Brownies with dulce de leche frosting

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This frosting feels like magic. Despite the fact that it contains dulce de leche, full fat cream cheese and whipped cream it makes these dense brownies appear lighter than they are without any frosting.

Plus the killer combination of heavy chocolate and sweet but not sickly dulce de leche is just delicious! But you had probably figured that out already.

I’ve made these bad boys twice now and they went down a storm both times. At work they couldn’t believe they felt as light as they did and when I made them at a brunch for my friends in Sweden I got asked for the recipe straight away.

The idea for the combination of flavours and the frosting recipe is entirely my own creation, but I used my go-to brownie recipe courtesy of The Hummingbird Bakery. There is no point trying to come up with a perfect brownie recipe when it already exists.

Brownies, makes 18-20

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery’s wonderful recipe.

5 eggs

500 g caster sugar

100 g cocoa

120 g plain flour

250 g melted butter

50 g roughly chopped dark chocolate 

Beat eggs and sugar fluffy and white. Add flour and cocoa, then the butter. Mix thoroughly. Fold in the nuts and chocolate and pour into a lined baking tray. Bake for 30-35 mins in 170C. Leave to cool completely.

Dulce de leche frosting, enough for one batch of brownies

200 g (half a tin) dulce de leche 

200 g Philadelphia

300 ml whipping cream

Mix dulce de leche and Philadelphia in a bowl. Whip the cream in another bowl and mix into the dulce de leche mixture. Whip the mixture with an electric mixer to make it even fluffier. Place a spoonful of the frosting on each brownie. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa. 

Dulce de leche ice cream (with a little salt)

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Since I was a little girl growing up in Sweden I have had a love affair with ice cream. Growing up my favourite scoop flavour was daim and daddy and I would see who could finish their ice cream first, every time. To be honest we sometimes compete now as well.

You may think Sweden is too cold for ice cream, but to that I say a) the summers are really nice and warm and b) it is never too cold for ice cream.

I still entertain this love affair although I am a bit pickier as an adult. I don’t like artificial pear ice cream for example or ice cream with lots of strange ingredients. When it is so easy to make delicious ice cream at home, I don’t understand the need for stabilizers and odd ingredients. I want natural proper ice cream made with full fat cream and milk.

This recipe certainly is of that variety and the dulce de leche flavour definitely comes through (shame if it didn’t since I used a whole can) and I’ve added a little salt to cut through the sweetness, which I think makes this work –  dulce de leche is very sweet!

I like ice cream on its own but you can of course make a sundae with whipped cream, chocolate chip cookie and dark chocolate sauce or maybe serve with alongside a dark chocolate fondant, the possibilities are endless.

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 Dulche de leche ice cream (with a little salt), makes about 1 litre

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp caster sugar

400 ml double cream

200 ml whole milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 pinch (about 1/2 tsp) Maldon sea salt

400 g (1 can) dulce de leche

Beat yolks and sugar until fluffy. Meanwhile heat up the milk and cream in a saucepan until almost boiling. Incorporate the cream into the egg mixture little by little while continuously stirring. Add vanilla and dulce de leche and combine. Pour into a large bowl, place over a pan of boiling water (like a bain marie) and whisk slowly over while the mixture thickens. Leave to cool. Place in the fridge over night to thicken further. Place a plastic container in the freezer and pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and let it stir it for approximately 40 minutes. Pour into the plastic container and freeze for two hours before serving.

Meringue cake with dulce de leche

In my fridge there always seem to be a gathering of egg whites, sometimes just a few but more often than not quite a few. I simply hate throwing food away, and egg whites keep for several weeks in the fridge, so I rather use them than throw them away.

Meringues is always a good way to use them up, but to be honest I find meringues on their own a bit boring. But with icecream or cream it is a different matter, and that is why I like this simple meringue cake so much.

If you just have made the meringue bases all you need is a tin of dulce de leche (caramel) and some whipping cream, and it literally takes 5 minutes so assemble. The cake also keeps for a few days in the fridge although it will loose some of its crispness.

Meringue cake with dulce de leche, serves 8

Double this recipe for two meringue bases

1 tin (398g) dulce de leche

300 ml whipping cream

milk chocolate shavings for decoration

Place one meringue base on a cake plate and spread half the dulce de leche on top, then add half the whipped cream on top of the caramel. Add the other meringue base and repeat the layers. Decorate with some milk chocolate shavings.


Dulce de leche pannacotta

To me, a great ending to a meal is some cheese, a pannacotta or a creme brulée. On Saturday after some homemade pizzas with bacon and chorizo I served this lovely caramel pannacotta.

It is incredibly easy to make, especially if you buy the dulce de leche readymade but also if you boil it yourself.

The panncotta is enough in itself but I added a dollop of caramel on top just for appearence and texture.

Dulce de leche pannacotta, serves 4

300 ml cream

ca 200 g (1/2 can) dulce de leche

2 gelatine leaves

Soak the gelatine in cold water. Bring cream and caramel to the boil in a saucepan while stirring. Remove from heat and add the gelatine, water squeezed out. Stir to incorporate. Leave to cool for a while before pouring into bowls. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

 

Dulce de leche (caramel) cheesecake

This cheesecake is absolutely wonderful. It has the perfect balance of savoury and sweet in the cream cheese and dulce de leche mixture and the texture is velvety smooth – a bit like butter.

The recipe is based on this recipe for Dulce de leche cheesecake squares that I found at Smitten Kitchen, but I have changed both the base and the topping. There was no need to change the cheesecake mixture though, when I tasted the batter I realised it was pure perfection already.

I served this as a cake at work, just plain (although there is nothing plain about it) to celebrate the latest birthdays. But this would work equally well as the dessert for a dinner party or for any other occasion that needs a little pick me up.

I am making this again already next week, that’s how good it was! I hope you find it as amazing as I do. Out of the three cakes (the other two to follow) that I made for work, this was my own favourite and it went down a treat among the others too.

Dulce de leche cheesecake, serves 8

Base:

200 g digestives

75 g softened butter

Filling:

2 gelatine leaves

60 ml (1/4 cup) milk

225 g cream cheese

2 eggs

a small pinch of salt

235 ml (1 cup) dulce de leche (you can buy it ready made, or boil a can of condensed milk for 2 and a half hours)

Topping:

100 ml creme fraiche

what is left of the dulche de leche (if using a 397 g can it will be about 4 tbsp)

Mix the biscuits into crumbs into a food processor, add the butter and mix again. Line a springform with parchment paper in the bottom. Add the base-filling and press it onto the base of the tin in an even manor. Bake for about 10 minutes in 160C (without the fan on).

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Squeeze out the water and place them in a sauce pan with the milk. Warm gently until the gelatine has dissolved. Set to the side. Mix cream cheese, eggs, dulce de leche, salt and the gelatine mixture in a bowl with an electric whisk to incorpotate properly. Pour the mixture into the springform and place the tin at the bottom of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the mixture just started setting, it should still be quite wobbly in the middle. Remove from oven and make the topping. Just mix creme fraiche with dulche de leche and spread onto the cake. Bake for another 5 minutes. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge for a few hours until serving.  Decorate with small pieces of fudge.