It’s gooey. It’s sweet. It’s silky smooth. Eat it all by itself, as a topping or filling for desserts or breakfast foods—or even better—make a mind-blowing mug, a perfect pick-me-up, a caffeinated chef d'oeuvre with our Dulce De Leche Colombian Blend Recipe. Just add dulce de leche to Death Wish Coffee’s kicked-up Colombian blend with notes of toasted almonds and ripe plums—and prepare for an utterly out-of-body experience.
What Is Dulce De Leche?
Dulce de leche, meaning “sweet (or candy) from milk,” is traditionally made by slow-boiling milk that’s sweetened with vanilla and sugar until it caramelizes and turns brown, thick and creamy. Sometimes you’ll see recipes that call for heavy cream and natural sweeteners instead of the sugar.
Enjoy dulce de leche cold or at room temperature—similar to caramel—if you want it super gooey. Heat it up until it’s more of a liquid consistency and look out! It makes a delicious topper (or filling) for just about anything. Add it to all kinds of breakfasts and desserts—pancakes, toast, waffles, muffins, cakes, pies, pastries, brownies and ice cream.
Dulce De Leche’s Latin Heritage
Dulce de leche’s origin is quite mysterious, but its popularity spans throughout Latin America. Argentina gets the most credit for inventing the milk candy first, but Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and Peru all stake claim to the sweet treat as their own invention. Regardless of where dulce de leche actually comes from in South America, each country puts its own legendary spin on the yummy stuff that goes something like this: Dulce de leche was discovered purely by accident by a cook (or maid) who left sweetened milk on the stove too long, creating a thick, dark brown and creamy mixture in its place. Thank goodness for the mouth-watering miscalculation of gooey goodness—wherever it came from.
What Does Dulce De Leche Taste Like?
The consistency of dulce de leche will remind you of caramel, but it’s not caramel. Because it’s got a milky base, dulce de leche is too sweet, smooth and even glossy to be a caramel. Caramel is also made by heating sugar—not milk. If anything, dulce de leche has more of a toffee-like or butterscotch flavor. Once it gets to room temperature—or even chilled—it's like pudding, softer than peanut butter but definitely a lot thicker than caramel. That’s what makes this sweet, caramel-butterscotch-like sauce a great addition to all sorts of foods, desserts and coffee drinks.
How To Make Dulce De Leche
You can find dulce de leche in the Hispanic aisle of grocery stores or in Hispanic specialty markets. Buy it in solid 15-ounce blocks or as a liquid in a can or bottle. But when you’re feeling inspired, here’s a quick, easy and penny-saving recipe to make your own dulce de leche from an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk on the stovetop, in a slow cooker or Instant Pot!
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- Completely remove the label from the can of condensed milk. If you leave it on, you'll get a papery mess in the water. Note: It might be best to use an adhesive remover to really get after any grimy residue from the glue first.
- Place the can in a pot on the stovetop (crockpot or Instant Pot will work too—see Pro Tips below) and fill it with water 2 inches above the can. You will need to add more water during the cooking process to make sure water doesn't go below this level as it evaporates.
- To prevent the can from rattling in the water, put a rag under the can.
- At medium-high heat, watch the water closely until you see the water come to a simmer. Then lower the heat to hold the water at a simmer for about 3 hours.
- Remove the can with tongs or an oven mitt and place on a rack or in a bowl of cold water to cool for 30 minutes. Be careful when emptying the contents, as you can get burned.
- Open the can carefully with a can opener and pour into a bowl. The top will be more fluid, and there will be thicker, darker chunks at the bottom that will need to be scraped out. When everything is in the bowl, whisk together to make it consistent.
- You can also use a crock pot (8-10 hours on low with water 1 inch above your can/s) or Instant Pot (40 minutes on high with water 1 inch above your can/s). You can make as many cans as will fit sideways in the bottom of your pot of choice!
- Since the cans are sealed, none of the milk can evaporate, so there's no stirring or constant watching required, making it much faster than cooking fresh milk in a pot.
- Be VERY careful not to open the can while it is still pressurized! Once it’s cooled, give it a good stir and it smooths out perfectly!
- You can use it as a topping, dip or mix for all kinds of treats: fruits, donuts, Greek yogurt, crepes, oatmeal or cookies. Get creative!
Dulce de Leche Colombian Coffee Recipe
- 6 ounces fluid dulce de leche (see above)
- 4 cups strongly brewed Death Wish Coffee Colombian Blend
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons chocolate, grated
- Add the dulce de leche to the very hot coffee.
- Stir until dissolved and combined. Keep hot.
- Combine the cream with the sugar and whip until stiff.
- Divide the coffee and dulce de leche mixture among 6 glasses.
- Top with a heaping tablespoon of whipped cream and grated chocolate.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Sharing a Dulce De Leche Colombian Coffee with your main hang, best bud or crazy uncle during dreaded family get-togethers is the perfect way to show you have a heart—err, sweet tooth is more like it. Make a mug—or keep it all to yourself. We totally get it.
Reach peak performance with our kicked-up Colombian blend, made with smooth arabica beans from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia and naturally high-caffeine Indian robusta beans. From morning routines to afternoon pick-me-ups, this bold brew always has your back, with double the strength and notes of toasted almonds and ripe plums.
[Featured Image Credit: Bruna Branco via Unsplash]