|Dulce de Leche|
A couple of days ago, I was making some cupcakes for my brother to bring to a party at work. I thought I had all the ingredients with me on hand. And I did. The problem was, I did not have enough of one, the powdered sugar, for the peanut butter frosting. Nevertheless, I started to make the frosting, hoping against hope that it would turn out fine. Sure enough, it failed. I whipped and whipped and whipped, and the frosting kept failing on me. Frustrated, I stuck the miserable bowl of frosting inside the fridge. Meanwhile, there I was late at night with a bunch of unfrosted chocolate cupcakes racking my brain and the cupboard for alternative ideas for frosting.
There is not much I can do in terms of cupcake frosting without powdered sugar. I could make whipped ganache. Ganache does not call for powdered sugar, but I did not have enough cream. Or, I thought, I could make dulce de leche out of the cans of Milkmaid condensed milk in the cupboard, and frost the cupcakes with that. It would be like Slice's Double Chocolate Yema cupcake.
Desperate, and probably simply too sleepy, I submerged a can of condensed milk into a pot of water and waited for it to boil. The idea on how to do this came from one of my friends who told me about how as children they would make butterscotch out of condensed milk by boiling it in its own can. Later, I would read about it and find out that it was actually dulce de leche and not butterscotch. Butterscotch or not, the concoction sounded very yummy but I never got the heart to make it because boiling a can of milk for four hours sounded, well, too much. But, again, I was desperate. I knew that dulce de leche would take four hours to make and longer to cool. What I did not realize was that at the time that I started making it, it was 11:30 in the evening. I knew I was never going to make it.
Forlorn, I took out my so-called peanut butter frosting from the fridge to see if it had magically turned into something decent. It tasted OK despite the odd texture, so I decided to work around it by piping it onto the cupcake to look like many little flowers instead of one big swirl. That did it for my brother's cupcakes.
The next day, I had a can of utterly decadent dulce de leche on my hands. Without the cupcakes, I used it on my apple pie that I had made a couple of days back which came out too tart to tame the flaw. The rest I used as topping for many other desserts, and some I even ate off a spoon. It was that good.
All in all, that can of condensed milk did not go to waste and I was glad I finally got to make a culinary project that I had been thinking about doing for the longest time. Although I did have a pickle trying to convince my mom that I did not waste four hours worth of her LPG boiling a can of milk.
Dulce de Leche
1 can of Milkmaid condensed milk
Peel off paper label from can of Milmaid. Put the unopened can in a heavy pot and pour water just enough to cover can up to an inch. Bring water to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, lower heat and let the water simmer for 4 hours. Periodically add water to keep the can submerged in an inch of simmering water.
After four hours, carefully take out the can from the water and let it sit in room temperature until the can is cool enough to handle. This may take a couple of hours. When cool, open can with a can opener all the way through. The milk should have turned caramel brown in color and the consistency thick and heavy.