Sous Vide Dulce de Leche is an easy, foolproof way to make the silkiest version of this popular caramel spread, that’s just as delicious!
Much of this Sous Vide Dulce de Leche found its way into bonbons that I’ll soon share here on the blog. First, I want to show you how easy and effective it was to make this using our sous vide immersion cooker.
You have likely made a batch, or ten, of dulce de leche using the condensed milk method via stovetop, oven or slow cooker. It’s a fairly effortless alternative to the traditional, from-scratch recipe that requires a lot of stirring, like I did here, but with goats’ milk. So worth it, as it produces a caramel that is simply out of this world.
However, sometimes you want an effortless caramel that starts with milky yumminess that comes in a can.
A few years back when we got our sous vide cooker, this was the first non-meat thing I made. It’s one of the basic recipes in the recipe book that came with our unit. After having made this condensed milk dulce de leche in all the ways mentioned above, I was very curious to try this method.
The batch in the photo above was cooked for ten hours. It’s a little lighter in colour, but thick, silky and delish. The batch in the first photo and the one below were left in the water bath to cook for an additional two hours. As you can see, this produced a richer colour with a silky texture and more complex flavour. YUM!
Starting with a can of condensed milk, whether it’s made via sous vide, oven, pot or slow cooker, is great and all, but nothing beats caramel made from scratch. Must be that little reaction called Maillard that makes food taste and look so damn fine!
What I loved about the sous vide version is that I could turn it on and walk away – no stirring, no burning, no fuss. Similar to the can in the slow cooker technique, but without the metallic aftertaste.
Sweet Tips For Success:
- You can cook it in the can instead of a vacuum-sealed bag, but like the slow cooker version, I usually detect a slight metallic taste. Plus, I have heard there is a chance the can could explode??
- My preference is to make it in a mason jar, you’ll just need to remember not to tighten the lid too much, or your jar may crack during cooking. And we all know wasted caramel is just a downright crime. 😉
- If using a vacuum bag/sealer, be sure to switch the setting on your sealer to wet. I think you get the picture here – and it ain’t pretty when you forget to. I know someone, who knows someone who can tell you all about that…
- No vacuum sealer? Use the water displacement method with freezer bags you already have on hand.
- You can stop cooking at 10 hours, or continue to 12 hours for a darker caramel. The latter is much tastier!
- Be careful removing the finished caramel from the hot water bath. I think that is self-explanatory, yes? Yes!
- To avoid evaporation and heat loss from the water bath, cover the bin/pot well with foil or plastic wrap. You can also Macgyver a cover of your own with a quick Google search. I’ve more recently seen covers made specifically for the bin that accommodate the sous vide cooker, but they are grossly overpriced. I’ve also seen ping-pong balls being sold as an option. Of course, if your budget allows, you can go the way of a sous vide oven, instead of an immersion circulator.
- I was at first concerned with cooking in plastic, but you need only do a little research to determine the best option that works for you. What is labelled safe and healthy today, could very well change with additional research. I share what I use in the Amazon links below, but I’ll stay away from making any outright recommendations around this. Where it makes sense, mason jars are a great option.
Sous Vide Dulce de Leche
Sous Vide Dulce de Leche is an easy, foolproof way for making the silkiest version of this popular caramel spread that just as delicious!
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
Set the cooker to 85ºC/185ºF.
Open a can of condensed milk and add to a vacuum seal pouch, freezer bag or mason jar.
When the water bath is at the correct temperature, submerge the prepared condensed milk and cook for 10-12 hours.
Remove from water bath when time is up and add to an ice bath to cool down before using. If cooked in a bag, transfer to a clean mason jar and store in the refrigerator.