Once of my all time favorite types of caramel is Dulce de leche, sweetened caramelized milk. It’s a Latin American favorite and legend has it it originated in Argentia and like most wonderful culinary things, came about as a mistake. Sweetened milk (la lechada) left to cook, by mistake, until it had become golden and caramelized. Dulce de leche can be made by slowly cooking milk and sugar together or you can take a slight short cut and slow cook sweetened condensed milk. Although it can be made in the can submerged in water, removing the sweetened condensed milk out of the can and baking it in the oven is a much safer route.
The flavour of caramel is one of my all time favorites and i’ll take it any way I can get it, coffee, ice cream, on a spoon. It’s a deep rich flavour that can be sweet, it can be salty, but any way you have it its delicious! The possibilities of caramel pairings are endless, it compliments flavours like chocolate, vanilla, coconut, banana and so much more. I like to use caramel in my cakes, fillings, cupcake icings, cake pops, for dipping and even in place of jam in jam cookies. When I first started Sweet Jules the Banana Caramel cake was an instant success and really helped kick the business into gear. Moist Banana cake filled with a caramel custard that satisfied children as well as adults. Since then I’ve come up with the Banana Caramel Sundae (or chocolate banana caramel) Chocolate cake; caramelized banana’s folded into sweetened whipped cream and now I am working on a new spin on caramel I wont tell you what it is but I’m sure you can take a hint as to what it will contain.
This here is a gem of a recipe and I hope you all take the time to make yourself a batch of de leche heaven!
Dulce de Leche
1 can sweetened condensed milk
pinch sea salt (to balance out the sweetness)
Heat oven to 425F
Empty contents of can and salt into a glass dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place dish in a large roasting pan and fill roasting pan with hot water until it comes half way up the glass dishes. Place in oven and let cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool a bit then whisk to bring the caramel together.
Enjoy it with just about everything.
*note: If you’re going to double the recipe, as I often do, two increase the cooking time to 2 1/2 hours
My love for cows started when I was just a little kid, someone had gotten me a toy cow, moo moo, who had a really cute red polka dots dress and its slightly snowballed from there. I have a toy cow on the dashboard of my car, cow mug in my cupboard, cow pen at my desk, cow piggy bank in my room and I’m positive there’s more cows hiding around my house. All my cows were gifts given to me by friends and family and they never fail to put a smile on my face. When people ask what’s up with the cows? I tell them I like to think they’re lucky, but really they just make me happy.
With my cousin Jessica’s birthday on the horizon I knew I had to make her a super special cake. Jessica’s taken a big interest in my work life and really there’s nothing more touching. She’s spent many days with me helping make decorations, learning how to make icings and bake cakes. Not only is it great having some company while I work, she has also been a big a help to me in busy times. Jessica came with me to my Diamond Life shoot and was the BEST helper ever, I often refer to her as my assistant/intern Jessica. She helped me setup the shoot, took pictures of everything that was going on and made me feel more comfortable during filming. She also bought me the pink cow, that lives on the dashboard of my car, just because she saw it and thought of me. While racking my brain trying to figure out what I could possibly make as her cake, it hit me; a lucky cow. I ran the idea by my sister, just to make sure I hadn’t gone to far out there, and she LOVED it. That was all the support I needed to know it was a great idea. I almost changed my mind at the last minute and was going to make a lamb (in the spirit of Easter) but I’m so glad I didn’t. The cow was a big hit! Everyone loved it, especially the birthday girl, and that’s what meant the most.
Big thank you to my aunt Kathy for all the amazing pictures!
It often breaks my heart when I hear people have food allergies and are unable to enjoy some of the food delights I love so much, what can I say I’m really big on sharing. I wanted to be able to offer allergen free items on my Sweet Jules menu and first on my list was Gluten. Gluten Free substituties are so widely available now it really does make life that much easier. After doing countless hours of reasearch on gluten’s role in baking, different types of flour and problems people encounter I finally felt I was educated enough to start adapting my own recipes into gluten free treats. One of my biggest motivators to adapt my own recipes was the first GF recipe I tried, pancakes made with coconut flour, it really fell short for me and I thought to myself “I can totally do better”. This lead me to my first GF adaption to one of my favorite recipes, buttermilk pancakes. I LOVE pancakes and my love for pancakes has turned me into a very picky pancake eater, dare I say a pancake snob. I once went on a hunt to find the best pancake recipes ever and ended up with an arsenal of pancakes recipes. This is my favorite “healthy” pancakes recipes (my all time favorite recipes come from Nigella Lawson, absolutly delish but full of fat) and I hope you enjoy it as much as i do.
Note:Xanthan gum and guar gum are typically used in gluten free baking to GF baking resemble gluten baking. They help recreate that familiar texture and mouth feel you remember from gluten baking but that sometimes get lost when creating GF recipes. I’ve choosen to omit xanthan gum and guar gum from my GF recipes, I’m still not sure how I feel about them, and work at adapting my favorite recipes into GF recipes by experimenting with different GF flours and ingredients.
Banana Buttermilk Pancakes
1 Cup Rice Flour
1 cup Quinoa Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 cups Buttermilk
1 tablespoon Melted Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 tablespoons Honey
2 Ripe Bananas; mashed
Combine rice flour and quinoa flour along with baking soda and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
In a seperate bowl combine eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla and honey.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until totally combined.
Fold in mashed bananas.
Scoop 1/3 of batter into a lightly butter/oiled pan, flip pancake over once bubles start to appear on top (about 2-3 minutes) and continue cooking another 1-2 minutes.
Recipe makes roughly 12 pancakes.
I like to top mine with greek yogurt, honey and berries or maple syrp and fresh banana’s
My uber creative and talented friend, Ana Alic, started her own web series over a year ago in which she interviews local creative talent of all kinds. Ana and I spoke many times of doing a Sweet Jules webisode but we always had schedule conflict and the always unanswered question of where to film? Finally with a location in mind we quickly planned out our Valentine’s Day inspired epsiode. Honestly, I was extremely nervous to be on camara but Ana made me feel at ease and forget all about the film the was rolling. We had a fabulous day filming in her apartment and I hope you enjoy all of our hard work.
One of my favorite parts about consultations is getting to know my client, the tables have turned just a little bit and now you’re getting the oppurtunity to get to know me a touch better.
If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
If you’re looking for tasty creative treats you’ve most definitely come to the right place! I’m always ‘cooking’ up new ideas and playing around with classics to bring you fun, delicious and artistic ideas. You can look forward to seeing how the creative process behind designing a custom cakes works as well as step into my kitchen where you’ll find fun ideas, activites and recipes.
Looking for the Latest in Sweet Jules news? Follow me on twitter @xoSweetJules
Can’t wait for the chance to Tempt Your Tastebuds!