Hosted at the Hilton in downtown Miami, the BlogHer Food Conference enlisted the hotel’s kitchen staff to cater most of our meals. Breakfast was a laid-back buffet affair, with lots of fruit but minimal protein options. However, they also set up separate stations with gluten-free and vegan dishes; they’re very diet-conscious and gladly cater to whatever specifications you need!
But I nearly had a heart attack when the staff took away the peanut butter tubs from the toast table on the second morning! Practically an addict, I need my fix every day, so I politely asked the closest waiter if they had any. He pointed to the regular butter.
After Jane inquired if he knew what peanut butter was and he shyly shook his head, the headwaiter volunteered to snag a few samples from the kitchen. He handed me 4, which I basically hoarded like gold!
BHF only catered lunch on Friday, planning the menu around a heavily spiced Middle Eastern influence. A Moroccan-flavored chicken breast lay across half of the plate, topped with an intriguing sweet-and-spicy red pepper sauce, while the sides of chickpeas and cauliflower, covered in curry powder and other fragrant spices, took over the other half.
To conclude the meal, they served us churros with a spicy chocolate dipping sauce. Despite meeting the ladies at my table barely 16 hours before, my reputation spread like wildfire and I somehow ended up with 3 of the chocolate containers in front of me! (I skipped the churros and just dipped in my spoon instead…)
Friday evening, after the last Keynote of the day, the staff set up multiple appetizer, side, and dessert stations in the main hallway. You guys know me—I skipped past all the savory stuff and headed straight for the sweets! They concocted 3 different types of cute little parfaits and custards, and while I initially reached for the strawberry-topped glass, I tossed it after one taste. Although not bad, it lacked any interesting flavors, and with so many dishes to sample, I wanted to save my calories for the special ones!
I reached for the light tan parfait next, drawn by its delicate white chocolate straw festively poking out of the top. After my first spoonful, I nearly shoveled the rest in my mouth and grabbed another 5 to take up to my room! (I held back though, once I realized that probably wouldn’t be the best first impression…) Completely smitten by its sweet caramel and butterscotch flavor, I immediately decided to recreate it at home.
A few days later, after posting their mouthwatering picture on Instagram, another blogger in attendance mentioned that the parfait base was actually not caramel or butterscotch, but dulce de leche! So I futzed around the kitchen, played with a few ingredients, and eventually came up with these!
With the identical irresistible taste, my Dulce de Leche Parfaits contain the same sweet caramel and butterscotch undertones within their thick, creamy layers. They look sophisticated topped with a light dusting of white chocolate, but they’re so easy to make. That’s right; you only need 5 ingredients to make these skinny, protein-packed desserts!
Let’s start with the dulce de leche. You could use store-bought in a pinch, but it’s so simple and much cheaper to make your own. However, you do need to make it the day before, so plan accordingly!
Divide a can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk between 2 ramekins. Do NOT use evaporated milk; it’s much thinner and lacks the extra sugar that will caramelize to develop the famous dulce de leche flavor. Cover the ramekins with foil, place inside a water bath, and bake at 425°F for 60-90 minutes, or until it reaches your desired shade of caramel. The dulce de leche will thicken as it cools, so don’t be alarmed by its initial thin texture!
Although this yields more than you need for these parfaits, I already created another dulce de leche recipe for the leftovers. So stay tuned—it’s coming soon!
For the parfait base, I turned to Greek yogurt. As one of my favorite ingredients in healthy baking, it’s already thick and packed with protein. (You’ll get more than 7 grams in each tiny dessert!) We’ll add in vanilla instant pudding mix to help in thicken even more. Just use the powder; don’t prepare it according to the package directions!
At this point, we need to split the thickened yogurt in two for the separate layers. Add the dulce de leche to the larger half, and mix in a little extra sweetener to the other portion. (The vanilla layer isn’t quite sweet enough with just the pudding mix!)
You must chill for at least 1-2 hours before piping the yogurt mixtures into the serving glasses. This allows it to reach that thick, creamy, luxurious texture. I served mine in fancy shot glasses—they’re the perfect size! Just before serving, sprinkle with finely chopped white chocolate for an irresistibly cute finishing touch.
Even with only 5 ingredients, my simple skinny Dulce de Leche Parfaits turned out even better than the originals! Their sweet caramel-y, butterscotch-y taste is perfect for dinner parties, lazy summer evenings, or whenever you just want a little fuss-free treat. And since they’re completely low-calorie and low-fat, I wouldn’t blame you for sneaking a second serving!
So who’s ready for dessert?