How to Make Caramelized Sweetened Condensed Milk? You can actually turn a can of sweetened condensed milk into caramel! Here’s how.
How Is Condensed Milk Made Caramel?
In general, condensed milk becomes caramel by being heated until the sugar in it turns brown in color. Sweetened condensed milk contains more sugar than regular milk, making it an ideal ingredient for caramelizing.
Although dulce de leche and caramel are not the same thing, dulce de leche is frequently referred to as caramel, and I frequently use it in place of caramel in my recipes. You can do the same thing.
*By the way, the Double Boiler is fantastic for melting something like chocolate while heating other ingredients.
How Do Condensed Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, and Evaporated Milk Differ?
Sweetened condensed milk and condensed milk are the same thing. There are no milk cans labeled “unsweetened condensed milk,” and any can labeled “condensed milk” contains sweetener.
Evaporated milk is a canned cow’s milk product that contains no added sweetener. Evaporated milk, like condensed milk, has had 60% of its water removed.
Heat is used to homogenize and sterilize both evaporated milk and condensed milk. Due to the lack of sugar, evaporated milk may require more preservatives to keep the product shelf-stable. It usually comes in a can and has a two-year shelf life if properly stored and unopened.
The added sugar in condensed milk aids in the reduction of bacterial growth.
I frequently use evaporated milk in savory dishes like dressings and breading. But when I need to make an impressive dessert for friends and family, I reach for condensed milk.
How to Make Caramelized Sweetened Condensed Milk
Warming the Can
For many years, people have made an easy dulce de leche sauce by placing an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk (milk and sugar) in a slow cooker or oven in a water bath.
As you might expect, heating a metal can with liquid inside is not the safest thing to do. Especially if you open the can too quickly. It has the potential to explode.
Even if you use a can of sweetened condensed milk instead of our homemade version, we recommend transferring it to a baking dish.
Bath in Water
What exactly is a water bath?
A water bath is simply a tray of hot water placed in the oven while certain baked goods and savory recipes are baked. It has two major advantages:
ONE. It increases the amount of moisture in the environment. Consider it a steam room for your food to keep it from drying out. This prevents cracks in cheesecakes, pumpkin pies, and other baked goods.
TWO. The same moisture keeps baked custards and dulce de leche sauce from becoming rubbery and brittle.
Simple Caramel Sauce (Dulce de Leche)
To make caramel from condensed milk, the technique remains the same: we will heat milk and sugar (sweetened condensed milk) in a water bath at a constant temperature.
To allow for more surface area, use a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Before you begin, find two dishes that will nest inside each other and allow for a water moat. The more water you can get in there, the less likely it is that you will need to add more during the cooking process.
Less surface area means a longer cook time, which is why the recipe card includes a range. Cooking time is slightly increased when the recipe is doubled.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil to keep the moisture and heat in.
It is normal for your oven to emit pops and bubbles. You’re cooking it at 425 degrees, and water has a boiling point of 212.
It will change color from a dark creamy to a golden, tawny hue and become very aromatic. You’ll love the way your kitchen smells like sugar.
The trick is to keep the water from completely evaporating.
Why don’t cans of condensed milk explode when they’re heated?
Because the boiling point of water is lower than the boiling point of condensed milk, cans of condensed milk do not explode when boiled. As long as the can is submerged, the water outside will never be hot enough to cause the condensed milk to boil, expand, and explode.
If the can is not submerged in water, it absorbs heat from the pot’s bottom and can become hotter than the water remaining inside the pot. This has the potential to cause the can to expand and explode.
When caramelized, boiled condensed milk turns brown!
*As an aside, you might be interested in learning How To Proof a bread dough using oven. Here’s How to Do Oven Proofing!
How Long Does Caramel Condensed Milk Last?
Refrigerated condensed milk caramel will keep for a few weeks. Because sweetened condensed milk “caramel” is actually caramelized milk, it must be stored in the refrigerator and will not last as long as traditional caramel made from granulated sugar.
In the fridge, dulce de leche frequently becomes hard. Fortunately, small amounts of caramel sauce can be easily microwaved. When I want to use the dulce de leche to top a bowl of ice cream, I do this.
I prefer to use a thermometer for this. I recently discovered that is ideal for this! I pretty much use this thermometer for everything Candy Thermometer with a Hanging Hook