I first discovered Dulce de Leche while living in Mexico while studying Spanish in college. A Mexican version is called Cajeta and is made with goat's milk. I lived in Mexico with host families and we would spread it on pancakes, pan dulce and dipped in hot churros. Cajeta is slightly tangier and not as sweet as a typical Dulce de Leche.
Dulce de Leche can be used as a cake or cookie filling. It is the filling of a great cookie found in Central and South America, Alfajores. Basically, it is a two shortbread cookies sandwiched together with Dulce de Leche. The New York Times has a tasty recipe.
Making Dulce de Leche is easy, just boil a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk in water for several hours until it caramelizes. The tricky part is knowing when it is done. You need to let the can cool before you open it, because of the build up of pressure it will spray HOT Dulce de Leche on you!
After several burns trying to open cans to see if it is done caramelizing, I discovered a better way! Place the sweetened milk into a mason jar fitted with a lid so you can easily tell if it is done!
Dulce de Leche Recipe1. Open a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, pour into a mason jar fitted well with an air tight lid.
2. Place jar into a pan with water until just submerged. Simmer at medium for about 3 hours until caramelized. Flip the jar a couple of times to mix the Dulce de Leche and even the caramelization.