Dulce de leche is a caramel like sauce that is popular in many South American and Latin cuisines. It differs from caramel in that dulce de leche is made from only one ingredient....sweetened condensed milk, that is boiled, or otherwise cooked. Caramel is made with sugar, cream and butter.
There are several techniques for making dulce de leche, one of which is to poke two holes in the top of a can of sweetened condensed milk, and gently boil the can in a pot of simmering water for two hour. The only problem with that is there is always the risk that the can will explode (or maybe that is an urban myth...I don't want to find out)! The method I use, a gentle, slow cooking in the oven, in a water bath, is easy, fool-proof and safe!
There are tons of uses for this rich, creamy sauce. Stir into brownies before baking, pour over ice cream, use as the base for an apple tart, spread it on bread, use between layers of cake, or on top of cheesecake. Get creative...this sauce isn't going to make anything taste worse.