Turning condensed milk into caramel using oven: Many of us have vivid childhood memories centered on caramel. I recall getting a piece of caramel from my grandmother, who always had a few pieces of caramel in her coat pocket. I also recall my mother making caramel apples for Halloween every year.
You can make caramel from condensed milk by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk until the sugar inside turns brown. With the addition of heat, the sugar caramelizes. Because sweetened condensed milk contains more sugar than regular milk, it is an ideal ingredient for turning condensed milk to caramel.
Although sweetened condensed milk does not produce the traditional caramels used by my grandfather and mother, I prefer the caramel it produces when baked. I make decadent coffee, tea, pies, and cakes with heated condensed milk. You’ll be able to do the same after I share my methods with you to make caramel sweetened condensed milk.
Let’s learn how to make caramel with condensed milk.
How to Turn Condensed Milk Into Caramel?
How can we make caramel from sweetened condensed milk? 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 of making caramel from condensed milk.
A can of properly boiled sweetened condensed milk! Also read about the Benefits of Caramel Sweetened Condensed Milk in our blog.
What Is the Difference Between Caramel and Dulce de Leche?
When you heat milk and sugar together, you get dulce de leche. In short, boiling condensed milk gives you dulce de leche.
I use heated sweetened condensed milk to make a perfect dulce de leche for my sweet dishes. One of my favorite aspects of making dulce de leche is being able to transform a pantry staple into satisfying caramelized milk, and the fact that it’s so simple to do makes it one of my favorite kitchen tricks.
To make true caramel, use granulated sugar and slowly cook it down with only water. While to make dulce de leche, you’ll be boiling condensed milk in a can.
Condensed milk does not become caramel when viewed from a different angle. Instead, condensed milk is transformed into dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is caramelized milk, it’s condensed milk boiling, which is not the same as caramel.
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.
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 condensed milk boiling in 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 Why We Love Caramel from Sweetened Condensed Milk. I recently wrote an article about that.
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
Making Caramel in the Oven from Condensed Milk
How to make caramelized sweetened condensed milk using oven? If you don’t want to constantly mix or add ingredients, the oven method may be a better option for you. To be successful, this method requires a single can of sweetened condensed milk and two pans.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Empty a can of milk into a small dish or plate.
Step 3: Fill a larger dish/plate/pan with water to a height of 34 inches.
Step 4: Bake for approximately 75 minutes. If necessary, add more water during the baking process.
Step 5: Remove the milk from the oven when it has turned golden brown.
It’s not uncommon for a thin crust to form on the top of the pan when using this method. You can either discard the crust or use an immersion blender to combine the contents of the pan.
If you don’t use all of the caramel, keep it in an airtight container for a few weeks.
However, the crust may re-form in the refrigerator. So, skim it off or blend it into the remaining caramel sauce as directed above.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level in your water bath. Bake the milk until it reaches the desired consistency and color for your caramel. Cool completely before using.
How to Store Your Caramelized Condensed Milk
This caramel can be kept in the fridge for about a week before serving. If it lasts that long! Allow it to cool before storing it in a mason jar or plastic storage container.