Coconut Whipped "Cream"
1 can full-fat coconut milk, well-chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (I prefer unsweetened, but this is optional)
Optional: 1-2 t. confectioners' sugar
Open the can of coconut milk and carefully scoop the thick solids from the top of the can, avoiding the clear-ish coconut water at the bottom. You can save the coconut water for a later dish or drink it.
Add the solids to a mixing bowl or the work bowl of a stand mixer and whip with the sugar (if using) for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. This can be used immediately or kept in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.
"But hang on one second," you say, "I wanted a caramel chai!" I would never leave you hanging.
This oldie but goody hasn't been seen here for a couple years, but deserves another look. This is as close to real dulce de leche as you can get without owning a goat and it requires nothing more complicated than a can or two of sweetened condensed milk*, a slow cooker with a lid, water and patience. If you're like me, the patience will be the hardest ingredient to manage.
*It is worth noting that most manufacturers of sweetened condensed milk do not recommend heating their products in the can. It's true. And therefore I'm not recommending it. I'm just telling you what would happen if you were to accidentally follow the instructions below much in the same way I have accidentally done it many times. Remember: you've been warned. Caramel is dangerous.
Shortcut Dulce de Leche
1-2 unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk, labels removed
Place the can(s) of sweetened condensed milk in a slow cooker and cover with boiling water by a minimum of 2 inches. You can cover it by more than that if you have space available. Place the lid on the slow cooker, turn to low and let it go for 8 hours.
Use canning tongs to move the can to a cooling rack (for fastest caramel-to-mouth delivery), or let the can cool along with the water in the slow cooker (for the safest method).
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