Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coffee Dulce de Leche Macaron

Do you think those fancy expensive french cookies are way to big of a hassle to make at home? Wrong! Follow my instructions and indulge your friends and family with authentic macarons.  

Blog's Category: Cookies, Dessert, Holidays, International





Just a Few Words About

- Of course you know what macaron is - French staple cookie, flourless, using egg whites and almond flour, with different types of filling in between cookie shells .
- It common opinion those cookies are hard-to-impossible to make. The good news is it is totally doable at home. Even if they won't come out exactly the way they supposed to be, they are edible and delicious any way.
- There are three ways to make macarons - French, Italian and Swiss to make almond flour cookies shells. I tried Italian and French. The French is my favorite - it is the simplest one. Also cookies made French way tends to be less sweet than Italian way. Some day I will try Swiss way, but because I like simple things and Swiss way doesn't look like the simplest one, I'm not sure when (and if) this day ever come :)
- There is somwthing I don't like about macarons (surprise!) - they are sweet, a bit too sweet to me. I tried to deal with it making changes to original sugar ratios. It worked in a sense that cookies are were less sweet indeed. The problem was - those cookies were not macarons anymore. they were loosing that unique texture pertinent to macarons only.
- I really want you to succeed. That's why I recommend to follow instructions below to a word. 

Tips

- If you like to have your macarons same size and shape and have no trust in a steadiness of your hand, then, on a back of your parchment paper, you'll be lining your baking sheet with, draw template circles. I don't do this usually.

- There is a few ways to make fine powder from an instant coffee granules: placing instant coffee in a zipped bag and pounding it with a small skillet of flat side of your meat tenderizer mallet; using old-fashioned mortar and pestle; using electric coffee grinder.

- If you can't find caramelized condensed milk or dulce de leche (which is the same thing), you can make it yourself by simmering unopened can of sweetened condensed milk  in a boiling water for a 3-4 hours.

- If you don't have baker's piping bags, you can use good-quality plastic bags. Although having piping bags will facilitate piping your cookies greatly. I prefer to use piping bag with wide round tip, but you can use piping bag without tip.

- Ideally, egg whites has to be aged (separated from egg yolks day before and left at room temperature). I never remember to do this. If you are like me, then take eggs out of fridge and place them in a bowl with a quite warm water (it should feel a bit warmer than your shower water) for a 10-15 minutes. Then separate whites from yolks and it's ready to be used in this recipe.

- Keep macarons in a fridge for a several days, in a closed container. Supposedly, they are even better after day or two in fridge. I din't notice that, but can testify that they are the same great after spending quite a few days on my fridge shelf. Keep in mind, macarons can even be frozen if needed.

Coffee Macaron with Dulce de Leche Filling



For about 15 2"-diameter cookies:

Dulce de Leche filling:
  • 3 tbs dulce de leche (caramelized sweetened condensed milk)
  • 3 tbs softened unsalted butter
Macaron Shells:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup confectioner (powdered) sugar
  • 2 tbs instant coffee
  • 1tsp ground coffee (optional, for garnishing)
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature (see tips above)
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp meringue powder (optional)
Things you will need:
  • parchment paper or silicon baking mat
  • electric mixer to whip egg whites
  • 2 piping bags (with or without round tips), one for batter, one for filling (see tips above)
  • flexible silicon spatula for working with a batter
- Prepare baking sheet lining it with a parchment paper (see tips above).

- Prepare piping bag by cutting off the end (if it's disposable), fitting a tip and placing them into a tall glass, folding top of a bag. It is ready for filling it with a batter now.

- Make instant coffee powder (see tips above)

- If your eggs are cold from a fridge, see tips above how to get room temperature egg whites.

- Sift almond powder, powdered sugar and powdered instant coffee into one bowl. Mix it thoroughly with whisk and set aside.

- Have room-temperature egg whites, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and meringue powder handy before whipping egg whites. Start to whip whites on a medium-low speed. When bubbly, add meringue powder and continue to whip on a higher speed, adding 2 tbs of granulated sugar in a three batches. Whip until it's glossy and forms stiff peaks. 

- Using silicon spatula, make macarone batter. It's your choice to mix it in your mixer bowl you whipped egg whites in or transfer whipped eggs (meringue) to another bowl. In a three sets, fold previously prepared dry almond mix into whipped eggs until fully incorporated. At this point batter will be pretty airy and not very fluid. Now do macaronage - with a spatula, sliding batter against a wall, then folding again. It will take about 10-15 moves until batter become more fluid, glossy and form a steady ribbon when let fall from spatula into a bowl. See pictures below.

- Place batter into prepared piping bag. Glue corners of a parchment paper to a baking sheet to keep it in place during piping and pipe your cookies onto a parchment paper. Now take a baking sheet with cookies and  tap it a few times to release air bubbles.

- If you like, sprinkle a little bit of regular ground coffee on a half of all shells for garnishing.

- Preheat your oven to 300F.

- Now, it's important: leave piped cookies on a counter for 30-50 minutes to dry out until they do not stick to your finger anymore, when touched.

- Pop cookies in an oven for 12-15 minutes. They should rise and form so-called lacy foot in a bottom.

- Now you have choice, either turn off an oven, open a door and leave cookies cool down there or get baking sheet from an oven and pull parchment papers with cookies onto cookie cooling rack. 

- Meanwhile make a filling. Using mixer, whip butter and dulce de leche until nice and fluffy. Transfer into piping bag and set aside.

- When meringue shells are completely cool, carefully separate them a parchment paper. Turn half of them, without coffee ground, upside down and pipe filling in a middle of each. Assemble cookies (see picture below)

- Enjoy!


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In Pictures

I tried to use both, parchment paper and silicon mat for making macarons. So far I like parchment paper more.

Almond flour goes through a sieve. Crush remaining whatever with your fingers to help it to go through a sieve. 

 Sugar powder goes next.

I cheated by running coffee granules through very fine metal mash. It works. 




Warming eggs in a warm water before separating them.

Disposable piping bags. Cutting the tip off to have about 1/2" opening. 

 This is the only tip I found which was not used at the time (I've being busy trying different things), which works too. No tip is acceptable also.
Meringue powder is an optional ingredient. Supposedly it helps to avoid overbeating egg whites...

I used yolks leftovers for mayo ;) 

Before starting to whip egg whites, make sure everything is prepared: almond flour mix, baking sheet, piping bag, etc.




I know when meringue buckles inside of whisk - it's done.


This time I transferred whipped egg whites into empty bowl before starting to mix it with almond flour mix. But sometimes I mix right in a same mixer bowl - it is big enough :)

In a three batches, I add dry mix to meringue, folding it together.


When flour is incorporated, start macaronage (fancy!) - smudging and folding until batter becomes glossy and forms a ribbon when falls from a spatula - see pictures below. It takes just a 10 to 20 spatula runs.


Here is a ribbon. Pretty.



Glue paper with a drop of batter. Trust me - it will help you when piping.

.. and pipe your cookies.

After tapping 4-6 times cookie will spread a bit and surface will be nice and smooth.


Sprinkle with a ground coffee for decoration.

Filling is simple - butter and dulche de leche.. and soo delicious


Well, I forgot to make a shot when piping filling.. You seed my shot when I was making chocolate macarons (I'll post a recipe later).

This picture of coffee, chocolate, pistachio and lavender macarons I made lately. Which was my favorite? Probably coffee one.. or lavender.. or chocolate ..nah.. pistachio one :)



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