Woohoo! Success! I made my own dulce de leche this evening! Yes, if you can't already tell by the many exclaimation points that have appeared so far, I'm very excited about it!
Ooh making it yourself is so easy. And it tastes much better than the stuff you get in the supermarket, and probably cheaper as well! Yay!
All you need is to do is place a can of condensed milk in a pot of simmering water, making sure the water covers the cans entirely (or 2 or 3 or however many you can fit in your pot). Let simmer for three hours, topping up water every half an hour, let cans cool when the three hours are up. It's that simple!
There are warnings about exploding cans when you read about making dulche de leche, but so far no one has actually had a can explode on them and you should be safe if the water is gently bubbling and the tops of the cans are covered. It's ok to keep them on the sides, and what I did was roll them around because I figure, the heat was coming from the bottom so you don't want one side to be more cooked than the other, right?
Some sites suggest poking a hole in the can and standing it upright and filling the pot with just enough water to reach just below the top of the can. I didn't do it because I didn't read up about poking holes to release pressure until after my can of condensed milk had been in the water for over half an hour.
Anyway, I'm happy happy happy. :) :) :)