Monday, February 23, 2015

Macaron Monday: Blueberry French Macarons with Dulce de Leche Filling

For years I have been reading on other people's blogs how easy it is to make dulce de leche by placing a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pressure cooker.

I have a pressure cooker back in my kitchen in Germany but I've never mustered the courage to make dulce de leche this way. I am still sure the can would explode, becoming a missile in my kitchen creating damage that would require an entire construction crew to repair properly.

On the less dramatic side, I also never got around to making it the old fashioned way, by cooking it from a recipe. 

Trader Joe's just made my dulce de leche job easy by selling it in jars. As much as I like to be a making everything homemade freak, I was relieved and delighted to find these jars sitting in the aisle just waiting to be slathered into the middle of a French Macaron.

I can't believe it took me so long to use dulce de leche as a macaron filling. It works beautifully with the blueberry flavor but I can't imagine any flavor not working well with this golden deliciousness.

So maybe one day I will suck it up and place that can of sweetened condensed milk in a pressure cooker, or spend the time to make my own from scratch. In the meantime, the Trader Joe's version works perfectly. 

Blueberry French Macaron with 
Dulce de Leche Filling

For the blueberry shells:

Use a kitchen scale for precise measurements.

  • 90 grams of egg whites - aged at least 2 days. Let them sit out on the counter uncovered.
  • Pinch of cream of tarter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 25-50 grams extra fine white granulated sugar
  • 200 grams of powdered sugar 
  • 110 Grams of almond flour*
  • 3 drops LorAnn blueberry flavor oil
  • Blue powdered food coloring (optional)
*You can buy almond flour that has been ground with or without the skin. I use the later (blanched). The former looks really nice if you are not coloring the shells. You can also grind your own almond flour by putting whole or sliced almonds in a food processor or blender. If you do, make sure you throw a little of the powdered sugar in to prevent the almonds from forming a paste.

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  • Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together or pulse them together briefly in a food processor. Make sure there are no large pieces. 
  • Whip the egg whites. When they start to get foamy, slowly add the sugar. Continue whipping until you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing slides out. Add the pinches of salt and cream of tartar.
  • Add the powdered sugar/almond mixture to the egg white mixture and fold, using quick strokes at first then slow down. The batter should have a "flowing like lava" consistency. Fold in the blueberry flavor oil Make a peak of the batter and if it does not disappear after 5-7 seconds, keep folding. If it's running all over the place, you will probably have to start over. Fold in the blue food coloring, if desired. Place a pastry bag fitted with a round shaped tip in a tall water and and fold the edges down around the glass.
  • Fill the pastry bag with the macaron batter, twist the open top to secure and pipe circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a Silpat. 
  • Let the macarons dry for about a half hour or until they harden.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place the macarons on the middle rack in the oven. I keep the oven door propped open with a dish towel or wooden spoon.
  • I place another empty baking sheet on top to prevent the shells from becoming toasted and discolored.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • When checking them after 10 minutes or so, if the ones in the back of the sheet seem to be cooking faster that the ones in front, flip the tray around.
  • To test to see if they are done, peel the baking paper or silpat back under the shell, if the shell comes off easily, they are done.
  • If you do have a problem with the shells sticking to the surface when removed from the oven, lift up the baking paper and pour a bit of water underneath. this will steam them off the paper.
  • Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely before matching up the shells into pairs according to size.
  • Fill with dulce de leche or your choice of filling.

1 comment:

  1. O.K., so this is the first I've heard of making Dulce de Leche in a pressure cooker! I'd be like you and afraid to attempt it. Nice that you found some pre-made some and I doubt it had any negative effect on these lovely blueberry macarons.


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