Dulce De Leche Macarons
…Or how I got my macarons mojo back thanks to Gerard Mulot. For those who don’t know Gerard Mulot, let’s just say that he is one of the other Masters of French pastries and I fell in love with his pastries and macarons when I was knee high. Once a month we would take the train into Paris to visit my dad’s godmother. A tough and quirky maid living in a very old building with a giant (or so it seemed to me at the time) marbled staircase. The woman had never married, never had children and an afternoon in her appartment full of plastic covered furniture and untouchable curtains seemed more like torture than a fun times in the City. Except for the patisseries she served us around four o’clock….they were Mulot’s patisseries: canneliers, macarons, pains au chocolat, lemon tarts, coconut chocolate cakes, etc…I would quickly forget the covered the plastic covered chair I was sitting on and dive into the pink colored box full of goodies.
So why would I need to get my macaron mojo back? Well, I feared that I had lost it after talking every weekend with Veronica about macaron making method, nuts, flavors, buttercream, etc… Twice in the span of two weeks I ended up with sub par macarons. I tried the recipe in The Sweet Life by Kate Zuckerman and right from the start I had my doubts. The recipe used a lot of egg whites compared to the rest of the ingredients and as soon as I began folding I knew the mixture would be to dry and too dense to produce that lovely round shell that we all know. I ended up with lovely blood orange meringue shells, but not macarons. The second time I played around with my usual recipe and some chocolate and the same thing happened! In the meantime Veronica was keeping me informed of her macarons successes (check out her new business venture) and I finally emailed her "I think I gave you my macarons mojo!!" To which she replied "Have you tried Gerard Mulot’s recipe…I like it…not too sweet, nice soft shells" Ahah!! That was the only and perfect excuse I had to ask my mother to bring me his book.
His recipes are not very different from the ones I have used before and as it is often the case with macarons, the baker and the weather have often more to do with messing up the end product than the recipe itself (except in the case of Zuckerman, Veronica and I still have our doubt!). Remember how I keep saying that I like making them but don’t really enjoy eating them? You could then ask me why I spend my time making them?! Well, beside the orders I get for family and friends or private parties, their elusive and rebelious nature has me jumping up and down when I see their little feet forming in the oven. I like the way they look when filled, like they are sticking their tongue at you. Mastering a macaron batch and creating flavors and filling is a fun game to play for me…but remember that I am weird like that!! And now that Veronica has sent me a stash of matcha green tea, I am already thinking about adding some to the next macaron baking session I have!!
The recipe from Gerard Mulot is quite simple as it does not require an Italian meringue, so no messing around with hot sugar syrup. Last month I made a batch of Dulce de Leche or Confiture De Lait, using David Lebovitz’s foolproof method and I had a small jar tucked away in the fridge just for the next macarons I would bake. I topped the shells with crushed praline before they went into the oven and after they were all cooled, I filled them with the Dulce De Leche. Surprise, surprise….it is now the second time that I am devouring them!!
If you decide to make this recipe, it might take you some time if you make all the components the same day. What I usually do on quieter days is to make a batch of praline that I crush in the food processor so that I can sprinkle it on ice cream, mousses and cake layers on a moment’s notice. The Dulce De Leche keeps a long time in the fridge and I try to keep a jar to drizzle it on yogurts, ice cream or use as a dip for tart apples.
For the cushed praline:
1 cup unblanched almonds
Combine the sugar and almonds in a heavy saucepan. Place over medium heat to begin melting the sugar. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon so the sugar melts and caramelizes evenly. Cook to a light amber color.
Scrape the praline from the saucepan and spread it about 1/4-inch thick on an oiled baking sheet or a marble surface. Let cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Break the hard praline into 1-1/2 inch pieces and place them in a bowl of a food processor and quickly pulse until finely ground.
For the Dulce de Leche:
Please see David Lebovitz’s recipe. I did not change a thing and it worked perfectly.
