Ice Cream Topping: Shortcut Dulce de Leche

Anything with caramel on top and we're sold. But give us the deep flavorful richness of dulce de leche and we're complete goners.

When we don't feel like making the long version of dulce de leche, we like to make this shortcut version instead:

Here's what you do:

Take one can sweetened condensed milk. Remove the wrapper. Put it in a pot. Cover it with water. Boil for an hour or two. Presto chango, dulce de leche!

If we know we're having ice cream for dessert, we put it on the stove when we start prepping dinner. By the time we're done eating, the sauce is ready to be poured and enjoyed.

One hour gives you a sweeter, more liquidy sauce. Two hours gives a thicker sauce with deeper caramel flavors.

The only caveat here is to keep an eye on the water level. You want to make sure that the can is always covered by water, or else it will heat unevenly and create pressure spots that could cause the can to explode. Set the timer to go off every 30 minutes to remind you to check on it.

If the word "explode" made you back away, we've also heard that you can pour the uncooked sweetened condensed milk into a glass dish and microwave it with the same results. If you try this version, we suggest microwaving in five minute intervals and stirring the milk in between.

What do you like to do with dulce de leche?

Related: Good Question: How Do I Make Chewy Caramels?

(Image: Flickr member Pinot & Dita licensed under Creative Commons)