Okay, it’s confession time: I have a sweet tooth.
I’m not talking about sneaking an Oreo cookie when no one is looking. I mean I eat the whole damn package. And then another. With Nutella.
In fact, one of the reasons I enjoy cycling so much is that it gives me a chance to stay slim while embarking on sugar binges that would put most people into a diabetic coma.
It was on one of these escapades in New Zealand that I made my sweetest discovery of all – the jujube jewel in my candy crown, so to speak. Dulce de leche.
Let it roll around your tongue for a moment. Dulce de leche. Even the name is delicious.
Translated from Spanish, it literally means “sweetness of milk,” and like most great innovations, it was the result of a complete cock-up. In 19th century Argentina, a servant forgot the milk and sugar she was heating on a stove. When she returned, she found that the concoction had caramelized into ooey-gooey goodness. It has been hitting the bulls-eye on taste buds ever since.
So I decided to make a batch.
That is until I remembered that I hate making desserts – always have. I think it goes back to my childhood and my mother’s Betty Crocker cookbook, the cover of which featured a woman laughing maniacally as she held a flaming birthday cake over her head.
More to the point, I don’t like the idea of mincing around the kitchen in a flowery apron. I’m in touch with all sorts of things on my so-called feminine side, but that’s where I draw the line.
I solved this problem – and fed my sugar addiction – by designing the most man-tastic dulce de leche recipe on the planet. Enjoy.
YOU WILL NEED: Sweetened condensed milk, a beard hair, a hammer and nail, a cooking pot, a picture of Charles Bronson wearing a turtleneck, a spent shotgun shell and a pitcher of water.
STEP #1: Protect your perimeter and keep the wolves of femininity at bay by hanging a picture of Charles Bronson above your door. For best results, use a photo in which Bronson is seconds away from beating someone to death with their own leg.
STEP #2: Neutralize all remaining threats to your machismo with an XY Gas Attack. Add a single beard whisker to a pot of boiling water to infuse the room with the pungent aroma of man. The dark forces of emasculation – and indeed any living thing not covered by a protective layer of chest hair – will be disintegrated.
STEP #3: With your inner sanctum secured, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to business. Remove the label from your can of condensed milk. Since real men don’t have fingernails long enough to peel paper, you might take this opportunity to try out your new chainsaw. Next, place the can on a flat surface. Walk away and start to whistle. Then, when it least suspects it, smash holes into opposite sides of the lid using your hammer and nail.
STEP #4: Place the can of condensed milk into the pot of boiling beard-hair water. The surface of the water should be about two centimeters below the top of the can. Men are blessed with laser-like precision when it comes to estimating distances, so you won’t need a ruler unless you suddenly get the urge to snap something over your knee.
STEP #5: The can of condensed milk has to sit in boiling water for three and a half hours. Yes, three and a half hours. Almost immediately, however, you will notice milk accumulating on the lid. Don’t worry. What you’re seeing is the result of a highly complicated chemical reaction in which delicious molecules tell not-so-delicious molecules to pack up their shit and leave the can.
STEP #6: Look closely and you will notice a strange vapor rising from the pot. Is it the brawny cloud of your own virility? Yes. But it’s also steam. To maintain the two-centimeter gap between the surface of the water and the top of the can, you need to periodically add some liquid from your pitcher. This is also a great chance to add some definition to your biceps – not that you need it.
STEP #7: You’ve been waiting for three and a half hours – now it’s go-time. Remove the can from the boiling water using a pair of tongs (sissy sticks) or, alternatively, with your bare hands and steely resolve. Open the lid and allow the contents to cool for a few minutes.
STEP #8: Spoon the can’s contents into a bowl. At this point, your culinary masterpiece will probably look like the frustrations of a colic baby. Fear not. Grab the heaviest, most phallic kitchen utensil you can find and start stirring. Like magic, the substance will transform from W-T-F to Y-U-M. Put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, and while you’re there, grab yourself a brewski. You’ve earned it, hombre.
STEP #9: Presto! Your dulce de leche is now ready to be spread on toast, poured over ice cream or savored on its own. Whatever you choose, encourage your guests to give positive feedback by garnishing the dish with a spent shotgun shell and an icy stare. Everyone will want to have seconds – or else.
I am currently off the road as I save funds for the next leg of my journey. Regular posts will continue, however. Each week I will publish a flashback – a story from my past travels that never found a home on this site. Enjoy, and please remember that your comments, likes and shares are always appreciated.