Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dulce de Leche

Living in southern California and having a fondness for Mexican food... oh who am I kidding... having a fondness for FOOD, I am quite familiar with Dulce de Leche - a sweet and thick reduction of milk and sugar to a sticky, syrupy, carmally goodness. So when I saw Monica Morris' recipe in the July New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. Moosletter I knew - I can make that!

By the way, there is a scratch of the camera lens of my phone so that dark spot in each photo is a shadow from that, not some weird thing floating in my whey! 

First I added whey to my pot. I wasn't very precise in the measurement, just added what I had left after making ice cream. Turned it on high heat to bring to a boil then turned it to medium so that it would maintain a boil. Left it for about four hours, stirring periodically.

After it had reduced to about a 1/4 its original volume I turned off the heat.

Stirred in 2 cups of sugar.

Put it in batched through the food processor to smooth it out.

Put it back in the pot to reduce some more.

Finally, after another couple of hours it was reduced down to a carmally syrup. I was distracted by the baby at the end and didn't stir it as much as I should have so there was some browned syrup at the bottom that I inadvertently scraped up when I did go to stir. Luckily they didn't taste bad or burnt, just very sweet.

The froth in the pic below did eventually subside as it cooled.

Final Verdict:
While the syrup was delicious it was also VERY tart. Out of curiosity I went on a search and found that pretty much all dulce de leche recipes have baking soda. I know that baking soda is a PH neutralizer and works well to take down acidity in foods (or stomachs if you have a sour stomach by the way - mix 1 tsp in a cup of cool water and drink, it really works!). So if the acidity in regular milk is high then I know my whey which had citric acid added to it will be that much more acidic. My next batch I will add 1 tsp baking soda per gallon of whey, then I'll let you know how it turned out! 

Next up - Inadvertent Ricotta or otherwise called The Great Mozzarella Disaster

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