Some weeks ago a reader asked on Facebook if we would eventually add sushi recipes to our blog. The answer is “probably never”, and it has to do a lot with a dessert we called Café con Dulce de Leche (Latte) Pudding.
Once a food enthusiast reads the recipe he/she’ll notice that this is very similar to a certain Italian dessert, but were I call it by its original name I’d be walking into a minefield.
Have you ever tried Panna Cotta? No? You should. It is a smooth, cream-based dessert that is part of the traditional Italian cuisine. Vaguely flan-like, Panna Cotta can be flavored with just vanilla, or served with a variety of toppings, from fruit sauces to chocolate.
While it was originally made with fish bones, nowadays it is made with commercial gelatin (gelatin is extracted from animal bones). The main difference between Panna Cotta and traditional flan is that while the latter calls for eggs (or egg yolks), Panna Cotta is made with gelatin, another type of animal-based protein.
The result is pudding with a similar consistency to the flan we know, but with a much lighter taste.
Much as we love our flan, many people find it a bit intimidating (it really isn’t). This pudding, which combines many a flavor I love (Hello? Coffee and dulce de leche?). The result is a creamy, indulgent dessert that is fairly easy to make.
The reason why I don’t dare call it neither a Panna Cotta nor a Flan is simple: I try to respect other countries’ cuisines. Surrounded as I am by colleagues who also write about their respective traditional cuisines, it can be a very sore point to many of us when people appropriate our dishes and change them beyond recognition.
Sometimes, however, taking inspiration from other cuisines can be a great thing. Try this “pudding” and you’ll agree with me.
- Neutral taste spray oil for greasing the molds
- 1 cup of Nestle 2% evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup of La Lechera condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 tablespoon of Nescafe instant coffee
- 2 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup of La Lechera dulce de leche
- 4 tablespoon of chilled water
Lightly spray 4 small ramekins or jello molds with oil. Set aside.
Mix evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract and coffee in a 2 qt [2 lt] saucepan. Stir in coffee and unflavored gelatin. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Stir again to make sure it is all mixed. Heat over low heat until the mix is heated (steam starts to come out), but before it breaks the boil. Remove from the heat. Pour into the ramekins or molds. Cool for 10 minutes, cover with plastic wrap, later chill in the freezer for an hour.
Mix dulce de leche and chilled water to obtain a pourable mix. Chill in the fridge.
To unmold the puddings, Pour 2 1/2 inches of warm water into a baking mold. Slide a sharp knife all around the edge of the pudding to release the edge. Dip the ramekins into the warm water for 5 seconds (make sure no water gets into the ramekins). Remove the ramekins from the water and pat dry to prevent water from dripping into the serving dish. Cover the ramekin with a dessert plate and turn upside down. If it doesn't fall immediately shake gently to release it.
Drizzle with dulce the leche sauce and serve immediately.
For a lower calories dish, use La Lechera fat free, or 50% less sugar.