Adventures with Sweetened Condensed Milk

As I was organizing the pantry recently, I found two cans of sweetened condensed milk. I am not exactly sure at this point what I intended to do with them, nor when they came to be in the pantry, but now that I found them, I wanted to use them for something. Since keeping an opened can in the fridge is dangerous (in a sense that it tends to be consumed rather quickly), whatever I made had to use the entire can. And ideally, I would be able to use both cans at once.

A quick search of the various internet recipes alerted me to the fact that it is possible to make a lazy man’s version of ice cream using condensed milk. The lazy part comes where you don’t need to churn the ice cream, because condensed milk will cause the resulting mixture to remain airy after it’s been frozen. The flavors are up to the individual taste, but the basic principle is mixing even portions of condensed milk and heavy cream or coconut milk, omitting the sugar since the condensed milk is sweetened, and adding fruit or citrus zest, or just vanilla. So it seemed that one can was going to be taken care of.

But I still had one more can, and it was cocoa sweetened condensed milk. I did not want to risk making two batches of ice cream – what if it does not turn out well – so I wanted something else. The Nestle website has a recipe for banana bread using sweetened condensed milk, which essentially takes a basic banana bread recipe and replaces sugar with the condensed milk while increasing the amount of flour to compensate for additional moisture. Banana bread is always a hit at my house, so I figured that trying a cocoa version can’t hurt. Voila – can two is spoken for as well.

Here’s how it all turned out:

Cocoa Banana Bread (adapted from Nestle)

4 ripe bananas

1 can of cocoa sweetened condensed milk

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 jumbo egg

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mash the bananas with a fork in a large bowl and add the condensed milk and the egg. Mix well, and add flour and baking soda and powder. I prefer to sift the flour over the wet ingredients, and add the baking soda and powder to the flour. Mix everything and pour into a buttered or cooking-sprayed glass loaf pan. Bake at 375F until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out dry.


Sweetened Condensed Milk and Raspberry Ice Cream (though really this is more accurately termed a semifreddo, since it is not churned)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 cup of heavy cream

zest of two lemons

1 cup of frozen raspberries

Mix condensed milk and heavy cream in a large bowl, and beat until the mixture is fluffy. The heavy cream will not whip as much as it normally does, but you will end up with a fluffy airy mixture that is similar to soft peaks. You will be able to see traces of your whisk on top of the mixture, but it will not retain its shape.


Grate in the lemon zest and add raspberries (I used frozen), and mix. Spray a glass container (I used the loaf pan I used for baking banana bread) with baking spray and line with plastic wrap. Pour the cream and raspberry mixture into it and fold the remaining plastic wrap over the top. Freeze overnight.


When ready to serve, remove from the glass container and unwrap the plastic. The fruit, which is heavier than the cream, will have migrated to one side, which is now (conveniently) the top of your semifreddo loaf.


Slice into serving pieces and serve immediately, as the semifreddo begins to melt as soon as it’s taken out of the freezer.


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