There’s a warm spot in our hearts for a can of sweetened condensed milk. Sure, it’s the opposite of fresh, and the whole shelf-stable dairy thing is a little iffy when you think about it. But taste it, and there’s just nothing else that reaches those levels of creamy sweetness. Once you’ve made our Sweet and Sour Strawberry Semifreddo with Black Sesame, though, you’re inevitably left with almost half a can of this sticky stuff. Problem? Only if you abhor deliciousness.
First off, condensed milk stores like a dream. It will keep in the fridge for about a month, or even longer in the freezer. Just be sure to transfer the leftover liquid out of the can and into a jar or other sealed container first. That said, an open can is really just an excuse to put the dreamy flavor boost to use, so chances are it won’t last long. Here’s what to do with it.
Vietnamese iced coffee. Photo: Marcus Nilsson
1. Upgrade Iced Coffee or Tea
Swapping out skim for sweetened condensed is a decadence we can get down with. It’s not your morning caffeine fix (though if it is, power to you). This is some brunch-time weekend luxury drinking. Condensed milk is the ideal creamy antidote to dark roast beans in Vietnamese iced coffee. Add to spiced iced black tea for Thai-style iced tea, or break out the tapioca pearls for bubble tea at home.
2. Justify Making Another Baked Good
It’s precisely condensed milk’s weird state of being that makes it so good for baking. The milk proteins lend a toasty note to layer bars; the creaminess is essential to fudge and caramels; and a little sweetness goes a long way in coconut macaroons. And it just wouldn’t be tres leches cake without this most important of all the leches.
Grilled coconut and curry pork skewers. Photo: Alex Lau
3. Turn Sweet Into Savory
Sweetened condensed milk isn’t just for dessert. Add a tablespoon or two to a marinade for pork or chicken, just as you would sugar. Condensed milk loves coconut, so especially look to sweeter Asian-style marinades, like these grilled coconut and curry pork skewers.
Sweet and sour strawberry semifreddo. Photo: Jeremy Liebman
4. Add to Ice Cream
The sweet and sour strawberry semifreddo that made you open the can in the first place is always a great bet—no ice cream maker required. Sweetened condensed milk adds an extra level of unctuosity (wow, that is a word) to any homemade ice cream, especially when you’re working with a non-milk base, as in coconut milk–based sweet corn ice cream.
5. Make Dulce de Leche
Sweetened condensed milk is halfway to dulce de leche already, so all you need to do is give it a nudge along toward fulfilling its caramel-y destiny. You can add heavy cream and additional sugar for a more luscious final product, but the process can be as simple as simmering the condensed milk on very low heat in a saucepan or over a double boiler until the liquid turns dark and thick. If you’re intimidated by making caramel from straight sugar, this shortcut method is the way to go.
6. Pour it on Literally Anything
Okay, we weren’t kidding when we said we really liked sweetened condensed milk, and there are few things we wouldn’t put it on. Take another tip out of Vietnamese cuisine’s love for the stuff, and blitz with avocado in a blender for a green shake that has nothing to do with green juice. For a quick summer dessert, toss a tablespoon or so of condensed milk with stone fruits, like peaches or apricots, and bake in a low-heat oven until the fruits caramelize. And to dress up snacktime, drizzle a bit atop peanut butter toast.
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from Bon Appétit http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/condensed-milk