Condensed milk appeared at the very beginning of the 19th century, and during the Civil War, because of its ability for long-term storage, it turned out to be almost irreplaceable. Later, condensed milk began to cook, getting a caramel mass with a characteristic flavor and aroma. She became the main ingredient of baking in the USSR. And, despite the fact that today many manufacturers produce boiled condensed milk, cooked at home is still the most delicious.
How to choose the right condensed milk?
If during the times of the USSR there existed a quality standard that allowed the consumer to be sure that the product he purchases is really usable, then today some manufacturers strive to make an unflattering substitution. That is why the way a dish prepared by you will depend not only on your culinary abilities, but also on the initial choice of products. As for condensed milk, everything is quite simple.
- Proper condensed milk should not be composed of anything other than cream, sugar and cow's milk directly.
This requirement is generated not only by the desire to protect health from unknown food additives, whose effects on the body are still not fully understood, but also by the fact that it is impossible to predict how the mass, when flavored with a large amount of chemistry, will behave with prolonged and active thermal exposure. It is likely that instead of a dense dense product after cooking, you will get just a stratified substance.
- Pay attention to the name: the bank must have “Whole condensed milk with sugar” or “Condensed milk with sugar”. No other variations are allowed, as they say that the manufacturer made only a “parody” of the real condensed milk. This is especially true of a variety of “dairy products”, which, with only a heading, explain what lies behind the tin walls.
- Continue learning written. Look for cans labeled "GOST" - they are mostly animal components, while "TU" is usually based on vegetable, which implies the presence of palm oil in the composition, which prevents thickening. In addition, keep in mind that condensed milk free from preservatives will not be stored for more than 12 months, and the label must contain the letter "M" (at the very beginning) and the number "76" after the first 2 characters.
- Considering that you are planning to cook condensed milk, the integrity of tin packaging is important: deformation and chips are not allowed. However, you can buy such a product in the absence of an alternative, but the procedure will have to be carried out in a third-party container.
- If you want to get a dense brown toffee after cooking, follow the proportion of milk fat in the composition: they must be at least 8%.
And, of course, the quality of purchased condensed milk should be checked immediately before cooking: open the jar, run the spoon inside and mix the product - if the consistency is uniform, smooth, without lumps and seals, not stratified, easily slipping from the spoon, you can start culinary magic.
Professional answers to frequently asked questions
Most of all hostesses are worried even not by the moment of the safety of the procedure, but by its duration. How long does it take to cook condensed milk in an iron can, and is it true that it takes several hours? Are there ways to express cooking delicious treats?
- The time spent on boiling condensed milk depends on its fat content, as it was already found out above, the desired result. Nevertheless, experts assure that in less than 60-70 minutes. It is almost impossible to cook boiled condensed milk, since it will not have time to change the consistency.
- If you want to get a rich brown color, boil condensed milk will have 4-4.5 hours: then you get a product that looks like toffee - very thick, dense, stretching. If it is cooled, it is necessary to use a knife to separate the piece. This condensed milk is great for making homemade chocolates and cakes. It is also recommended to use as a filling for puffs.
- If you need a shade of coffee with milk and a consistency flowing down from a spoon, which slowly solidifies when cooled, but does not lose mobility, cook condensed milk for about 2.5 hours, but not more than 3 hours. This option is also suitable for baking, but mainly goes as a filling in waffles, pouring for the cake, etc.
- The most liquid and light condensed milk, barely got caramel flavor and shade, it turns out, if you cook it just 1.5 hours: it will be watery, easily diverging in warm water.
- You can cook condensed milk in just 10 minutes, if you use a pressure cooker in which the can is immersed. However, after that you will need to wait for the water to cool in the tank, and if you consider that the lid will remain closed, the total time will also last for 50-60 minutes.
- It should be borne in mind that the chosen method of cooking also affects time: if you do not cover the container with a lid (which is important for a water bath on the stove), condensed milk will have to be cooked for 5-7 hours.
However, the indicated time frames do not mean that you can simply leave the kitchen by setting the timer. The product must be continuously monitored, checking its condition every 15-20 minutes. This requirement, firstly, relates to safety, because of the exploding banks known since the time of our grandmothers; secondly, due to the difference offered by manufacturers of the product. It is likely that the cooking time will be reduced or, on the contrary, will increase.
