Dulce De Leche?

Baking By CiNoRi Updated 8 Oct 2012 , 2:07am by ellawillow

CiNoRi Posted 1 Oct 2012 , 2:25pm
post #1 of 23

I can't find the product I normally use so I might have to give making my own a try - from cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk.... Any advice?

Also is this safe to use in filling an fondant cake that WON'T be refrigerated?


22 replies
SweetDreams_DK Posted 1 Oct 2012 , 2:40pm
post #2 of 23

I always make my own. If you have a pressure cooker, that's the easiest. Just tear the label off a can of sweetened condensed milk, put it in the pressure cooker and add water to cover the top of the can. Cook under pressure for about 45 minutes.

If you don't have one, just google "making dulce de leche" and you'll see methods for cooking it in a double boiler, or baking it in the oven.
I don't see any reason that you can't use it for filling a cake that will sit out. The high sugar content will preserve it, and it will be completely sealed from air with fondant.

vpJane Posted 1 Oct 2012 , 3:13pm
post #3 of 23

You really just need milk and sugar. That's the real one. No refrigeration needed, so you're clear on that.

"The problem for me is that no matter which method you use for caramelizing sweetened condensed milk, your raw material is still sweetened condensed milk, and that produces a vastly inferior dulce de leche, at least in my view. The simmering method allows you to mix your milks, get creative with your sugars, add spices, whatever you like. And it doesnt take a whole lot more time." Joe Pastry




CiNoRi Posted 1 Oct 2012 , 9:30pm
post #4 of 23
Originally Posted by vpJane

You really just need milk and sugar. That's the real one. No refrigeration needed, so you're clear on that.

"The problem for me is that no matter which method you use for caramelizing sweetened condensed milk, your raw material is still sweetened condensed milk, and that produces a vastly inferior dulce de leche, at least in my view. The simmering method allows you to mix your milks, get creative with your sugars, add spices, whatever you like. And it doesnt take a whole lot more time." Joe Pastry




oh wow this is cool, doesnt look too involved. I have a can of SCM on the stove now... ill make that and see how it goes. Then for the cake this week if i have more time ill try making from scratch. Either way I definitely will give this a shot before my next request!!!

scp1127 Posted 2 Oct 2012 , 6:07am
post #5 of 23

All of the safety information is very nice, but did anyone look it up before giving food safety advice?


According to official sites, it falls under low acid canning and it is not definitive if it is safe even under these conditions. So if canning isn't safe, the above opinions have no merit.

It must be considered like any dairy product and has to be refrigerated. Even Nestle has to be refrigerated.

Before people give advice on food safety, maybe they should look it up.

And instead of asking food safety questions on a public forum, please look it up yourself. Any site with USDA, FDA, .gov, or .edu, will give you the correct information. Just keep researching until you get a definitive answer.

vpJane Posted 2 Oct 2012 , 9:57am
post #6 of 23

She's not leaving the cake out for a week. Dulce de leche will be fine for at least 2 days out of the refrigerator. She's not canning the dulce de leche either. Ganache contains dairy. Does ganache have to be refrigerated? NO!

Here's more opinions on the subject and other methods if you want them, from people native to the countries it comes from.


OP, hope your cake goes great!

scp1127 Posted 2 Oct 2012 , 5:47pm
post #7 of 23

vpjane, again, where did you get your information?

Those are just opinions on another thread. You are completely incorrect by every official site. Look it up before you give food safety advice and I would suggest before you offer a rebuttal that again goes against official testing and authorotative sites.

Do you realize that when you look something up on a google search, if it is not from an official site, it is just more "opinions", like yours, that are unsubstantiated and can be completely wrong.

To clarify for you, my post read that EVEN with low acid canning, the method may not be safe. Therefore, it is imperative that DDL be treated as a dairy product and stored accordingly... in the refrigerator.

vp, I know you like to say the opposite, like your suggestion that getting an education is not good advice. But the education that I push is not just book learning. It's about getting familiar with food safety from official sites. It's about getting experience, being careful about business in a recession that is not going away any time soon, and saving money to take that huge stress factor out of a new business so that the business itself can be given all attention.

I'm sorry if you don't agree, but there are people on this site that actually look up information and try to give the most accurate information to fellow members. Yes, we get flack when facts differ from popular opinion, but here is my reason for correcting misinformation:

Your inaccurate information will eventually come up as a google search result, just like all of the other opinions on blogs and forums. But if someone else provides th correct information in the same search result, now the reader is informed and can make a more educated decision about food safety.

vpJane Posted 2 Oct 2012 , 6:01pm
post #8 of 23

SCP don't turn this one too into one of those nightmarish situations you like to create everywhere. 9 times out of 10 you're defending yourself on this site. Can't you see it? Anybody checking your forum posts can figure this out. Have a very pleasant day. I have better things to do than to continue this. You're even bringing other threads into this one now.

zespri Posted 2 Oct 2012 , 6:25pm
post #9 of 23

Cinori, if you're boiling a can of condensed milk, please be careful. I use Nestle brand, and I phoned them once to ask if their canned caramel is the same as dulce de leche in other countries. (there is a can we can get here just called 'caramel'). We discussed the boiling method, and they said they do NOT recommend making it by submerging a can like it says in my 25 year old cookbook. They said that nowadays cans are not as robust as they used to be (with tear-tabs, thinner metal etc), and can explode. She said now they tell people to put the can in the boiling water, but not to submerge it. No idea how that makes it safer! I'm happy with the microwave method! But agree with VPJane, it's not technically true dulce de leche, or even caramel. But it's close enough for many purposes.

