This recipe provides instructions for making your own dulce de leche, but you can always substitute store-bought dulce de leche instead. Be sure to check out the tutorial showing how to make chocolate cups for assistance with that step.
Yield: 28 Dulce de Leche Cups
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (or 1 cup prepared dulce de leche)
- 12 oz dark chocolate or chocolate candy coating
- 28 small candy cups
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
- Flaked sea salt for finishing, optional
1. First, prepare the dulce de leche several hours or a day in advance. (If you have storebought dulce de leche, skip this step.) Remove the label from the can of condensed milk, and place it in a deep saucepan. Fill the pan with water so that the can is completely submerged. Bring the water to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 5 hours. Several times an hour, check the saucepan to make sure that the water is still covering the top of the can, and add water as necessary. After 5 hours, turn off the heat and allow the can to cool completely before removing it. This can take over an hour, so I find it’s easiest to do this step a day before I need the dulce de leche. (This can also be done in a crockpot, set on low for 8-9 hours, or in a pressure cooker for about 1 hour. Always remember to let the can cool completely before opening it, to prevent burns.)
2. To prepare the chocolate cups, temper the 12 ounces of dark chocolate, or melt the chocolate-flavored candy coating.
3. Using a small pastry brush (or clean paint brush), brush the chocolate up the sides of the small candy cups. Try to make your coating as even as possible, and swirl the cups upside down to help distribute the chocolate. Hold the cups up to the light to determine whether there are any translucent spots that did not get covered adequately. Set the remaining melted chocolate aside to use later. If you have questions, refer to this photo tutorial showing how to make chocolate cups.
4. Let the chocolate cups harden completely in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
5. When the cups are set and the dulce de leche is cool, spoon the dulce de leche from a can into a bowl. Stir in most of the chopped pecans, reserving 2 tablespoons to use as decoration.
6. Use a small spoon to scoop the dulce de leche mixture into the chocolate cups. If it is very stiff, gently pat it down with a finger so it is in an even layer. Fill the cups until they are almost full, but leave space at the top to cover the dulce de leche with chocolate.
7. If the remaining chocolate has hardened, re-melt it gently. Spoon a bit on top of each cup, smoothing it to the edges to create a chocolate “seal” over the dulce de leche. While the chocolate on top is still wet, sprinkle the tops of the cups with the remaining toasted pecans and a pinch of flaked salt, if using.
8. Refrigerate the cups to set the chocolate, for about 20 minutes. Store Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cups in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Allow them to come to room temperature before serving.