Do you have a signature dish? Something people ask you to make? 

I wish my signature dish was an awesome Boeuf Bourguignon, or breathtaking hand rolled sushi or a specially delicate lemon tart. Nope. I'm pretty sure this is my signature:



Now, before we get into Dulce de Leche, I HAD to talk about caramel. This is one of those things I shudder to think of how many batches I've made in my young life. SOOO many. I haven't made it for ages, I obviously wouldn't let the kids eat it and Adam just doesn't really eat sweet stuff. (Leave the olives out and it's all over, though.) 

I bought a tin of condensed milk to try Dulce de leche, I had it in my hand today and thought, have to make caramel first.

A neighbour of ours when I was eight years old, Mrs Deasey, used to bring little foil pans of this to us, two doors down, as a treat. I'm not even sure we ever wrote the recipe down. I remember learning it very very young, and it's still in my head.

I remember making it at college, in the college kitchens late at night, and a bunch of us would sit around and not even let it cool.

I've made it thinner to pour over icecream and pour in tart cases but it's best left unadulterated. 



3oz (about 95g) unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tin condensed milk


Start the butter melting in a heavy based saucepan on the stove then add the other ingredients and start stirring. Don't make this if you're likely to get interrupted, you can't stop stirring for a 2 year old bathroom emergency or 5 year old battery replacement drama. It'll burn in a breath.

So stir stir stir, the butter will melt and the sugar dissolve and it'll be a pale camel colour. Be very careful not to let it get too hot, use a moderate heat on the stove, if you can see it starting to burn pull it off and stir stir stir!! Basically you stir it fast for 6-8 minutes on a moderate heat until it turns a deep golden colour. It'll get quite thick, too.

When it looks like this (below) pour it onto a greased and lined plate and let cool for a minute before putting in fridge.


Mine's a tad speckled because I let it get too hot and and I got a couple of burnt bits! oops.

Chop it up with a sharp knife once cooled and hard, put it in a container and take it to work for the fellas to eat. I seriously don't need it in my fridge!! It's like the inside of a cobber. SO yummy. 

What about you? What's your signature?


articles & Recipes