Regarding safety, I can't tell you what American authorities have to say about it, but just anecdotally I have made a LOT of caramel mud cakes filled with it, and find them fine for a couple of days out of the fridge. I was looking at a jar of shelf stable dulce de leche from Argentina the other day and there were no preservatives in it, maybe the sugar is all that's needed?

Having said that, any reason you CAN'T refrigerate the cake to set your mind at ease? It's a myth that you can't refrigerate fondant, you just have to do it properly and should have no problems. Let me know if you want more info, I know there's a thread on here somewhere that shows photographic evidence of a black and red cake surviving refrigeration just fine.

scp1127 Posted 3 Oct 2012 , 4:25am
post #10 of 23

vpjane, you are mistaken again. I am not defending my "opinion". Unlike you, I look up food safety issues so that bad advice is not passed on. Food safety is never an opinion. The FDA has made sure of that. And I guess I just still remember your great advice that "education is unnecessary" when contemplating opening a business.

Zespri, the DDL is shelf stable in the can or jar. It's when you open it that it is no longer stable. The jars will be on the shelf but will have "refrigerate after opening" on it. Commercial manufacturers are capable of stabilizing low acid dairy products, but the home canner does not have that sure-fire ability. Check the label.

What we do in our families is one thing, but what we sell needs to meet the criteria set forth by the authorities. You may even get a different answer out of an HD inspector. These little questions require time to look up. For example, this one was buried under about five google pages of blogs telling how great it is to leave it out, none official.

I will not stop looking up information before I post. I do not defend myself. I just think it's a shame that some people feel the need to give bad or incorrect advice, and then defend it after being presented with the facts.

vpJane Posted 3 Oct 2012 , 4:21pm
post #11 of 23

You treat people differently, depending on who they are at CC.

In the following link, you sheepishly talk about "cream cheese icing" being shelf-stable in your state, but don't force the FDA and other government sites on the other poster here, who (God forbid!) says that cream cheese American icing is shelf-stable in other states ('cause you're always sucking up to that poster).


But on this other thread, you push the FDA rule on other people.


No, I don't belong to that "group" who disagrees with what you say. You came to this thread to disagree with me, and not in a nice way.


Maybe I can't seem to find the FDA regulations on dulce de leche because I don't have your Super Google. Remember this strange thread where you seem to have a search engine with extra powers and found links for FromScratchSF white cake that was famous the world over (sucking up again) and where you found the treatments (probably not known to the doctors!) to save your grandmother from dying. Yet nobody else could get to this info. This is actually a pretty crazy story and if I had been you, I would have taken a plane there if it meant to save a human being.


I could go on. Yes, info on the web never gets lost, it's all searchable. Now I'm really getting out of this thread. I won't come back no matter what you say. I know you always like to have the last word. Hope the OP made a delicious cake.

scp1127 Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 3:34am
post #12 of 23

Vpjane, wrong again in your support of my writings. I have never said that cream cheese is shelf stable. And it has never been stable in my two states. FromScratch, I believe, wrote that about her state and costumeczar commented.

Don't spar with a fact checker if you don't check your facts.

Sorry, not letting you propogate misinformation on the unknowing, but trusting CC members and any other search result inquiry.

FromScratchSF Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 4:04am
post #13 of 23

People suck up to me? icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif

So... back on topic, I've made dulce de leche... 1st time I did the full can submersion. It literally exploded all over the kitchen when I went to open it. What I scraped off the walls was very, very tasty!

Next time I poked a hole in the top of the can and did the 1/2 submersion method. Also pretty tasty.

Then I realized they sell it premade in the can. So I did some math: A buck fifty and 3-4 hours in the kitchen boiling cans.... or buying it premade in a can for three bucks? Yeah, the premade wins. icon_biggrin.gif

Without debating state law or whatever, it's a lot of dairy. Sure, it's sweetened but it's still a lot of milk. I wouldn't use it if I knew the cake wasn't going to be refrigerated at all. I'd make a regular caramel sauce and call it "dule de leche". Chances are in a cake nobody would know the difference.

julzs71 Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 4:24am
post #14 of 23

I have made the dulce de leche with a condensed milk submerged in a pot of water, which tasted exactly the same as the stuff from Nestles (I got my can of dulce de leche from Argentina). It never exploded, but you do have to follow one rule. Never open it while it is hot....or even warm. I lie....I did have it expolde once, cause I wanted to taste it while it was warm.
Side note
scp, sometimes translation gets lost in the web. While I don't think you were trying to be bitch, you did sound kind of bitchy. I can see why VPjane did not appreciate your response. FromScratch's was non-confertional, and allowed the OP to research and gather information. VPjane might have rethought the situation also. Sometimes it's not what you say, it's the way you say it.
Hope your dulce de leche turns out awesome.

