This is a 1 ingredient, 15 second recipe that will knock your socks off! 1. Place sealed cans of condensed milk in slow cooker; 2. Fill slow cooker with water; 3. Turn slow cooker on for 8 hours on low. Total prep time: 15 seconds. Output: Perfectly smooth, no stir, thick, deep flavoured caramel sauce. (I have also provided directions to make this on the stove top)
“This keeps for a month in the fridge. But it won’t last that long.”
Dulce De Leche. Smooth, rich and thick with a deep caramel flavor, this South American export is the king of all caramels. The literal translation of “dulce de leche” is “candy of milk”. And that’s exactly what this is – milk and sugar that’s been slow cooked.
Made from scratch using milk and sugar, it requires a lot of attention for the first hour to make sure the caramel at the bottom doesn’t burn, then a further 2 hours of cooking (and checking….and cooking….and checking…). So if you’re more like me, this effortless version made with condensed milk in a slow cooker will appeal to you. This is how this goes down:
- Place sealed cans of condensed milk in slow cooker. You don’t even need to take the labels off. (3 seconds)
- Fill slow cooker with hot tap water (10 seconds)
- Turn slow cooker on for 8 hours on low (2 seconds)
“Use no-brand condensed milk if you want to save on cost. I promise you no one will know the difference.”
When you open those cans up, you are going to be amazed at the deep golden colour and the smell of the rich caramel is going to make your mouth water. Dig deep and be strong – do not get stuck in with a spoon because you won’t be able to stop!!
This caramel is quite thick, a spreadable consistency (shown in the top picture) and perfectly smooth. If you want to make it a pourable consistency, you can whisk in a touch of milk or even water, or heat it up in the microwave.
I don’t get fancy serving it up, I usually just warm it up slightly and pour it (generously) over vanilla ice cream, or spread it onto a biscuit. Because it’s so rich, I don’t think it needs much else to make it shine. But here are other suggestions for things you can use it for:
- As a sweetener + milk in coffee
- Use as spread on muffins or toast
- Spread on sweet plain biscuits like graham crackers or shortbread
- Drizzled over cakes and cupcakes. Fancy!
- Caramel layer in slices
- Over crepes and pancakes
- As a dip for churros (it is, after all, South American!)
- As a gift (if you like anyone enough to give this away to)
It’s pictured here with shortbread because tomorrow, I’m going to post Shortbread Dulce De Leche Sandwiches that I made using this. I don’t bake much so this is a big deal!! It is insanely easy – just 3 ingredients (plus the Dulce De Leche) – and sinfully addictive!
I hope you give this a try! It really is handy to have in the fridge. I’m especially glad that I made this batch today because I’ve just organised to have a bunch of friends over this weekend! 🙂
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (395g / 14 oz each) (see notes)
- Place cans in slow cooker on their side. Don’t worry about removing the label.
- Cover cans with hot tap water until the water is about 5 cm / 2” above the cans.
- Set slow cooker for 8 hours on low.
- If you want your caramel to be a really dark golden colour, slow cook for a further 2 hours.
- Remove cans from slow cooker using tongs. DO NOT OPEN CANS WHILE HOT. The contents might burst out – dangerous!
- Submerge cans in cold water to cool before opening. It only takes 10 minutes or so.
- Open cans.
- If not using right away, transfer into jars or air tight containers, do not leave it in the can.
- Place cans in a large pot and cover with water so that it is 5 cm / 2 inches above the cans.
- Place on a small burner and bring JUST to boil - don't walk away, you don't want to leave the cans boiling in water.
- Then turn down the heat to medium low (or low if you stove is powerful), put the lid on and let it simmer for 2 hours to get the consistency and colour as per the photos you see, otherwise for 3 hours if you want to darker and thicker.
- Remove from the pot. Allow to cool before opening (otherwise the Dulce De Leche might burst out when you open it). You can speed up the process by submerging the cans in cold water.
2. If your slow cooker leaks a lot of water, you should increase the water quantity. If the water dries out during cooking, the cans might burst open.
3. The Dulce De Leche will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.
4. When the Dulce De Leche is warmed, it becomes pourable like a thick caramel. At room temperature or fridge cold, it is thicker, like a spread.
5. You can use a touch of water or milk to thin it out slightly if you want to drizzle it over something.
6. Suggestions for use:
• As a sweetener + milk in coffee
• Use as spread on muffins, toast or graham crackers
• Drizzled over cakes and cupcakes. Fancy!
• Caramel layer in slices
• Over crepes and pancakes
• As a dip for churros (it is, after all, South American!)
• As a gift – jar it and add labels and/or tags
Nutrition facts per serving assuming 3 cups (2 cans of sweetened condensed milk) serves 12 people.