Dulce de leche [or manjar?] brownies

These are the qualms you face when you’ve got equal parts Chilean and Argentinean family.

When I’m not around my family members, I call this deliciousness dulce de leche. More people know it by that name.

But naturally, when I’m around the Chileans, it is called manjar. Many a breakfast time I have asked my nana for her stash of dulce de leche (we smear it on toast; don’t you?), and I get a raised eyebrow in response. (Or, if my cousins are around, four raised eyebrows and one snarky It’s called manjarTash.)

Anyway. Nana and Tata went to Chile at the end of last year and asked me if I wanted anything brought back. I asked for approximately twenty illogical things – apparently my grandmother, despite harnessing Chilean witchcraft, cannot bring Pablo Neruda back from the dead to write me a poem – before asking for some dulce de leche. On their travels, my grandparents managed to find it in 1kg bags.

I’m pretty sure Nana brought back about ten bags. And I got one all to myself.

Yes, the bag said manjar on the front, but who cares. It tastes delicious.

It’s been sitting in a jar in my fridge since Australia Day. The best friend had seen the bag floating around my house and had been dropping many a hint about how it’ll be really good when I finally opened it, so she got the first taste before it resumed living in my fridge.

However, unlike my usual caramel stash (boiled condensed milk; pretty easy to do), I couldn’t justify sitting there just eating it with a spoon. It’d come all the way from Chile. There was no way I was wasting it on just eating it with a spoon.

But my best friend messaged me the other day. Having started her degree and her new job in the one week, she hinted at needing something sweet. “Maybe you could make me a caramel tart?” she messaged me.

Last night, we caught up. “Goodness, I’m craving brownies,” she moaned at one point.

Brownies. Caramel.

A lot of sweetness, but life’s not complete without a spoonful of sugar (and milk).

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This recipe’s been adapted from David Lebovitz’s Dulce De Leche Brownie. And when I say adapted, I just mean shamelessly pilfered. The man’s a genius. The only change I made? Putting these in muffin tins instead. I used a 12-cup muffin tin, and it just filled them all up.

dulce de leche brownie recipe | adapted from David Lebovitz

this made 12 muffins.

  • 115g salted butter
  • 170g dark chocolate (I used the 70% cocoa variety)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup dulce de leche

Preheat your oven to 175 C (195 C if fan forced). Grease and line a 12-hole muffin tin.

Melt the butter and chocolate together. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa.

Let it cool before adding your eggs, one at a time, and mix well after adding each egg.

Stir in sugar, then the vanilla, and finally the flour.

Half fill your muffin cups with the chocolate mixture. Then, drop one teaspoon of dulce de leche into each cup. You can swirl it slightly if you like. Fill the cups with the rest of the chocolate mixture (don’t go too full!), and divide the remainder of the dulce de leche on top. Definitely swirl this – it looks gorgeous.

Put it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. If I’m honest, I don’t really go by times – you’ll be able to smell these when they’re ready. Turn your oven off straight away and open your oven door slightly. Cool completely before serving.

I found the cooling part out the hard way – the best friend’s husband just came round to check out my now defunct TV, and I offered him one. He gleefully accepted and then we realised, quite despondently, that they do not come out if they’re not ready. Into the fridge with them!

Hope you enjoy these – I’m drooling already! (As I said to Nick when he came round, I tasted the chocolate mixture, I’ve tasted the caramel, and if they don’t go well together I will be questioning everything I know.)

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Friday roundup time!

things I did this week | went to the Archerfield drifts. I’m not really sure what the appeal of drifting is, but I went for the catchups with my lovely best friend. Also, a friend of ours was actually drifting. So it made it worth it.

movie I saw this week | A Cinderella Story. Guys. How good. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve seen this movie.

book I read this week | Christian fiction again: Janette & Laurel Oke’s latest, Where Courage Calls. Loving it so far!

song for the week | when I was drawing over the week, it was Disney playlist all the time. In honour of that, and my Mulan watch last night,  I’ll Make a Man Out Of You is my song for the week.

thing I’m looking forward to | I AM GOING TO A BEACH. To a Northern Rivers native stranded in Brisbane like myself, this is like being told I’ve won the lotto.

Til next time, my lovelies, and I hope you’re all scoffing down brownies come Monday!

Tash

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