Homemade Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Macarons
Ever since I went to Paris with my daughter 9 years ago and had a Macaron at Ladurée Pâtisserie, I’ve wanted to try making them. Although it’s only recently that they’ve become the rage in the United States.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Macarons NOT Macaroons they come in an infinite array of colors with fillings from the ordinary to unimaginable.
Since chocolate is my favorite flavor I decided to attempt to make Chocolate Macarons.
After thumbing through the pages of numerous cookbooks like Mad About Macarons and Macarons and reading various blogs I decided to tackle Helene’s recipe from Tartelette. Many of the recipes in the Macaron cookbooks are in large quantity and although I could scale them down I decided to try her version for 30 Chocolate Macarons to get my hands wet, so to speak. Mad About Macarons does have a scaled down version with different quantities in the back of her book that’s very helpful, which I’ll use next time.
In addition, I thought I’d make some homemade Dulce de Leche which turned out positively superb! Soft, silky and gooey with just the perfect caramelized flavor. If you’re not familiar with Dulce de Leche it’s a thick caramel-like mixture. In Spanish it translates to “sweet milk,” or “milk candy.” A simple preparation of sugar cooked with goats’ and/or cow’s milk for hours over low heat until thickened and deep golden in color. However, the taste is similar to sweetened condensed milk when cooked the same way. For details read below.
I hate to admit it, although I could have guessed, my first attempt at Macarons did not achieve perfection – though I learned from my mistakes and I’m ready to try again. The shells weren’t as hard and crisp as I would have liked – more time was needed in the oven, still, the taste of this delicate cookie stuffed with Dulce de Leche and some blended with Nutella was more flavorful than I could have asked for! Mmm I could have eaten the entire batch, but restrained myself to share with my family.
Below is the recipe for the homemade Dulce de Leche. There are several ways one could make this using a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk but I chose the safest way. Many choose to place the unopened can in a pot of hot water to cook for hours. The risk of pressure building up causing an explosion or burning yourself is extreme – my way is safe and quicker.