This recipe for Dulce de Leche Pudding brings me back to Brazil. My first memories of dulce de leche were when I was a little kid in Teresopolis, a city north of Rio de Janeiro. I was probably six years old, and my mother used to buy dulce de leche from a farm near our house on the highway to the country. A batch never lasted long in my house as my brother and I would indulge in the sweet and dispute the very last scrape on the jar.
Watch a video of this recipe for Dulce de Leche Pudding HERE.
Making dulce de leche is a delicious process of cooking milk and sugar over low heat for a few hours until it thickens to the consistency of a chocolate sauce. Once cooled, the sweet thickens into a paste consistency.
Dulce de Leche can also be done by cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk in water or a pressure cooker until the milk turns brown. The can must be entirely submerged in gently simmering water throughout the cooking process.
Argentina and Uruguay have exported some incredible brands of dulce de leche to the world. While there is a bit of rivalry over who created the sweet (Brazil claims the fame, and so do our neighbors), the fact is that all through South America, dulce de leche is a serious subject.
In recent years it has expanded its reach way beyond the south and captured the hearts and stomachs of the entire globe. Today, dulce de leche can be found in most supermarkets all over the U.S, ready to use.
This recipe for Dulce de Leche Pudding is inspired by the classic Brazilian Flan, or Pudim de Leite featured in my cookbook The Brazilian Kitchen.
Watch a video of the traditional original Brazilian Flan HERE.
I used the Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche (not to be confused with the regular Nestle La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk). Feel free to use other brands if you keep the same amount. For this video, I used a tube pan mold. Still, I have done this recipe many other times using individual souffle ramekins, and it works just as wonderful. Just make sure to adjust the baking time. It will take 15 minutes less in the oven when using smaller individual ramekins.
Dulce de Leche Pudding
Serves 6 to 8 people
For the Caramel:
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
For the Flan:
1 2/3 cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
One 13.4 oz can (380g) Dulce de Leche (I used Nestle)
1 tsp vanilla extract
One tube cake pan (or angel cake pan) 8 X 3.5-inches (I used the Brazilian brand Rochedo)
Make the Caramel:
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place sugar and water.
- Cook sugar over high heat until it turns into amber-colored caramel, about 5 minutes.
- Pour caramel into the pan and swirl a few times, making sure the caramel covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Be sure to use oven mittens if the pan gets too hot. Let it set.
Make the Pudding:
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- In a blender, add the milk, heavy cream, whole eggs, two yolks, dulce de leche, and vanilla extract. Blend until the mixture is homogenous and smooth, about 3 minutes. Carefully pour into the prepared pan.
- Transfer the caramel pan to a large roasting pan and fill it with warm water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the pan, about 4 cups of water. Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the center of the oven and bake until the custard is set, about 45 to 55 minutes.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Remove the pan from the roasting pan and transfer it to a wire rack. Let it cool at room temperature then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. It’s important to invert the flan only when it is chilled completely, thus firm enough to invert, otherwise it might break. You can prepare the recipe up until 7 days ahead. Keep it in the refrigerator, unmolded, wrapped tightly in plastic film.
- When ready to serve, run a knife (not serrated) around the cake pan. Do not make up and down movements with the knife as you would for a cake, or it will leave ugly marks on the pudding. For your pudding to look nice and smooth, you want to make one or two knife movements, pressing hard against the can pan. Place a large, rimmed serving platter on top of the cake pan, and holding the pan together with both hands, quickly invert the pudding onto the platter. Leave the pan covered for at least 1 minute to make sure all the caramel juices fall onto the platter and yield lots of sauce. Serve and enjoy!
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