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by Heather Harris Brady

This idea was a happy coincidence that came out of a need to use up a large batch of bananas – or maybe it was an excuse to use a can of dulce de leche, tomato, tomahto 😉

I used a basic cream puff dough (pate de choux), topped with cinnamon sugar and a bit of streusel for crunch. Then I put a dollop of dulce in the bottom of each puff, and topped it with a large scoop of banana soft-serve. The flavors work together really well, and if you have a very cold deep freeze you can have it on the table in less than two hours (most of which time is just allowing the bananas to freeze).

Churro Puffs, Makes eight servings

  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 4 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 T. 1-2-3-4 streusel
  • 2 T. cinnamon sugar
  • 1 c. dulce de leche
  • 6 large ripe bananas for banana soft serve
  • Chocolate syrup, for garnish

Slice your bananas and put them in a single layer on a piece of waxed paper. Slide them into the deep freeze.

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the water, milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

When the butter is melted and the mixture is steaming hot, add the flour all at once.

Whisk quickly until the mixture comes together in a ball.

Take the dough off the heat and whisk in the eggs, one at a time. (Note – these are farm fresh eggs from a friend so the yolks are a beautiful deep yellow orange.)

When both eggs are incorporated you should have a lovely paste.

Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, and top each one with cinnamon sugar and streusel.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. When you take them out of the oven split the tops to let the steam out.

When you’re to serve prep your serving plates with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, top it with a puff and add a spoon of dulce into the bottom of each puff.

Put the frozen banana slices in the food processor and process for two minutes on high, until smooth.

Add a large scoop of banana soft serve into each puff and serve!

Baked puffs may be stored at room temperature for a few hours, and they freeze well. You can recrisp frozen puffs at 350 for 5-10 minutes.


Four years ago: Stuffed Zucchini
Three years ago: Butternut Squash BBQ Sauce
Two years ago: Double Berry Cookies
One year ago: Coney Sauce, Michigan Style


dulcesundae_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

We just finished a spot of traveling recently and this was one of the best things I ate the whole time. As soon as I got home I set out to recreate it so I could share it with you. This recipe is based on a dessert from Hello Betty in Oceanside CA. Two huge scoops of ice cream on top of a spiced brownie afloat in a dish of hot fudge. They sprinkle the top with pumpkin seed brittle, which is delicious. If you’d like to go that route here’s my recipe for the brittle.

I’m breaking this recipe into two parts, and sharing a new brownie recipe on Thursday. But if you need to make it like NOW, here’s my go-to brownie recipe and the hot fudge. Just sprinkle the top with cinnamon after they’re baked. If I could send along the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean to enjoy with this dessert I would!

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, Makes about one quart

  • 1 c. dulce de leche (or one can sweetened condensed milk, poured in a pan and baked at 325 for 35-45 minutes until caramelized)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 eggs, beat well and set aside
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla

Additional dessert ingredients:

  • Brownies (one per serving, see above)
  • Hot Fudge

Combine the cream and milk over medium heat.

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Stir together the sugar and cornstarch, then whisk it into the milk. When it starts to thicken slightly, whisk 1/2 c. of the hot milk into the eggs, then whisk the warmed eggs into the pan.

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Heat to bubbling, then whisk in the dulce de leche.

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When you’ve stirred the dulce in completely, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a shallow metal pan and put into the refrigerator to cool completely (or speed things up by putting it in the freezer).

Set up your ice cream freezer and pour in the custard base.

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Freeze according to the directions for your machine. If possible let the ice cream ripen in the freezer for an hour or two before serving so it will firm up.

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Option: Put 1/2 c. pecan halves in a bowl with 1 T. butter. Microwave for 45 seconds, then stir. Microwave for another 15 seconds. Toss with a sprinkling of kosher salt. Chop the pecans and fold them into the ice cream right when it finishes churning or keep them out for a garnish.

To assemble the desserts:

Put a brownie in a bowl or in the center of a dessert plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle liberally with hot fudge sauce.

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Top with a large scoop of ice cream and garnish with the toasted pecans.

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One year ago: New Potatoes with Roasted Garlic & Thyme

bananacake7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I made this cake for a very compelling reason: I had two servings of my favorite salted caramel double pecan ice cream left and couple of blackish-brown bananas hiding in the fruit bowl. They all played very well together, but this cake is moist, delicious and you can whip it up in five minutes – so there’s lots of reasons to love it.

You can use prepared dulce de leche, but it’s easy to cook up a batch of your own while the cake is baking.

Dulce de Leche Banana Cake, Makes one 8″ square cake

  • 3 T. soft butter
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • One egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. milk

Dulce de Leche Topping: One can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the condensed milk into a loaf pan and put it in the oven. Cream the butter with the sugar.

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Add the egg and banana.

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Stir in the baking powder and half the flour.

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Then stir in the milk, followed by the second cup of flour. Beat thoroughly until you have a nice creamy batter.

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Bake in a lightly greased 8” square pan for 20-25 minutes, until the center is firm.

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Check the condensed milk. It should be bubbling away and turning a nice caramel color. Stir it and remove your fresh batch of dulce de leche from the oven.  Let the cake and topping cool to warm. Then top the cake with the dulce de leche and a sprinkle of sea salt if you like.

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This cake is best eaten the day it’s made, when it’s supersoft and velvety but if you have a few pieces left over just warm them in the microwave for a few seconds. Store lightly covered at room temperature.

bananacake6_little-house-dunes

One year ago: Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

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