Physics 101


The sleeping arangements are much better, thank you for asking and to make my life even more delightful (if you blithely ignore the fact that I am currently in the throes of sinusinfection2008, the revenge), I am writing this from the speedmachine of my dreams, brought to me courtesy of generous loaners who prefer to stay anonymous and to whom I will be eternaly indebted (uhoh, I hope not!).

Ok – deep breath, that sentence was way too long! And speaking of length, I bring to you today, the gift of the shortest recipe ever. It is a recipe to make dulce de leche, or confiture de lait, made the dangerous way

My sister used to really like dulce de leche, while I was ony mildly impressed by it – you see, in the department of indulgent (read: never to be found at our house) breakfast foods, nutella reigned supreme. I have since been converted to the virtues of DdL and in making it, finally understood something about physics. My teacher Bruno R. would be so proud!

The dangerous way I made this thing was quite simply, by immersing a closed can of sweetened condensed milk in a pressure cooker and cooking it on high for 20 min. The can becomes a pressure cooker inside the pressure cooker, and as long as you don’t even think about opening the can unti it is completely cold (I mean it), it’s absolutely not dangerous. And delicious to boot. And there is virtually no cleanup involved, since the pressure cooker only had boiling water in it and the can stayed closed. What’s not to like? I ask you!

Dulce de Leche

prep time: 25min in a pressure cooker, 2 hours in a regular saucepan

pressure cooker or regular saucepan

1 can of sweetened condensed milk*

Immerse the can of sweetened condensed milk with water in your vessel of choice. If you are using a pressure cooker, close it tight, turn the heat on and wait for the steam to start Turn the heat to medium. The longer you wait the more chewy and dense the texture will be: if you want to spread it on bread or use it as a filing, 25 min is a good time. Once you have let it cook the desired time turn the heat off.

Run cold water on the top of the pressure cooker to stop the pressure and let the air escae through the vent. Open your cooker and let the can cool down in the water. Overnight is best, that way you can be sure noone will get hurt! Open the can once cool, eat the DdL and feel like a rock star because you made it the high pressure way

Now, if you are a wuss and do not own a pressure cooker, simply immerse the can in water in a saucepan over medium heat and let the water simmer around the can for about 2 hours. Keep checking on the water level to make sure the can is always immersed. Use the same caution when opening the can as with the pressure cooker method.

If you type in dulce de leche how to in your favourite search engine, I am sure you will come up with a way to make dulce de leche suiting your own kitchen (for instance using a microwave–no wait, that would be dangerous with the can). But I like it the rock star way using the laws of physics I missed in school.

* Kondensmilch auf Deutsch ‘Milchmädchen’ is the name on the can made by that big swiss company that also makes chocolates, babyfood and lots more, Lait concentré sucré en français.

8 Responses to “Physics 101”

  1. Meredyth Says:

    Thank you! Your desserts look to die for. 🙂

  2. R. Says:

    How come the milk gets orange?

  3. 13desserts Says:

    hey R.
    The milk inside the can is slightly yellow to begin with because it is already sweetened and condensed (concentrated). The consistency is much more dense then milk, more like cream I would say.
    When you cook it further, the condensed milk thickens and caramelises and thus turns orange, like caramel. Which is also what it tastes like.

  4. Julia Says:

    I didn’t know i’m a wuss, not owning a pressure cooker, but i’ll definitely try the wimp version of DdL soon.
    Also I didn’t know you have such a great blog, seems like: you gimme recipes, i givu music recommendations?
    Deal 🙂

  5. jbj Says:

    i understand physics, but i don’t understand 101. Why 101?

  6. 13desserts Says:

    Jbj, 101 is the equivalent of ‘basic’: in an american school, any beginners course woud be called 101. The second year is then called 201 etc.

  7. 13desserts Says:

    Julia, it’s a deal, I am looking forward to it!

  8. nicolas Says:

    super ta confiture de lait on en a fait 2 boites d’un coup ,un truc à devenir addict .bon retour de saint PRI bisous à tous nicolas

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