7/11/11

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream


My husband and I like to joke about food origins. Do you ever think about who thought up some of the popular dishes or ingredients we use today? Like the first man/woman who thought, "Jello is great, but if I add sour cream and some canned fruit, it will be greater"? Or who said, "I have this dried bread dish, and I need to bake it. Why don't I just shove it in this bird I'm roasting?" Whoever they were, they definitely think outside the box. Some of them are probably the ancestors of the person who thought to stuff an Oreo cookie in chocolate chip cookie dough and bake it. 

Dulce de leche is one of those foods that I don't know how someone thought of, but whoever it was I wish I could give them a high five. I don't know why someone would think to cook sweetened condensed milk until the sugars caramelized and it developed this sweet, deep, rich caramel flavor, but they are definitely one of my culinary heroes. (And hopefully they aren't offended that for the life of me, I can't stop calling it dulche de leche like it was some kind of designer food.) The silky smooth, rich flavor of dulce de leche works in so many types of desserts and pairs well with other flavors, like cinnamon. 


If you are a fan of dulce de leche like I am, this ice cream is for you. If you've never tried dulce de leche before, this ice cream is for you, too. It's a great way to taste dulce de leche's wonderful, sweet, rich, caramelly flavor. It also gives the ice cream incredible smoothness. You can buy it in small cans in the international food section of most grocery stores, or rumor has it that you can make your own by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk for an extended period of time. Since this idea scares me to death, I'll leave it up to you and Google if you want to try making your own that way.

If you are feeling extra special, like I was when I made this, you can top it with some cinnamon chips. They're easy to make, (and a great use for leftover wonton wrappers) and give the ice cream a little bit of cinnamon crunch. Not matter how you choose to top it, however, be sure to take a brief moment of silence to thank the food genius who came up with dulce de leche. 


Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound dulce de leche (about 1 2/3 cups; preferably La Salamandra brand; I used one Nestle can because that is all I could find.)
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat and whisk in dulce de leche until dissolved. Whisk in vanilla and transfer to a metal bowl. Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.

Recipe Source: Gourmet magazine via Epicurious.com

Cinnamon Wonton Crips

6 wonton wrappers

1/2 T butter, melted
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar


Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lay the wonton wrappers out flat on a baking sheet. Brush evenly with melted butter. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over the top of each one.

3. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Recipe Source: adapted from allrecipes.com


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