Oooh, Oooh! one of my favourite topics!!! I LOVE dulce de leche!
OK, the basics:
Dulce de leche is a typical sweet in Latin American countries, specially Argentina, I think they are the dulce de leche masters.
Dulce de leche is made out of milk with TONS of white sugar, basically. It is like 3 lbs of sugar per 1 Lt. milk. Heated and steered for hours and hours, until it gets a caramel like consistency. Dulce de leche is good for ice-cream topping, cake icing and filling, spread on toasts, coulis for fruit dessert, etc.
There is another sort of dulce de leche, which is the one I am most familiar with, as I grew up on it. It is the same principal with milk and tons of sugar, but it is cooked until it gets a marmalade like consistency, almost like cheese, pretty much like marzipan. Then it is shaped into figures. From balls or strings, to animal and fruit shapes. It is absolutely delicious!. Some recipes include coconut and cinnamon into the mixture, Mmmm... This kind of dulce de leche is sold like candy bars, in Central America and Mexico and it is also tradition to see it as a treat in holy communion celebrations, christening celebrations, even in weddings.
And last but not least, there is another sort of dulce de leche called Cajeta, which is the Mexican version of caramel like dulce de leche. Except cajeta is made with goat's milk, it kind of looks and tasted like toffee. Some recipes require adding wine to it... it is absolutely delicious and very, very sweet...
OK I will stop drooling now
If I didn't answer your questions, let me know, I'll try again