(Bitter)Sweet times

Change is hard.

A break-up can be even harder.

We were together for six years.

It’s impossible to even try to summarise what she meant to me… laughter with mutual friends, time spent listening to our favourite songs and more passionate moments on those worktops than I can count.

I miss her so much.

By her, I mean my old kitchen.

It’s good though, I’ve met someone new. But you know what they say, take things slow etc.

So on that basis I’ve decided to dedicate hours of my time with her to make homemade dulce de leche repostero, and use it in a croissant bread & butter pudding.

[Smerz – Remember, XL Recordings, 2021]

Shopping list (serves 8)

Dulce de leche repostero:
Golden caster sugar x 500g
Full fat milk x 500ml
Bicarbonate of soda x 1/2 tsp

All-butter croissants (cut into 6-7 pieces) x 6
Double cream x 600ml
Milk x 300ml
Egg yolks x 4
Flaked almonds (toasted) x 1 small handful
Pinch of salt

Take a stock pot, and put the sugar and milk into it. Then add the bicarbonate of soda and bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. This will take around 20 minutes.

Once simmering, you’re going to leave it for three hours. Stirring regularly with your wooden spoon.

At first it will start to foam, and then gradually get darker. After about one hour and a half it should look like the below image:

Continue to stir frequently.

After three hours, turn off the heat. It will instantly start to harden, and so then transfer it to a pyrex dish with around four to five tablespoons of boiled water. Mix well until you have a molasses-like consistency.

This is dulce de leche respostero. It’s simply a more concentrated version, perfect for use in desserts and pastries, rather than as a spread.

Set your oven to 160°C (fan)/180°C.

You can now bring the milk and cream gradually to the boil in another pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Take the milk mixture off the heat, and then gradually whisk into the yolks.

In a large oven dish, cover the base with half of the croissant pieces. Drizzle over half of the dulce de leche liberally. Layer the rest of the croissant pieces on top, drizzled again with the dulce de leche.

Pour over the custard, and place in your hot oven for 30 minutes.

Serve warm with the flaked almonds, and a tiny pinch of sea salt.



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