Delicious Dominican Cuisine

A Buen Tiempo... Buen Provecho! ;)

Dulce de Leche with Caramelized Almonds/Dulce de Leche con Almendras Caramelizadas

Prepare yourselves for this dessert because it’s a real crowd pleaser.  It’s very decadent and as long as you have the patience, it’s very easy to make (just time consuming) and requires just a few ingredients that are easy to find.  It’s also a very common dessert in Dominican Republic that is served in different ways.  I personally like adding the caramelized almonds because it makes it look more elegant and it enhances the taste.  If aren’t fond of nuts, you may certainly omit them altogether (or substitute almonds for another kind of nut).

For this recipe you will need:

8 cups of whole milk
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 vanilla bean stalk (may substitute with 1 to 2 tsp of vanilla extract)

For the Caramelized Almonds:
1 cup of white granulated sugar
1 cup of unsalted Almonds

First, add the milk to a medium sized pot and put the heat on medium high.

Add the sugar to the milk.

Since it’s hard to get good vanilla here (like Dominican vanilla), I discovered that using vanilla bean stalks for certain dishes maximizes the flavor.  They are expensive though so feel free to substitute with vanilla extract.

To get the vanilla bean seeds out of the stalk, first cut it in half,

Then cut a thin slit length wise on one side of the stalk.

With the knife, open the slits and scrape the inside of the stalk with the knife.

Take the beans and add them to the milk.

After adding the vanilla beans, with a whisk or a fork, dissolve the beans into the milk by stirring vigorously.

If it looks clumpy, don’t worry, the beans will dissolve more as the milk cooks down.

Once the milk starts bubbling, lower the heat to medium temperature.

It will take about 2 and half hours for the milk to cook down, therefore, it is very important that you stir is constantly so that the milk doesn’t stick and burn.

This is what it should look like after 1 hour of cooking:

This is what it should look like after about 2 hours of cooking:

At this point, you need to stir more constantly since the milk is thicker and can stick faster. Also, do a taste test to determine if the sugar level is to your liking.  If you want it sweeter, I recommend adding 1 tbsp at a time because the milk will continue to cook down and you don’t want it to be overly sweet. (1/2 cup is more than enough sugar when I make it)

This is what it should look like when it’s ready to come off the heat (after about 2.5 hours), it will thick and have a custard like consistency:

At this point, give it one last stir and pour into serving dishes to be placed in the refrigerator to cool (when it cools it will get thick like a pudding, therefore, it’s better to pour it into whatever it will be served in).  It’s important not to overcook it, if you continue to cook it, it will turn into a paste and it will have a completely different consistency (still tasty 😉 ) that will be similar to fudge when it cools.

To make the caramelized almonds, in a small sauce pan add the sugar and put the heat on medium temperature.

Don’t add any water, just stir constantly with a spatula and you will see the sugar start to melt.

While the sugar is melting, take the almonds and put them in a ziploc bag to crush them with something hard like a dough roller.  If you don’t have any ziploc bags, you may put them on a cutting board and rough chop them with a knife.

It’s only a rough chop, it is ok some of the almonds are still whole.

Don’t forget to stir the sugar! 🙂

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (make sure it’s something oven proof and flat).

When the sugar is melted and smooth like this,

*At this step you will have to work quickly because the caramel gets hard fast.*

Add the almonds and stir,

Pour the almonds on the parchment paper once they are thoroughly covered with the caramel.

Press and flatten out as much as you can with a spoon, at this point the caramelized almonds will harden quickly.

Let the almonds cool, then rough chop them with a knife.

Chop until you have bite sized chunks.

Add some of the almonds to the Dulce de Leche and serve nice and chilled!

Buen Provecho! 😉

2 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Jenny

     /  April 23, 2011

    Janet!! I didn’t know we had the next Rachel Ray in the family 🙂 Esto se ve delicioso….yum!


    • Janet O.

       /  April 24, 2011

      Thank you, I’ve been wanting to start a cooking blog for a while now, I figured it’s about time I put my plans into action. 🙂 Definitely make this dessert, te acordaras de mi! 😉


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