Rogel de Dulce de Leche

Itook the kids to one of our favorite hangouts; Lake Anne. Going there is like a trip back in time. It is a very retro 1970’s village in the middle of Reston, VA. There are restaurants, an old-fashioned pharmacy with lunch counter (run by an El Salvadoran family who make the best Pupusas ever- I had the rubueltas, the kids, ice cream cones), a used book store, some thrift shops, a chocolate shop, coffee shop, and the best of all is the chlorinated fountain that children are allowed to play. When we go we usually hit the book shop first. I could spend hours in there but not this day, the kids were restless. But while I was in there I parked myself in the cookbook section. They have some treasures that’s for sure. I am a sucker for old cookbooks, especially any Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks before 1960. I have a few from the 50’s all on various topics: salads, kids food, quick dinners. On this day I was looking through a book on South American Cuisine that was full of so many pretty pictures, then low and behold, I saw it. This cake. I was in love. I am crazy for layered desserts. In the past I made a beautiful and delicious Mille Crêpes Cake which I posted about at When I saw this cake I knew that I must try it. Dulce de leche is layered between crispy cracker-like wafers then topped with Italian meringue. This cake is beautiful, very unique, and delicious.

This recipe is famous in Argentina so I had a bit of a time trying to figure a few things out. The recipe calls for 1/2 T. 96% alcohol. I did not know if that was a flavoring or an item that does something magical to the dough. The closest thing I had to that level of alcohol content was Rum 151. So I used that. After a bit of research I found a recipe that called for Sambuca. Darn, that would have been good, although my dough was very tasty indeed. All the measurements are in metric, the only thing I did translate for you is the temperatures. This recipe works well if you have a kitchen scale. If you want to be a good baker you should invest in a scale anyway. The picture in the book was a close up of the layers so I did not know how to frost the cake. I feel like I blew it in a way by frosting the sides because my research, done too late, showed cakes with the meringue only on top. Some Rogels were simply dusted with icing sugar. C’est la vie. Either way, this cake is very dressy and sophisticated. Oh, I also learned another name for dulce de leche, milk jam. Cute.

Rogel de dulce de leche
For the Dough:
200g flour
1 T. sugar
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1/2 T. 96% alcohol, I used Rum 151, can use Sambuca or Grand Marnier would be nice
25g butter, softened

One can Dulce de leche

For Italian Meringue:
4 egg whites
250g sugar
6 T. water
1 t. vanilla

Place the all the ingredients for the dough in a food processor and pulse until the blade chases a ball of dough. There may be some crumbles that remain. Remove dough from processor and form into a large ball, kneading a couple of times to incorporate all the pieces. Divide into 8 smaller balls, about 45g each. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Now, roll out the balls into 6 inch circles that will be very thin. Poke with fork and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes on each side or until disk is completely dry, do not over cook. Cool on racks.

To make the meringue, place the sugar and water in a small sauce pan and heat to 248° or until a thick clear syrup has formed. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and add the hot syrup while running the mixer on high. Add vanilla and continue beating until mixture cools, about 10 minutes. Assemble cake by gently spreading about 2 T. dulce de leche on 7 of the disks. Place a small amount of dulce de leche on your cake dish to “glue” the first disk. Stack the disks, dulce de leche side up ending with the plain disk. Pile the meringue on top of cake then work small amounts down the sides of cake sealing the disks. Decorate if desired. I simply used a single mint sprig. The cake will be 6 inches wide and 4 inches tall. The original recipe states that it feeds 4 but I say it serves 8, it is very rich.

Note– To cut this cake, take a pointed, sharp serrated knife and stab it through the center of the cake. Gently saw, holding the knife vertically toward the edge of the cake. Be sure you have cut the final layer before removing the slice.

Note- The Origami Bird was done by my son Mr. Doots. He thought it would look nice with the fancy cake that Momma made.

In Remembrance of Leanne Sasso Lusso
2/26/71 – 7/17/06
Miss you cousin.

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  1. avatar Rindy R
    Posted 07/17/2008 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    What a beautiful cake – and a beautiful cousin.

  2. avatar Nicole
    Posted 07/17/2008 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    You DO like your dulce de leche don’t you! This looks good. So interesting. Your first shot looks like a really fun hat or a snowman hat on that platter!

  3. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 07/17/2008 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

    Rindy- thanks the cake is so yummy. We really miss Leanne, thank you for visiting her Foundation!

    Nicole- Love it!! I think it looks like a hat too! Funny!

  4. avatar Kristen
    Posted 07/17/2008 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    That cake looks amazing, and tell your son he is an amazing origami artist :)

  5. avatar Karen
    Posted 07/17/2008 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Lovely layers! What fun.

  6. avatar That Girl
    Posted 07/18/2008 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

    If you need to use up the rest of that 151, my dad uses it in pina coladas – although 1 is enough for an entire evening.

  7. avatar diva@thesugarbar
    Posted 07/18/2008 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    beautiful pictures! this looks phenomenal and how i wish i was there at the point of shooting to maybe have a taste :) x

  8. avatar Clumbsy Cookie
    Posted 07/18/2008 at 4:18 AM | Permalink

    Your cake is just beautiful!

