Sunday, January 18, 2015

Smoked Dulce de Leche

I've been messing around with smoking sugar for a while. The best results have come from using liquid concentrates like honey and maple syrup because they capture the flavor better than solids. My absolute favorite is mesquite hot smoked molasses. The cooking process makes it so smooth you can't stop eating by the spoonful. With the experience of leveraging heat to yield a delicious transformation, I couldn't help but develop a dulce de leche.

Corn Cob Smoked Dulce de Leche

I started by hot smoking sweetened condensed milk (SCM) on a sheet pan. The thought was to gain caramelization depth as well as kick start the Maillard reaction. All it took was a couple hours and mixing every fifteen minutes to develop enough smoke and complimentary brown butter notes. I'm sure you can get to full dulce with time, but it would likely be too smoky and there's no need.

Corn Cob Smoked Sweetened Condensed Milk

For the dulce de leche, I opted for the no fuss crock pot method. The process is dead simple. All you have to do is take a can of sweetened condensed milk, put it in a crock pot filled with water set to low and wait for 24 hours. Of course the smoked SCM is now uncanned, but that is easily solved by putting it into a mason jar. The bonus is that it's contained so the smoke flavor loss is minimized.

Canned Smoked Dulce de Leche

Smoking added pleasing depth without overwhelming the base notes. It's freaking delicious and should be used sparingly as with any dulce or caramel sauce application. Go make some and drizzle away.

As always, keep the ideas bouncing...

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