Friday, January 29, 2010
I've been weighing my desire for homemade dulce de leche vs. a face full of hot sugar and tin can shrapnel. Of course I'm talking about the boil inside the sealed can method, which done wrong (or right) can create a hot sticky bomb in your kitchen. Several brands of sweetened condensed milk specifically warn against doing this.
Of course, I'm thinking: dangerous caramel... yummm.
I was still waffling a bit though, until I saw kitchen koala's approach using a crockpot! It looked so easy that I had to give it a try. No worrying about the water level dropping, no stirring, just turn it on and walk away... far away... just in case.
This method is probably safer than boiling in the can in a pot of water. However, given the way my cans were bulging slightly after six hours I'm going to guess that there is still a small chance of an explosion. So, cook at your own risk.
I had a ton of left over Eagle condensed milk from holiday pie making and Kitchen Koala gave me the perfect use for it. So, I peeled the labels off my cans, placed a piece of foil into my crock pot and placed the cans inside.
Make sure your cans are in good condition, no dents or other imperfections, particularly near the rim. These cans will be under pressure so you don't want to take chances with weak spots.
I filled the crock pot to the lip with warm water, covering the cans completely. Put the lid on and set it on low for 8 hours.
At the end of 8 hours I ladled away most of the water from my pot and then picked up the cans with silicon pot holders. They're still under pressure at this point, so dropping them is a really, really bad idea. So make sure you've got a good grip on the cans before removing them from the pot.
Let the cans cool completely before opening. Until cool, the contents will be under pressure and cracking them open too early is inviting a hot molten caramel bath.
I let mine cool on the counter over night and this is what was waiting for me in the morning...
Oh so good. The irresistible flavor of sugar and danger.
Enjoy, risk takers.