Valrhona Dulcey Project, Part Deux: “Dulcey” de Leche

To compliment our Dulcey viennoise, Alen and I decided to make the ultimate in spreadable accoutrements- the deepest, darkest confiture de lait enhanced with the newest in the line of “blonde” chocolates from Valrhona, Dulcey. We call this, (obviously!) “Dulcey de Leche.”

We start with a few key ingredients for our dulce de leche base – Straus Dairy milk, goat’s milk, a vanilla bean (split and scraped) and a few whole coffee beans – and combined all of these in a medium-large pot over a steady flame. We like the tang of the goat’s milk with the sweet, caramelized Dulcey – a great addition of acidity to the rich chocolate. Once our milk base begins to simmer, we remove the pot from the heat and carefully add sugar and a small amount of baking soda – the dairy will bubble up quite a bit, so we always use a pot that will be large enough to keep the milk from frothing over.

The milk jam is now ready for a long, steady reduction and caramelization. The base should simmer, not boil, and any foam should be skimmed from the surface and discarded. As the dulce de leche cooks, the color will deepen from white, to tan, to caramel to a deep caramel mahogany, and it will become much more viscous. It is a very interesting process to watch.

When the dulce de leche has reduced to the proper consistency, it is passed through a chinois to remove the vanilla and coffee beans. Now we are ready to create an emulsion with Valrhona Dulcey chocolate and our dulce de leche – the ultimate caramelized milk spread.

We melt the Dulcey to 40C and slowly add in the dulce de leche base, going little by little to create a stable, elastic and shiny emulsion. The color contrast of the chocolate and the milk jam is beautiful.

Dulce meets Dulcey
Dulce meets Dulcey

Once the emulsion is formed, we add a pinch of sel gris to enhance and round out the flavor.

And, finally, after nearly 3 hours, our “Dulcey” de Leche is finished! The flavor is incredible – mellow notes of milk with vanilla and a hint of coffee flavor, smooth and creamy powerhouse of caramel that melts of the palate and an amazing touch of acidity from the goat’s milk that balances the sweetness of the product. The color is a shiny and deep caramelized milk color with flecks and specks of vanilla bean – and the texture is smooth and spreadable cream, similar to a soft ganache with a slight crunch of grey sea salt. We are so pleased with with the finished product and can’t wait to try it with our Valrhona Dulcey Viennose!

“Dulcey” de Leche
750g organic milk
250g goat’s milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
10 each whole coffee beans
250g granulated sugar
10g baking soda
4g grey sea salt
-Bring milks and aromatics to a simmer, remove from heat and whisk in sugar and baking soda, combined.
-Return to medium low heat and simmer, skimming impurities from the surface, until deep, dark mahogony in color.
-Pass dulce de leche through a chinois and weigh. (We were left with 360g of dulce de leche base after 2 hours and 45 minutes of reduction.)
-Scale into a bowl an equal amount of Valrhona Dulcey chocolate and melt to 40C.
-Slowly add and emulsify the dulce de leche base to the chocolate in three additions, mixing with a spatula to introduce the two components. Initially, the chocolate may seize slightly, but will even out once the remainder of the dulce de leche is introduced and the balance of fat and liquid is stabilized.
-Once the Dulcey de Leche has cooled slightly, mix in the grey sea salt, in order to preserve the integrity of the course crystals.
-Pour into a sealable container and store at room temperature to crystallize.
-Enjoy on toast, ice cream or in your coffee!

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