Macarons, also known as french cookies are one of my favorite pastry. Macarons became very popular in India after the second season of Master chef Australia where they were introduced by Pastry Chef, Adriano Zumbo in the form of a macaron tower. I still remember my first salted caramel flavoured macaron and fell in love with the idea instantly.Last year, after tasting macarons in Paris, I knew I had to try them out! After two attempts I have finally mastered the flavour, the texture of the shell on the other hand still needs slight improvement.
The best part being you can store the macarons for as long as you wish, that is if you have good self control! cause they be DELICIOUS! 😛
Ingredients: *Makes around 23 macarons*
Dulce de Leche filling:
- 1 litre milk (4 cups)
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbs vanilla essence
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 3 large egg whites
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 tbs coffee powder
- 1 tbs rock salt for decor (optional)
For the dulce de leche:
Boil the milk, sugar and baking soda and keep stiring until it thickens.
*Around 1 and a half hour*
Keep stiring until it caramelizes. Add the vanilla essence.
This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for over a year.
Mix and knead with a table spoon of butter when you need to use it.
Dulce de leche can be used over pancakes, toppings over cakes and so on..
For the shells:
Boil the almonds for 5 mins.
Strain the water and blanch the almonds. Keep aside for drying. Blanch the almonds the previous night preferably so that the almond flour is dry and does not form paste after blending.
Once completely dry, blend it to make fine powder.
Using a strainer, sift together the almond flour, confectioners sugar, and espresso powder in a medium bowl. Discard any large pieces that remain in the strainer.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Add ⅓ of the granulated sugar and with mixer on high, continue to beat until egg whites are stiff peaks. Beat until whites are shiny and fluffy.
Add the sifted ingredients to the bowl with the egg whites.
With a rubber spatula, fold the mixture into the egg whites until the batter falls on itself *Do not overmix or the batter will be too thin and runny*
With a piping bag, or with a tea spoon, over butter paper, place quater teaspoon discs.
Lift and drop the baking tray onto a hard surface 2-3 times to smooth out the batter and knock out any air bubbles. Allow cookies to rest at room temperature for one hour, until a skin forms on the surface of the cookies.
Preheat oven to 140˚C
After about one hour, gently brush the top a cookie with your finger to check that a skin has formed. The batter should not stick to your finger, if it does, allow to set for another 10 minutes.
Bake cookies in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the cookies peel away from the paper when lifted.
Allow the cookie shells to cool completely.
Pipe the dulce de leche onto the bottom side of a cooled shell and sandwich together with a similarly sized cookie.