AussieSarahLou Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 4:36am
post #15 of 23

You can make it in the oven with out boiling the tin. I do use the tin.
I have used it as a layer in my sons Ninjago head and my mother in laws cake, it really adds the moistness.

vgcea Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 4:38am
post #16 of 23
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

I'd make a regular caramel sauce and call it "dule de leche". Chances are in a cake nobody would know the difference.

This caramel sauce is shelf-stable despite the cream? I made dulce de leche from scratch (milk and sugar slow-cooked) it was a loooong process. Great result but having to watch the pan for about 2 hours...

ellawillow Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 5:25am
post #17 of 23

I have not tried cooking it in the can but just the method in the microwave which is HEAPS quicker and although I am sure the original way is probably superior...I found the microwave one definitely yummy. I left it out - it was fine....lol we'll I am still kicking. And sorry SCP but I do have to agree that you do come across as sounding quite rude sometimes on here - why do you tell the OP not to come on here asking her fellow CC'ers advice - obviously none of us are experts or work for those official government bodies (including yourself) - we are just sharing our opinions etc and I am sure the OP is well aware of that. Oh and just because the 'officials' say something does not necessarily mean it's gospel.....

..........mmmmmmh caramel icon_wink.gif

imagenthatnj Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 4:08pm
post #18 of 23

Wow! All this talk about dulce de leche.

Dulce de leche is the number one choice for fillings in cakes and other desserts in South America, and everyone makes it from scratch, the 3-hour way.

It's sold at markets and on the streets in plastic containers. People eat it by the spoonful, and when they get home hours later, they would put it in the fridge, but nobody rushes to do it.

We even have these dulce de leche candies, made with condensed milk, egg yolks, maybe brandy, cloves, butter, cinnamon, and powdered sugar, barely cooked over a bain marie, made into a paste, then taken out and rolled into little balls; kept at room temperature. They're sold as homemade candy, and they're on every child's birthday party. I have a container since June brought by friends. It should last me till Christmas!

(I know it's in Spanish, but really, I'm not making it up!)

In my country, they do not put eggs in the fridge either. I still worry about leaving egg whites out here, "aging" for macaronsbut sometimes I think "the French do it, so it must be OK."? lol

Maybe VPJane has this kind of experience. I don't judge. A friend in NZ told me that the most famous cupcakery there sells cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, at room temperature, shelf-stable, no preservatives. I was horrified, but again, maybe they have their own rules there.

Good thing I don't sell cakes. I would go crazy with worry now.

Ellawillow, do you have 3 hours? You should try the real thing.

vgcea Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 9:27pm
post #19 of 23

I have to agree with the taste difference between the real thing and the one I got at the store. The store brand was good (Nestle) but the one that took me HOURS to make is like 999.96 times better-tasting.

ellawillow Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 4:03am
post #20 of 23

I have never tried the one from the shops (the nestle one) - as always thought it would not be that good..... Although the one I made was really nice I am sure the original (time consuming one) would be soooooooo much better. I wish there were more hours in my day - is just so hard to find the time to try and make everything that i would like to do. But you both (Vgcea and imagenthatnj) make me want to try it the proper way. If I do sometime soon, I will come back to this thread and let you know how it went icon_smile.gif

scp1127 Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 8:38am
post #21 of 23

ella, some background. A few people (always the same ones) on CC like to say the opposite of anything I look up to find a correct answer and then argue about it. When I saw this thread, there were already posts that were contrary to food safety.

Some threads are opinion geared. But the ones on business plans, business viability, law, and especially food safety, are best answered mathematically or by quoting authority. Math has no opinions and neither does food safety.

I am no expert in food safety or many other threads where I post, but some of us, including Jason, stop and take the time to research the correct answer from the proper authorities, where detailed experiments have taken place to insure public safety.

And yes, it is gospel.

Anyone can find the correct answer by Googling the question and going through page after page of opinion, and finally getting to an authorotative site. Sometimes the answers take a long time to find. I spent a few hours on a safety issue a few months ago. After all of that work, it's hard to just sit back and not give a rebuttal. But that fact-finding search is the part of CC that I like. I'm studying and learning as I search for the answer.

pinkfluffycupcake Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 5:29pm
post #22 of 23

Two good suggestions for alternate methods (I never thought about the BPA issue until reading this): http://www.theyummylife.com/dulce_de_leche

ellawillow Posted 8 Oct 2012 , 2:07am
post #23 of 23

Thank you for posting the link 'pinkfluffy cupcake' I will have a look at it.

To 'imagenthatnj - I read your post with interest as incidentally I had read a comment about dulce de leche in Mexico and how they don't seem to refrigerate there either.....funny how people have done these things for years and years and survived ok...... icon_rolleyes.gif

I am curious to know what the original OP ended up doing...........

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