There aren’t many people who disdain dulce de leche. (Unless they’re lactose intolerant.) It’s creamy, it’s sweet, and it’s tangy. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to find, so I’ve figured out a cheap and easy way to make it at home. All you’ll need is a can of sweetened condensed milk, a saucepan, and water. Remove the label off the can, place it in the saucepan, and pour in enough water to come up 2/3 of the way. Then, poke large holes on the top of the can with a bottle opener. Boil for 3 to 4 hours, keeping an eye on the water level. That’s it. Dulce de leche for little over a dollar!
I’ve read lots of recipes that call for a “silpat” – a silicone mat used to line baking sheets. While it admittedly works wonders, it’s not really economical prices range from $15 to $40. Instead, take the practical route and use parchment paper. It’s cheap, easy, and doesn’t have to be constantly washed! Best of all, you’ll get the same “non-stick” results whenever you bake.
I love baking cakes, but icing the sides of a cake is next to impossible. I just can’t get that smooth, professional-looking frosting. A lot of recipes suggest a revolving cake stand, but there’s a great, inexpensive alternative. First things first, refrigerate the cake, so it doesn’t come apart while icing. Then, place back it on the cake, it will fit perfectly and make icing a breeze.