There’s something I needed to share with you. This:
Ever since I came across this brownie recipe by a blogger, author, and pastry chef David Lebovitz, I’ve developed a real fascination with dulce de leche – something I had once or twice back home as a child, but never made or had in my adult life. So at first I was going to make his brownies. However, I realized that his particular recipe called for a lot of expensive ingredients, and I didn’t have all of them on hand. This is all about rich food for lean times, remember? I had an idea though – I thought that I would do just as well adding some dulce de leche to my all-time favorite baked fudge from Ree Drummond. I insist that you make it at least once! It’s incredibly easy (just whisk everything together in a bowl) and is very affordable to boot (you only need 2 T of cocoa).
If you would like to attempt this, all I did was dropping a few spoonfulls (maybe eight) of homemade dulce de leche on top of the batter from Ree’s fudge recipe (she’s got a printer-friendly version there!), and then did everything according to her recipe’s baking instructions (water bath and all). Served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, I thought this was heaven.
Note also that I normally modify Ree’s recipe by cutting the sugar down from one to 3/4 C, because she likes her sweets a tad sweeter than I do, and with the sweet caramel being added to it, you might even want to consider cutting it further, though I didn’t. And it was powerful! Also, her recipe calls for 2 heaping T of cocoa, and I make mine really heaping, so I end up with more like 4 T. As to the choice of cocoa, I use exclusively fair trade baking variety (not the supermarket Dutch-processed kind) – it’s just so much more chocolaty, and I enjoy a whiff of moral superiority that comes with it. It’s worth the money though – the cans are large and they last a long time.
This dulce de leche recipe (or pomatka, as it is known in Russian, as far as I know) came from the wonderful AZCookbook website. I am not 100% sure that it’s safe to boil your condensed milk directly in a can, but I did, and I can tell you that it was fuss-free and the results were superlative. Just don’t open your can until it’s completely cooled down.
Alternatively, if you are ill at ease with the idea of can-cooking, consider using this no-can method from the said David Lebovitz.
I think it will also be wonderful to drop a teaspoon of this magical substance in the center of a chocolate cupcake or a molten lava cake before baking. Imagine already decadent gooey melted chocolate enhanced with gooey, runny caramel.