If an old fashioned caramel candy and a chai tea latte had a baby, the result might be Spiced Dulce de Leche. Pronounced “DOOL-say de le-CHAY”, this decadent dessert item is easy to prepare. Note that I said easy, not fast. We’re going to start with a quart of whole milk, add some sugar and spices, and s-l-o-w-l-y cook it down until it turns into caramelly goodness suitable for spooning onto ice cream, cookies, or just sampling right out of the pot!
1 quart of whole (full fat) milk
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half the long way
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
Step 1) Combine all ingredients in a large skillet. Turn heat to low-medium, and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved.
Step 2) Cook and stir, cook and stir, cook and stir, for THREE HOURS. This process cannot be rushed… keep the heat low, give the ingredients a stir every few minutes, and be patient!
Step 3) After three hours, remove from heat and pour Spiced Dulce de Leche through a fine sieve. Pushing the sauce through with a rubber spatula is helpful.
Step 4) Don’t throw the spices in the sieve away… add them to your next cup of coffee for a homemade Caramel Macchiato. Divine!
Step 5) Either enjoy your Spiced Dulce de Leche within the next hour or two, or store it in the refrigerator. After being refrigerated, Spiced Dulce de Leche should be warmed slightly and stirred well before enjoying.