How to cook condensed milk at home?
Experts identify 2 main ways that you can use to cook condensed milk. This is a classic method in a native tin can and its alternative in a glass container. The latter is considered safer, but also longer, as mentioned earlier. In addition, the traditional scheme has a significant drawback. It will not be possible to monitor the condition of condensed milk (and not water near the can), so it will be so thick and dark - in a way, a surprise. Especially if you are not trying to make toffee, but want a mass that retains the ability to drain from a spoon.
Nevertheless, the classical method remains the most important and frequently used one; therefore, it is worth considering it first.
- Type in a large (3-4 l) pot of cold water so that its level is only 3-5 cm below the top edge. Place inside a can of condensed milk, after removing the paper wrapper and rinsing it under running water. Bring the water in the pan to a boil, then reduce power to medium. On the burners with a large temperature range, it is recommended to reduce a little more - by 1-2 divisions from half to zero.
- Make sure that the water does not fall to the level of the can: it should overlap it by 10-15 cm, therefore, as the liquid evaporates, it is necessary to add to the previous level. To do this, you can use only hot water (70-80 degrees), so as not to create a temperature differential and not provoke an explosion.
If for certain reasons you had to get rid of tin packaging, you can cook the product in the microwave or in a water bath, picking up a suitable glass container for this purpose. These options are safe and allow you to control the change in consistency, so unpleasant surprises can be avoided.
- To work with a water bath, condensed milk needs to be poured into a small container, which it will fill by 2/3. Place this container in a larger bowl, where it is necessary to pour cold water. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat 2 times. You do not need to cover the container with condensed milk, so it will cook a little longer - 4.5-5 hours to medium density and almost 7 hours - to a very dense state and brown color. In the process it is necessary to stir the milk occasionally.
- If you decide to try to cook condensed milk in a microwave oven, make sure that the utensils suitable for this procedure are available: this should be a special dense glass. The container should have a lid, and the product will have to be watched so that it does not begin to boil. It is somewhat more difficult to control it in the microwave than on the stove.
Pour the condensed milk into the selected glass saucepan, filling it no more than 2/3 of its height (excluding the lid!). Close and place in the microwave, set the timer for 15 minutes, and the power - no more than 50%. After the specified time, mix the contents of the saucepan and repeat the procedure. If you see that the condensed milk is in a boiling state, reduce the power of the microwave.
After a certain amount of time has expired (how many hours to cook condensed milk - it has already been indicated above) it is necessary to remove the jar from the pan, but in no case put it in cold water. The reason is the same as before: the contrast of temperatures will lead to rupture from the inside, which is fraught with hot product on the skin and serious burns. Allow the condensed milk to cool in the room independently and only then open the can.
Some experts advise to remove from heat a container with water in which condensed milk was boiled (except for the microwave), and allow the jar to cool directly in this water.
Why use the resulting product?
Sweet tooth prefer not to think about the possibilities of using this delicacy, but just to eat it with tea or coffee, but still boiled condensed milk is much more multifunctional and can be involved in a large number of sweet dishes.
- Shortbread biscuits, halves of which are fastened with thick boiled condensed milk - a classic of Soviet pastry shops: from "nuts" to simple "suns". The wafer rolls filled with this sweet mass stand in the same row with them: they are filled immediately after being removed from the waffle iron, and then rolled up.
- Cold cakes, i.e. those that do not require baking: they are easy to make by mixing boiled condensed milk with nuts and ground biscuit cookies, after which the mass divided into portions is simply placed in the refrigerator for several hours and served with tea.
- On the basis of homemade boiled condensed milk, you can make Twix: bake a sand cake, divide it into sticks, cover each with condensed milk and chocolate icing, and then cool. Excellent replacement for shopping candy and much less harmful.
- More complex desserts - creme brulee, mousses and cakes - can also have boiled condensed milk in its composition. Moreover, it is not always just a component of the cream or glaze: use it for cheesecakes, mixed with cottage cheese and flour - you will be surprised, but no more binding ingredients will be required.
Now you know how to cook condensed milk in a can and without it, how long this process takes depending on the method of preparation, how to prevent the container from exploding. Despite the fact that the procedure seems complicated and long, having tried once homemade boiled condensed milk, you do not want to return to the store.