I made this delicious dessert the other night with the help of my daughter Lucia. This is a super easy recipe that uses a minimum of ingredients, little skill in the kitchen, and tastes amazing… perfect for me. The thing I really loved about this recipe is how the vanilla does such a great job of framing the sweetness of the dessert without overpowering it.
Dulce de Leche
1 quart of whole milk
1 1/2 Cups of sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, split down the middle and scraped of all its seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat over medium until all the sugar is dissolved. Once the liquid reaches a simmer, add the baking soda and reduce to low heat.
Continue cooking on low heat and resist all temptations to turn up the heat because this stuff will burn if you’re not careful and it is really tough to wash off (trust me).
After 1 to 1 1/2 hours you should have a thick, caramel colored syrup that smells delicious. Simply strain the liquid (to remove the vanilla bean and any of the foam that accumulates on the top) and store in a jar. Use as a topping for cookies, pies, bread, and of course, ice cream.