Monday, December 19, 2011

Edible Christmas Gifts- Dulce de Leche Brownies

Hola! We're baking brownies from scratch and putting in some unexpected latin flavor, just for fun! This time we're borrowing from the very talented Mr. David Lebovitz. Normally I wouldn't have changed one of his recipes, but I accidentally read one of the ingredients incorrectly and I think it came out better than when I did it as instructed. So you'll be getting my very slight adaptation of David's brownie recipe found in The Sweet Life in Paris. For the dulce de leche recipe, he borrowed from The Perfect Scoop.

Dulce de Leche

1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).

Pour one can (400 gr/14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
Set the pie plate within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate. 
Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary). 
Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth. 
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using.

And now for the...
Dulce de Leche Brownies
Makes 12 brownies

8 tablespoons (115g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 
1 large egg

2 large egg yolks
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) flour
1 cup Dulce de Leche (or Cajeta)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).

Line a 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. If it doesn’t reach all the way up and over all four sides, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the egg and egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Here comes the fun part.
Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. 
Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Storage: These brownies actually become better the second day, and will keep well for up to 3 days.

Janna's notes: I have used Ghirardelli cocoa, both sweetened and unsweetened, and even plain old Hershey's cocoa to make these, and they've come out great, but pretty different each time. But, depending on how sweet or rich you want these to be, I either recommend the Dutch-process or sweetened Ghirardelli for the best taste.
Also, David calls for three whole eggs. The first couple of times I made them using just the yolks, and they were gooey and wonderful, but I think whites from one egg is good to help give the brownie structure.
Finally, and this is important, make sure you do not melt the chocolate too quickly. You'll know it's done correctly because the chocolate will be very shiny. You'll know you heated it too quickly if it looks dull.
Your choice of chocolate and cocoa will make all the difference. Be thoughtful in terms of quality and level of sweetness. Just keep in mind that the dulce de leche will already make the brownies pretty sweet.

Pour yourself some milk 'cause they're almost done, and your guests are counting on you to do some final taste-tesing, of course. :)

Want to make things even easier on yourself and less expensive? Just make batches the dulce de leche, jar them up, wrap some red and white twine around the rim of the lid and mark with a little tag that says,



  1. wow, this looks delicious. never made dulce de leche brownies, but i love caramel. :-)

    1. You'll love them, Honey. (I feel like I'm calling you my honey! lol) :) If you decide to try them, come back and let us know how they came out!

  2. These look fabulous!!! I am very glad I found this recipe :-)

    1. Welcome to the site, Jolene! I strongly encourage you try this recipe. :) Isn't David Lebovitz amazing? *sigh*

  3. Hi my mixture turned out much thicker than yours, I measured out all the ingredients so it must have been my method! Yours looks pourable but mine was very thick and needed spread in the pan :/

    1. Hi, Lynne- Dang! Let's see if we can't figure this out. Did you make sure to get the egg AND the two extra egg yolks? (Next time you could simply try 3 full eggs if you want.) Also, did you melt the butter and chocolate over very low heat without over cooking so it was nice and liquidy? Also, if you mix in the sugar while the chocolate mixture is still warm, it should melt a bit to make it more liquidy. If you took care of those things, I'm totally stumped. If you give it another go, please come back and let us know how it turned out. I wish I could watch how you're doing everything to be sure... Good luck!!

  4. Mmm..brownies!! This is one of my absolute guilty pleasures....O_O P.S. you have a great looking blog!

    1. Thanks so much! These take some effort, but boy can I taste the difference!

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