A South American signature treat!
Dulce de leche – that’s one of those words that makes me think about Latin America in an instant. It’s the South-Americans Nutella! You can get it in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil and everywhere it’s slightly different. Basically Dulce de leche is a caramel spread that you can use for pretty much everything. You can spread it on your bread, fill any pastry or … just make some Alfajores! We even had empanadas filled with Dulce de leche!
How it all started:
It is obvious that we had to buy some of that amazing stuff to bring home. We bought two glasses each with half a kilo of caramel. Those of you who travel with a backpack know what that means … Two more kilogram in Fred’s backpack!
We crossed the boarder between Uruguay and Argentina on our way to Uruguay in the middle of the night. We had to get off the bus, get our passports stamped and our luggage checked and get on the same bus again. Bus drivers don’t necessarily tend to wait for everyone, so we were in kind of a hurry. Needless to say the border official got interested in our luggage.
In Uruguay it is legal to buy cannabis, but you can’t export it. So they were searching for anything related to drugs. The border official showed me the X-ray picture of our bag-pack and pointed on something wanting to know what we had there. Of course my answer was: “Dulce de leche”. He pointed on another shape and I said “ Dulce de leche tambien”. He just shook his had and we were allowed to leave. Of course those two jars are long gone and I learned how to make my own. It is fairly simple, but it is going to take a while!
If you don’t just want the Dulce de leche to go unaccompanied, you have to try the Alfajores. The short pastry filled with caramel is AMAZING!
Tell me if you mastered the caramel cooking! I am excited to hear how it goes! Just bear in mind that it’s not going to be one of those super quick recipes.
For 12 big Alfajores
Ingredients for the Alfajores
400 g cornstarch
200 g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
200 g soft butter
200g powdered sugar
2 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla concentrate
1 pinch of salt
Ingredients for the Dulce de Leche
about 1.8 litres of milk
560 gr sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Preperation for the Alfajores
Use your food processor or mixer to mix the soft butter and sugar. Add the eggs and egg yolk one a time while also adding the vanilla. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and the salt) and add it slowly to the butter mixture. Whenever you have got a smooth dough, wrap it in cling film and leave it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Now you could start your Dulce de leche!
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
After the refrigeration time you can roll out the dough on a floured surface. It should make about 24 round cookies. Put them on an baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 8 to 10 minutes .
They are not supposed to brown so keep a close eye. Let them cool on an grid. Add Dulce de leche to one Alfajor and place the second one on top. Roll the sides in coconut flakes and you are ready to treat yourself to your first yummy ALFAJOR !!
Preperation for the Dulce de Leche
Stir together the milk, sugar and baking soda into a heavy saucepan. Bring to boil and then reduce heat. Let it simmer uncovered while stirring occasionally. It changes color and thickness within about 2 hours. When the milk starts to caramelize after about an hour you will have to stir more often to avoid burning,
In the end watch carefully because it gets too thick quickly. Stir in the vanilla and transfer in a bowl to cool. If it gets too firm after cooling you can reheat it before using.