I didn’t go totally south of the border here, however, one of my ingredients was paying a visit. Well, it might have been a poser; but the concept is THERE.
Everyone? Meet Dulce de Leche. Dulce de Leche? Everyone. Everyone? Dulce de Leche.
Good, now that you all are acquainted, let me explain just what this is. Dulce de Leche is a thick milk-based caramel sauce that is very popular in South America. While I don’t know how they make it down there (though I bet it is awesome!) I discovered how you can make it here.
This is Condensed Milk (yes, it says ‘fat free’ this stuff is deadly when it is full fat!). A preserved milk with added sugar. In other words, the soul of the South. You can find this in everything in the South. Fudge, candy, pie…the works! Now, one can make Dulce de Leche by taking a can, sticking it in a pot with water covering it and boiling it, covered, for coming onto three hours. Goodness gracious that’s too long for me, not only that, but it doesn’t seem safe. When I finished this stuff, it was very very thick; can you imagine this stuff splattered ALL OVER THE WALLS? No, that’s not how I want to spend my afternoon; thanks very much. So, I found a recipe on Baking Bites on how to make dulce de leche over a double boiler! Simply pour the can in the top pan and stir every once in a while for about an hour or so. It gets delightfully thick and a very pretty caramelly color! Not only that, but heck yes on yum. I’ll probably make this again.
Now for those brownies. Nicole, the owner of Baking Bites, says that she uses this stuff up on brownies! So, thinking about my latest brownie craze, I opted to try out her recipe. I’m glad I did! I used my E. Guittard chocolate wafers that Chandler gave me and boy, they made these so flipping YES. Not only that, but they are very fudgey and soft and super rich. I didn’t swirl in the dulce de leche, I wanted to be able to see it in there. So, I poured in half of the brownie mixture, poured the dulce de leche on top of that (after heating for about twenty seconds), then layered the top mixture and then baked. They were done on time too! Normally, my brownies take about fifteen minutes longer! The dulce de leche gave the dark chocolate a nice balance of sweet and chocolatey. Yay! Enjoy them!
Dulce de Leche Brownies
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined.
Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and top with dollops of dulce de leche. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the dulce de leche into the brownie batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies set and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out with only a few moist crumbs, not batter, attached.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
Makes 20 brownies (16 large or 25 small brownies).