• Magic dulce de leche. (Camellia Aebischer)Source: Camellia Aebischer
Set, forget, and wake up to a spoonful of warm caramelised milk jam.
Camellia Ling Aebischer

27 Mar 2020 - 12:05 PM  UPDATED 6 Apr 2020 - 11:50 AM

Dulce de leche, may we know it and love it. Best eaten via the spoonful, spread between layers of cake, filling a tart shell or stuffed between two biscuits to make an alfajor.

The only problem is, to make it involves slaving away over a pot of milk and sugar, stirring for hours until it’s reduced into a sweet, brown bubbling caramel.

A simple and reasonably well-known shortcut is the condensed milk trick. Take a can of sweetened condensed milk and place in a pot of boiling water. Cook for three hours making sure to top up with water so the can is always submerged. It’s easier, but still involves a level of effort I’m not willing to give at this point.

This magical transformation never gets old.

What if I told you you could make a can of cheats dulce de leche even simpler with the set-and-forget magic of a slow cooker? Well, you can thank me later.

Making dulce de leche in your sleep is as easy as it sounds, and all you’ll need is a slow cooker, some water and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Making dulce de leche in your sleep is as easy as it sounds, and all you’ll need is a slow cooker, some water and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Here’s how to do it:

First, peel the label off the can (or multiple cans if you wish), then place in a slow cooker, completely submerging in warm tap water. Make sure the water covers the cans and allow a little extra in case there’s evaporation.

Sweetened condensed milk goes in, I sleep, caramel comes out.

If you’ve got one of those fancy timed slow-cookers, set on low temperature (this is usually around 95 °C) for anywhere between 8-10 hours. Eight will give you a lighter, stickier caramel, and ten a darker, fudgier consistency.

If you don’t have a timer, just put it on before you go to bed and clock a solid 8 hours of zzz’s.

In the morning, gently lift the can out with tongs and submerge in a bowl of cold water. Opening the can while hot can pose a threat of explosion so ensure you let it cool in the water for at least 10-15 minutes before opening.

Voila! There you have dulce de leche in your sleep. Time to get spooning.

If you're concerned about leaving the can unattended, there's always David Lebovitz's tray-bake method though it's more 'while you nap' over 'while you sleep'.

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