This gooey bread pudding made with caramel-like dulce de leche from Latin America is so much more than the sum of its five parts. To add even more flavor, throw in a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries before baking.
Pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith created this stupendous dessert, in which fudgy peanut butter brownies get topped with bananas caramelized in dulce de leche and served with scoops of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and her house-made peanut brittle.
The version of Dominican cake that Scott Conant's friends introduced him to was a white cake layered with dulce de leche filling and frosted with a very sweet meringue. In his adaptation, Conant (along with his pastry chef Gerry Minos) lightens up on the sugar in the meringue and adds a nutty liqueur to the filling and frosting, giving it an Italian flavor. The cake is a knockout, with or without the liqueur, and stellar with either homemade or store-bought dulce de leche.
For a grown-up twist on the classic Rice Krispies Treats, Marcia Kiesel ingeniously swaps out marshmallows for the Latin American dessert sauce dulce de leche, then adds even more crunch with toasted, sliced almonds. This dessert is caramelly, nutty and amazingly crispy.
Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Magic Bars
This is Grace Parisi's sophisticated version of magic bars, that chocolate-coconut bake-sale favorite. Browning the butter gives the crust a nutty flavor; cooking it in a metal baking dish makes it extra crisp. In a touch inspired by pastry chefs' favorite new ingredient, Grace adds bacon to the filling.
Dulce de leche, the Latin American caramel, is typically made by slowly simmering milk with sugar. For these ethereal napoleons, Valeria Huneeus layers the delicious caramel with a rich pastry cream and delicate, crispy sheets of phyllo dough.
Baked Alaska is a layer of cake covered with ice cream and meringue and broiled. In this version, Grace Parisi skips the cake: Instead, she tops ice cream (preferably coconut) with pineapple chunks that have been sautéed with store-bought dulce de leche, then spoons a quick meringue over the fruit and broils until golden.