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Mar 23, 2009 10:30 AM

Dulce de Leche - In the Can.

I spend a bit of time on UK food boards, and the idea of Banoffee Pie has been growing in my mind. Not wanting to boil up a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, I went searching...

First I found "Nestle Treat Caramel" from the UK, and while it's available from online import sites, the price is a little steep. Writing to Nestle about when they'd be offering Nestle Treat Caramel in the US was a bust, as the botgal who responded thought I was talking about candies, not canned caramel/dulce de leche.

Doing a little more searching turned up Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche, available in the US (also imported, but from Chile) in many urban areas or areas with a Hispanic consumer base.

Store Locator:

So, I picked up a can last night (13.4 oz - $2.79) in the "Imported Food" aisle; it was shelved quite close to the Goya products. Now, there's a Banoffee Pie in my future, and maybe Millionaire's Shortbread after that. Yum!

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  1. And then I assume that you, being a properly dutiful Chowhound, will post your recipes on the Home Cooking Board so that the rest of us can have a go at these delights...?

    8 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Well, now. Never let it be said that I fell down in my duty. :)

      Banoffee Pie's been Chowed quite a bit in various threads; here's one:

      The original recipe*
      calls for a pie crust, and the addition of coffee granules to the whipped cream, and a light dusting of coffee granules over. Another recipe uses crushed digestive biscuits mixed with butter and pressed into a shell or shells, then chilled. Others substitute graham cracker crusts.

      I haven't decided yet, but tarts rather than a full pie is what I plan. As I loathe coffee in all its forms, it's the one ingredient I will definitely omit. When I work out my variation on the theme, certainly I'll post the results.

      As to the Millionaire's Shortbread, I've already decided on an existing recipe:
      If I live after consumption, I'll post reaction here. I hope this helps for now.

      * He also provides an oven method of preparing the Caramel from Sweetened Condensed Milk that I believe to be safer than any stovetop method. Still, I wanted the absolute safety and convenience of Caramel in a Can, and I'm ecstatic I found it. :)

      1. re: mcsheridan

        I find it rather hilarious that the common UK term for caramelized sweetened condensed milk (aka ducle de leche) is banoffee, derived from banana -toffee-coffee. I grew up with my mom caramelizing the milk the pressure cooker. And long before that Mexicans were cooking goats milk to a caramel (called 'cajeta' - 'boxed stuff'), while the cows milk version is practically a national dish in Argentina. Come to think it, I once bought a couple of jars of Argentine banana flavored dulce de leche.

        On my son's first birthday we were traveling in Mexico. I bought a cake mix, baked that, and used cajeta as the frosting.

        The idea of making a pie with dulce, bananas and coffee flavored whipped cream sounds interesting. How about making the crust from crushed hobnobs, or ANZAC biscuits?

        It is also takes some imagination to associate this sort of pie with a stone cottage in Sussex

        1. re: paulj

          It is funny that the name was reverse-engineered to "banoffee toffee" - is that the only thing dulce de leche is used for in the UK? The term dulce de leche only gained mainstream traction in the US thanks to Haagen Dazs dulce de leche ice cream, which IIRC started out sold in niche markets (in Latino areas), but took off like wildfire.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            It's only called "banoffee toffee" on pages devoted to the pie, elsewhere it's just called Caramel. And there's lots more it gets used for there.

            Some examples here:

            1. re: mcsheridan

              For example the Monk recipe has
              "Hint - Banoffi is a marvellous "emergency" pudding once you have the toffee mixture in your store cupboard. We therefore suggest that you boil several cans at the same time as they keep unopened indefinitely."

          2. re: paulj

            It's not the caramel that's called Banoffee, just the pie made with it, Bananas, Toffee (the ddl), and Coffee.

            The Banoffee Pie is actually an offshoot of an older, American pie called "Blum’s Coffee Toffee Pie".

            1. re: mcsheridan

              I don't recall anything like that Toffee pie, though there are a lot of Cream pies in the USA. The filling is some sort of custard (blancmange, a corn starch thickened pudding) topped with either whipped cream or meringue (egg whites). A banana cream pie has sliced bananas as the bottom layer.

              1. re: paulj

                Me either. <shrug> But then some things go 'dormant' for years until somebody gives them a makeover.

      2. I, for one, look forward to trying those millionaire's shortbreads. I've already favorited the recipe (thanks!). The weather needs to get warmer first, though, so I at least have opportunity to work some of those calories off outside. Yummmmmmmm!

        1 Reply
        1. re: kattyeyes

          Those chocolate topped bars reminds me of the Nanaimo Bar

          named after a small city on Vancouver Island.

          The middle layer in these bars is a custard. I've seen some recipes that call for Birds or other vanilla custard powder..

        2. There was a CH discussion back in 2003 about making caramel from condensed milk by simmering the UNOPENED can(s) for two or more hours. Don't know if this would produce a runny syrup or the desired pudding consistency. Here is one comment from then...

          "You can take a can of any sweetened condensed milk, but you have to make sure the can is not damaged, just take a careful look at it in the store. Take off the label, and place it in a large pot of water, cover and boil at a medium/low flame for a few hours. The longer you boil it, the richer the color will be. Make sure that water is covering the can completely at all times. This way the tempreture remains constant, and you minimize the chances of the can exploding.
          Finally, make sure the can is completely cool, before trying to open it. Enjoy!!!

          "I've also seen people do this over a campfire while camping or just outside in the backyard, in that case exploding cans of caramel are a little bit less dangerous."

          4 Replies
          1. re: Sharuf

            There are several ways to make dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk. Here's a summary:

            1. re: Sharuf

     can do that.

              You could skip the condensed milk altogether and use Alton Brown's recipe:
              You could go completely safe and use the multiple can/oven method described here:
              OR, do what I did, and buy the canned product already made.

              One day, I'll try Alton Brown's recipe; it sounds intriguing. If I ever decide to go the sweetened condensed milk route, I'll do it in the oven. You can do multiple cans at once, and they'll keep indefinitely. NO risk to my kitchen, or me.

              1. re: mcsheridan

                Please do let us know if you make Millionaire's Shortbread. I've never had it, but it looks oh so heavenly!

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  I think a good short cut would be to start with shortbread like Walkers (Trader Joes has similar ones with their own name), and embed chopped 70% dark chocolate in the Dulce.