be dangerous at home, since the unopened cans can becomeoverheated in the cooking process and explode.
    Eagle Family Foods, which produces sweetened condensed milk, discourages cooking in theunopened cans, as it must but offers an alternative: Eagle recommends draining the caninto a pie plate, covering it with foil and baking it in a water bath n a 425° F. ovenfor an hour. Even better, if baked two hours, replenishing water bath after first hour.
    Either method produces a dulce de leche more custardy than making the sauce fromscratch as in above recipe.

    Finally, it you are not a died-in-the-wool purist, you can purchase dulce de lechefrom Dean & DeLuca—cost is approximately $10 for 16 ounces—Visit Dean &DeLuca, 560 Broadway (Prince Street), New York, 10012 or contact Dean & DeLuca’sCustomer Service Department in the New York City Store (800-999-0306, ext. 268) |www.dean-deluca.com.

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