So I was reading my Frank Sinatra Celebrity Cookbook…
What? I never said that I wasn’t a dork. It’s actually a great cookbook, loaded with contributions from a lot of Frank’s friends. One of the little treasures I found in this book was a dessert recipe submitted by the lovely Loretta Young. This is her here on the left. Wasn’t she stunning? She was a movie star in the 30’s and 40’s and then had a TV show in the 50’s, The Loretta Young Show, which I understand was very popular. The show featured dramatic skits starring, you guessed it, Loretta Young.
Now, I was intrigued when I discovered this recipe, and actually researched it on the internet to determine whether it is a safe undertaking. And in my research I actually came across a website about Loretta that was hosted by her daughter-in-law, whom I contacted, and who ensured me that recipe was not only safe, but absolutely delicious.
The ingredient list for the main part of this dessert is quite simple. It actually consists of one item:
It’s sweetened condensed milk.
And what you will do is to boil the sweetened condensed milk, in its can, for three to four hours.
Here it is, about to be boiled:
So here is the dangerous part: you have to keep the can under several inches of water at all times. Because the contents are under pressure, you must counter that pressure with a high water level. If you do not continue to add water every so often, the can could explode, showering the kitchen, the cook, and any other bystanders with the hot contents.
Seriously, keep the water level high. And also, keep a lid over it.
At the end of the boiling, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for an hour in the pot. After an hour, it will be safe to remove the can from the water and place it in the refrigerator for at least several hours to overnight so that it can cool.
Once it is chilled, open each end of the can with a can opener, and slide the caramel out. I run a knife around the inside of the can to loosen it.
Once you get it on a plate, lay the cylinder of caramel on its side and slice it with a sharp knife. Place a slice of caramel on a dessert plate, top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and consume.
This dessert is not only decadent and delightful, it is also a fascinating conversation piece.
And it is perfectly safe. Loretta Young’s daughter-in-law told me so.