Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Moelleux au Dulce de Leche

Not many people know but this blog was named after the south american treasure called Dulce de Leche. Many people still confuse Dulce de Leche for caramel but it's important for people to understand the differences between them because they don't have much in common aside from their similar color.
Dulce de leche should be considered a milk preserve because it's basically the reduction of milk (with sugar) that creates that beautiful amber color cream that can be kept for a long time in jar. After cooking for several hours the milk reduces and the sugar caramelizes, the constant stirring and the baking soda ensures that no sugar caramelizes slowly without any sugar lumps. Luckily we can buy suberb Dulce de Leche in almost any grocery store. My favorite ones are: The Fat Toad Farm from Vermont , La Salamandra from Argentina and Viçosa from Brazil (unfortunately this one is not sold in the US). 

This was the ingredient that inspired me to create this simple comfort dessert called Moulleux (soft cake, molten cake, whatever you want to call it). My idea was to come up with something with as little ingredients as possible so this way the main ingredient would really shine through.  This is one of those desserts that the texture by itself has the ability to comfort you, in fact this recipe is the true definition of comfort dessert! 

I once read an article that pointed to some trendy adjectives that apparently people was overusing in the food world. Some of them were: gooey, oozy, gloopy, luscious, decadent and rich. Actually I'm not sure if all of these words were listed in the article but you got my point. The problem of overusing such powerful adjectives all the time is that when you finally come up with a recipe that fits into all categories (like my moelleux) there is no word powerful enough to describe its deliciousness.  

This episode is the true definition of food porn and if those (overused) adjectives wasn't enough to convince you to make this, you sure will change your mind after you watch this video.

1 egg
2 egg yolks
600g dulce de leche or cajeta (made with goat's milk) - 2 cups 
2 1/2 tbsp flour (not full)
for serving:
1/2 cup crème fraîche or greek yogurt (optional)

8 individual tin molds, ramekins or muffin pan

for homemade dulce de leche:
8 cups whole milk
3 cups regular sugar
1 tsp baking soda
yields 2 cups 

yields 8 small tin molds 
Preheat the oven at 425F.
Using room temperature butter brush inside the individual molds or ramekins. You could even use a muffin pan. Add flour and shake it well ensuring that all the interior is coated. In a stand mixer or by hand whisk the egg and egg yolks until very fluffy and pale. Add the dulce de leche and continue whisking until it's fully incorporated. 
Add the flour and stir by hand. 
Pour the batter into the individual molds leaving a little room on top. Place them in a baking pan and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are baked but the center is still very wobble. 
Run a knife around the edges and unmold it warm. Serve immediately with a spoonfull of crème fraîche  or greek yogurt.

For dulce de leche:
Over low heat add sugar and milk in a big pan. Stir slowly until the sugar crystals are dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and add baking soda. Continue stirring until it foams. Remove the foam from the surface and continue stirring slowly until it reduces and thickens, approximately 2 hours (do not stop stirring). As soon as you get to see the bottom of the pan as you stir it, turn off your heat, it's thick enough. At this point it should have a deep amber color.  Let it cool, it will thicken even more as it cools.