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.
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.
Once the milk starts bubbling, lower the heat to medium temperature.
This is what it should look like after 1 hour 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)
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.
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.
*At this step you will have to work quickly because the caramel gets hard fast.*
Add the almonds and stir,