  9. avatar Grace
    Posted 07/18/2008 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

    all you have to say is dulce de leche and i’m interested. what a gorgeous creation–layer upon layer of goodness. :)

  10. avatar Brilynn
    Posted 07/18/2008 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    That cake is gorgeous and certainly would have been a showstopper!

  11. avatar Becky
    Posted 07/18/2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    holy mother! i thought the first photo was already amazing and then i saw the cross section. nice job!

  12. avatar Hillary
    Posted 07/18/2008 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    Nicely done! That looks magnificent. I just had a dulce de leche torte very similar to this one in Buenos Aires. Don’t tell, but yours looks better!

  13. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 07/19/2008 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    Kristen- dine & Dish is in the House! Kirsten thanks for stopping by. Love your blog.

    Karen- Thanks! It adds layers to me too!

    Thatgirl- leftover 151? What do you mean? A little for me a little for the dough, a little for me a little for the dough, a litl 4 mi a lit fr da doh….

    Dive@theSugarbar- Not too hard to make give it a go sometime. Thanks for stopping in!

    Clumsy cookie- Thanks so much. I love your inside out Chocolate Chips cookies, to die for. What a fun idea!

    Garce- I could eat it out of the can on a spoon!

    Brilynn- Thanks you, It was sooo pretty.

    Becky- sweet mother of Abraham it was great!!

    Hillary- I wont tell that mine was way nicer looking than the one in Buenos Aires. I PROMISE!!!

  14. avatar Leslie
    Posted 07/19/2008 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Thats a serious looking cake!! YUM

  15. avatar Sophie
    Posted 07/21/2008 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    We’d like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me,, if you’re interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details.

  16. avatar nicisme
    Posted 07/21/2008 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    Wow, I’d love to try this, looks delicious!

  17. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 07/21/2008 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

    Leslie- Thank ya, thank ya!

    Sophie- thanks, I’ll check it out.

    nicisme- Give it a go and let me know!

  18. avatar Zoe Francois
    Posted 07/26/2008 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    Absolutely fantastic! It is such a wonderful idea and I love the ethereal icing with all those delicious layers underneath!

  19. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 07/26/2008 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    Zoe- Thank you so much for dropping by and for your kind words. This cake is amazingly delicious and pretty! I enjoy visiting your blog, you make such beautiful treats!

  20. avatar Chris
    Posted 04/17/2009 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    This thing looks amazing. Can’t wait to make it!

    A word on the booze, though:

    96% Alcohol is 192 proof Rectified Spirit (Spirytus Spirit 192 Proof, for example, imported from Poland). Basically it’s repeat-distilled Ethyl alcohol (grain alcohol).

    You can drink it, use it for jet fuel, and you can drive your car on it. Though probably not a good idea to do all at the same time 😉 (it’s also commonly used as a resin cleaner, and as disinfectant.)

    It’s illegal to sell commercially in several states in the US.

    Cheap vodka usually starts as this stuff, then gets watered down.

    You can easily flavour 192 proof with just about anything — just soak whatever flavouring you want in it for a day or two (the longer, the stronger). (Vanilla Extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in rectified alcohol for 48 hours, then filtered and watered down). Vanilla bean, sugar cane, orange peel, bergamot, lemon peel, rose petals, elderflower, whatever (but not the fruit itself, that will water it down). Then filter it well so its a clean extract. The result in cooked foods is mostly an aromatic effect, moreso than a taste.

    The main reason for the high percentage is the effect when cooking. Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, so the lower the alcohol percentage the more water to the dough, resulting in less quick-evaporation of the alcohol, making the cake more dense. Higher percentage, lighter cake.

    Anything 151 or higher will still produce good results though. :)

    Thanks for the quality recipe!

  21. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 04/18/2009 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    Chris thanks for the info on the alcohol. This will come in handy in the future and I had no idea about how it effects baking.

  22. avatar Anonymous
    Posted 05/31/2009 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Love the Rogel! I tried it and it turned out perfect! Thank you! Marcie, MN, USA

  23. avatar Anonymous
    Posted 06/21/2009 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    I had been looking for a recipe for this scrumptious dessert we had in Buenos Aires and wrote in the Cooking for Engineers blog about it and luckily somebody referred me to this website where I learned the name of the dessert is "rogel" and not "rakel". Your photo looks very easy to finish off one cake in one seating, but the actual recipe looks a bit difficult, so I will have to read it through a few times then find the right time to attempt making it. I am sure it is as good as the ones I sampled in Buenos Aires. Thank you so much!

  24. avatar Natalia
    Posted 07/15/2009 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

    how wonderful to find this recipe. An old family friend (I am Uruguayan) gave me this recipe, well one very similar to it, many years ago (about 20 years) and told me that it was a big secret and i was not to divulge it to anyone. She told me it was to make Milhojas, which is a little different to this. But i've made it, and only now realise that it is called Rogel and not Milhojas. Of course I have made other Milhojas recipes since then, and yeah, very very different.

    Thanks for sharing this. What this lady told me, was that the alcohol helped with drying the pastry out. 😕

  25. avatar Anonymous
    Posted 01/11/2011 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    thanks exchange for this tips

One Trackback

  1. […] efforts.  Similar Argentinean variations include Chocorta (a chocolate version of the beast) and Rogel which is usually served at events like weddings. Add wafers, chopped nuts or chocolate shavings to […]

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