Recipes inspired by musicals: Guys and Dolls

Sunday, July 10, 2011
Sarah:  These are delicious.  What did you call them?

Sky:  Dulce de leche.

Sarah:  Dulce de leche.  What’s in it, besides milk?

Sky:  Oh, sugar, and a sort of natural flavoring.

Sarah:  What’s the name of the flavoring?

Sky: Bacardi.

Sarah:  It’s very good.  I think I’ll have another one.

Guys and Dolls is a musical that unites the worlds of small-time gambling and the Salvation Army.  Sarah Brown is the earnest leader of the Save-A-Soul Mission, which is about to be closed unless she can convert some sinners. In the meantime, Nathan Detroit made a bet with Sky Masterson, challenging Sky to get Sarah to accompany him to Cuba.  Sky succeeds by promising to deliver “one dozen genuine sinners” (the other gamblers) to her mission later that week to prevent it from being closed.

While in Havana, Sky introduces Sarah to the delightful flavour of dulce de leche.  My version of this recipe isn’t spiked with Bacardi, but it doesn’t need to be.  The caramel sweetness of the dulce de leche plays perfectly against the cocoa brownies.  I’d happily travel to Havana myself for a taste of one of these.  I've used Alice Medrich's wonderful Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter recipe and David Lebovitz's dulce de leche.  You could buy the dulce de leche already made, but this is an easy and inexpensive way to make it yourself.

If you aren’t familiar with Guys and Dolls, listen to the soundtrack from the brilliant 1992 Broadway revival of this show.  Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat”, sung by one of the gamblers pretending to be saved, is possibly the funniest and most inspiring musical number ever written.

And how were the brownies?  They’re very good.  I think I’ll have another one.

Dulce de Leche Brownies
(adapted from Countless Calories, with recipes from David Lebovitz and Alice Medrich)


10 Tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa
2 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup dulce de leche (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 8 x 8 x 2 inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and salt.  Stir to blend.  Let cool five minutes (mixture will still be warm).  Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition.  When the mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended.  Beat vigorously (mixture will be quite thick).

Transfer half the batter into the prepared pan.  Drop half of the dulce de leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly.  Spread remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining dulce de leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter.  Use a knife to swirl dulce de leche slightly.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the centre emerges slightly moist with batter, about 45 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting.

Dulce de leche

1 can (400 g) sweetened condensed milk
pinch kosher salt or sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Pour sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie plate or pyrex baking dish.  Stir in salt.

Set the pie plate inside a roasting pan and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
Cover the pie plate snugly with foil, tucking it in around the sides at the top.  Bake between 1 ¼ tand 1 ½ hours.  (While baking, check occasionally and add more water to the roasting pan if necessary.) 
Once the dulce de leche has browned, remove from the oven and let cool.  Whisk until smooth.  Store in the fridge until ready to use.


Anonymous said...

Yum! These look so delicious my mouth is watering and it is only 7:30AM haha!

Amie Kaufman said...

I had no idea dulce de leche was so easy to make! I'm definitely going to try it myself.

Also, I totally browned butter and made brownies. It was a victory for the ages. I will be blogging about it soon!

Anonymous said...

These look so good! I love the gooeyness of them.

Jess said...

The top of these brownies looks gooey-licious! Yum, yum, yum. Plus, I want to watch a musical now :)

Monet said...

Now I want to watch Guys and Dolls and eat some of these concoctions. They look too good! Thank you for sharing this with me today. I hope you have a blessed week with good food, laughter and love. Hugs from Austin!

Ruth said...

One of the best musicals ever... You could have chosen cheesecake too:

Nathan Detroit: Still, you will admit that Mindy's cheesecake is the greatest alive.
Sky Masterson: Gladly. Furthermore, I am quite partial to Mindy's cheesecake.

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

Haha, love it! I've sung a few songs form Guys and Dolls ad done dances with songs from it in musical theatre lessons, but I've never seen it :( I've seen Chicago if that counts? :)

Valerie Gamine said...

Ok, now I really want to go see Guys and Dolls...and have one of these brownies too, please?!


tinajo said...

It looks delicious - you always show yummy things that makes me drool! :-)

Lorraine said...

I have not seen Guys and Dolls the musical, but I feel like there might have been a movie that I saw. The brownies look really, really great. I would definitely have another one too:)

Beth said...

Thanks for all your comments! Raina, you're right, there was a movie with Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, but I think the stage show was the best.

And Ruth, you are amazing! Only you could have come up with a more obscure food reference from G&D than I did!

Carol said...

One of the best musicals, and those brownies look fantastic. Another great musical recipe :)

Justine L said...

These sound divine! I first saw Guys and Dolls with my father, who brought me to his high school students' production of it ... I felt so grown up sitting there in the audience with him. :) Thanks for jogging that memory.

Anonymous said...

It's so bizarre to say this, but I don't know that I've ever seen Guys & Dolls, which is weird because Mom was militant about us seeing theatrical performances as tots.

Your brownies look gorgeous - it reminds me that I need to hustle over to the store and get a metal/glass bowl that I can use to melt things a la the double boiler method. How this post triggered that, I'm entirely unsure.

Anonymous said...

I've made David Lebovitz's dulce de leche and it turned out great. I used it for a Dorie recipe, but I'm sure it would be fabulous on brownies!

Aldy said...

My-Oh-My...Absolutely mouth-watering, Beth! BTW I want to go see Guys and Dolls :)

Belinda said...

How fun arr these! Dulce de

Jill Colonna said...

Love it! Great idea with dulce de leche - they look fabulous. Too funny being taken back to Guys and Dolls. Wonder if a bacardi would be good with that, too?

Golden Eagle said...

I've never seen the musical, but the dulce de leche looks great. :)

Jeanne said...

Love the musical, and I know I'd love these brownies! I've never baked with dulce de leche, but this recipe looks like a perfect one to start with.

Victoria said...

I'm not familiar with that musical, but I do love creating dishes and menus based on MOVIES! That's kinda my thing ;-) Would love to host dinner parties based around a movie and then watch it together. Your dulce de leche would definitely convince anyone to try it and watch the musical while they're at it as well :)

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with dulce de leche, but not in brownies. They look delicious.

Joanne said...

I love guys and dolls! What a fun source of inspiration! Dulce de leche never fails to make me smile. These sound amazing!

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. Those brownies look dangerously good. I love Guys & Dolls!

Barbara said...

The magic words, Beth: dulce de leche. !!!
I've made something similar, but confess I end up eating more of the dulce de leche than ends up in the recipe.
Guys and Dolls is fabulous!

Emma said...

I'm not familiar with that way of making caramel, it looks super easy though. (I remember my mum sticking the tins in pans of boiling water, I guess that's frowned upon now).

Julie said...

Love Guys and Dolls!!! And these brownies look amazing!!

Ruth said...

Two very decadent things in one! Let's see....yes please!! This recipe is a keeper!

Reeni said...

Dulce de leche is one of the greatest things in the world! Anything it touches becomes seriously delicious and completely irresistible.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

OMGoodness, those look divine!

Unknown said...

Hmmm. Wonder why I'm suddenly hungry. ;)

Sue said...

Gooey and decadent~YUM!

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