Their signature + my signature = signature-signature.
Double Signature Dulce de Leche Apple Nut Cake.
Last time I was at The Elephant Room, Tony and I were discussing the Mexican influences on his menu and I asked where in Rhode Island I could get Dulce de Leche. He told me about a Mexican Market on the north-ish side of Providence.
But I live on the south of Providence, almost 10 miles away from that place.
If you know anything about Rhode Islanders, you understand why traveling more than 5 miles for anything is like taking an extended journey. It requires packing snacks and drinks.
So I decided to make my own Dulce de Leche. I also decided to take this opportunity to make dulce de leche my way. I prefer it thinner than the traditional version. While messing with food-tradition is a sacrilege to some people, to me, it’s the quickest way to ultimate food-pleasure.
So I fooled around with Alton Brown’s recipe and came up with my version.
2 cups of thinner, drizzle-able Dulce de Leche
- 1 quart (4 cups) of whole milk
- 12 ounces of sugar (about 1-1/2 cups, but use a kitchen scale if you have one)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- In a 4-quart sauce pan (yes, that large–this stuff foams up!) combine the milk and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the baking soda and stir. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook. You can walk away (but set a timer !!! lest you forget to come back and check your concoction to give it a gentle stir every 20-30 minutes).
- After an hour of cooking, when you’re thinking, “Excuse me, I thought Dulce de Leche was, like, caramel-colored!”, stir in the vanilla (but not vigorously, don’t stir in the foam).
- No, this little addition will not turn your brew caramel-colored. But just wait; time and reduction-by-heat-evaporation will slowly work some magic. Soon enough you’ll witness an amazing presto-change-o color transformation.
- After another 1/2 hour (or longer–it depends on how low your heat is and how humid the atmosphere is), when the mixture has reduced by half, pour it through a fine-meshed strainer into a heat-proof bowl.
- You can store this in the refrigerator in a sealed container (a recycled peanut-butter jar is perfect) for up to a month.
Drizzle this over a couple slices of my signature Apple Nut Cake (recipe here). Pour some perfect tea or coffee for a friend and you, and enjoy a Double Signature Dulce de Leche Apple Nut Cake experience courtesy of Tracy Lee Karner and Tony Lopez.
On what will you pour or spread your Dulce de Leche?