Saturday, June 05, 2010
You know the old saying, "There's no such thing as a new idea"? Well, it's true, and the Internet reminds me every single day. I kept seeing (and clipping) dulce de leche recipes all over the web, but I wasn't exactly sure how to find this sweet concoction so I could taste it myself. Thus, I turned to the Almighty Google Monster and ta-da! A DIY version exists! But that first version I found? It called for a pot of hot water with a metal can submerged. Well, go ahead and call me a chicken if you want, but this lady was not about to try something that might just blow up in her face. Literally. That trick did get my gears turning, however, and I thought, "Hmmmm. I wonder if I could make dulce de leche in the crockpot." I'm a genius! Except I'm not. Because the Internet reminded me once again that "There's no such thing as a new idea."
But that was okay. At least I had a plan!
My second genius idea? Turn that homemade dulce de leche into a mix-in for brownies. I could just taste it: rich, chocolatey, fudgy brownies with swirls of creamy, caramel sauce in every bite. Sticky. Messy. Addictive. Three words that should describe every brownie I ever eat. But guess what? I'm not a genius. I'm a copycat (without even knowing it.) I should have guessed that the Dessert King himself, David Lebovitz, was a step ahead of me.
But that was okay. At least I had a plan.
I think it goes without saying that the people in my house loved their can of DIY dulce de leche. (Some of us more than others. Some of us may have followed Mama around, big-boy spoon in hand, saying "Morrr, Mama? Morrr?" And maybe some mamas were all too happy to oblige.) It took a lot of control to keep from eating the dulce de leche all by itself, but we managed. And it took a lot of control not to stand over the kitchen counter digging into a pan of hot brownies, too. But we managed. Well, we managed long enough to take a few photos. But we're not responsible for any carnage, er, crumbs, left behind post-photo shoot. In fact, let's just keep that part to ourselves.
Crockpot Dulce De Leche Brownies
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Mr. Lebovitz says these brownies taste better the second day, but unfortunately I can't attest to that fact because ours, uh, didn't quite last that long.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cocoa
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dulce de leche (or cajeta)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare square, metal or glass baking pan.
3. In saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in sugar, then vanilla and then flour.
4. Pour half of chocolate batter into pan. Drop half prepared dulce de leche over batter in small mounds. Swirl with knife. Carefully smooth remaining chocolate batter over dulce de leche. Then dollop remaining dulce de leche over the top and gently swirl once more.
5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes. Brownies are finished baking when the center is slightly firm. Cool completely before slicing. For cleaner-cut brownies, clean your knife in hot water between slices. Store in air-tight container up to three days.
* For the instructions to make crockpot dulce de leche, please visit A Year of Slowcooking. Please note, however, that the makers of canned sweetened condensed milk don't recommend heating their cans. Thus, neither do I, natch.