For the Macarons:
3 egg whites
50 gr. granulated sugar
200 gr. powdered sugar
110 gr. ground almonds
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glosy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won’t work.
Combine the ground almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a quick pulse. It will break the powdered sugar lumps and cobine your almond with it evenly. Add them to the meringue and fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small round onto parchment paper baking sheets. Sprinkle the praline powder over the shells.
Preheat the oven to 315F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shell a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool completely. Once cooled, sandwich them with the Dulce de Leche and enjoy!
Once again, no chocolate post….But….if you want your fill and a good dose of Nutella to go with it, help me go to Napa and check out the Copia Center Chocolate Festival by voting for my Nutella Creams here:
Veron February 7, 2008 um 9:22 pm
Yeah! You got your mojo back!Those macarons look perfect in every way!!! I want to try his other recipes in the book too. Now, dulce de leche, that’s a great thought for a filling :).
Veron February 7, 2008 um 9:25 pm
And I forgot to add, matcha is a great flavor for macarons. In the shell or in the filling. Matcha and white chocolate or matcha and buttercream…take your pick!
Cannelle Et Vanille February 7, 2008 um 9:25 pm
I will be trying this recipe soon! I love dulce de leche and I’m in my caramel kick right now. These look so beautiful… You are incredible!
JEP February 7, 2008 um 9:27 pm
How beautiful are these!!
Anonymous February 7, 2008 um 9:49 pm
Real beauties, love the sprinkle of praline. Dulce de leche is so yummy…
ambrosia ananas February 7, 2008 um 10:09 pm
Those are gorgeous.
Brilynn February 7, 2008 um 10:15 pm
Those are absolutely beautiful! I still haven’t recovered from my macaron making woes, but I love to look at your beauties!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) February 7, 2008 um 10:37 pm
I will never be able to make these, because that jar of dulce de leche wouldn’t last five minutes in my refrigerator! The husband would sniff it out and attack with a spoon. Ah, well….
Anonymous February 7, 2008 um 10:45 pm
Gorgeous! Thank you for your comments on Zuckerman’s recipe. I had never tackled macarons before I tried her recipe and they were a total flop. I wasn’t sure if it was me, the weather (which seemed fairly cool and dry), or the recipe. I’ll definitely try this recipe. Thank you! Your work looks exquisite!
Anonymous February 7, 2008 um 10:46 pm
Anonymous February 7, 2008 um 11:58 pm
I never knew macarons until I visited Paris last spring, and I couldn’t get enough of them. I tried making them once and it was a complete failure but you make me think I might be able to do it if I try again.
Anonymous February 8, 2008 um 12:09 am
GAH! You have found the arrow to my heart. I am a total sucker for anything caramel! And after having tastd Caramel Macarons from Paris I have been dying to get my hands on some more. These look so good!
Sara February 8, 2008 um 12:11 am
mmm, these look absolutely amazing! i’ll have to try them sometime i’m feeling ambitious!
Deborah February 8, 2008 um 12:11 am
These are gorgeous!
Anita (Married… with dinner) February 8, 2008 um 12:32 am
We’re still swooning over the macarons we had at Christmastime… mmm!
slush February 8, 2008 um 12:33 am
They look fabulous! I have never even had a macaron. Im going to have to buckle down, and try to make my own.
I have to say though, just hearing praline made me miss Charleston. I used to love to take the boys down to Market Street on a weekday morning, before it got wicked busy. They looked forward to the candy stores giving out pralines. I adored the traditional, while my chocoholics loved the chocolate ones. Good times.
Aimée February 8, 2008 um 1:18 am
These are really beautiful, Helen. You have such a stunning repertoire of macaroons and I am always amazed by how nice they look.
steph- whisk/spoon February 8, 2008 um 1:38 am
fabulous! your mojo is back! i make macarons most days at work. every now and again they will spread too much and be all blobby-looking. those are very disappointing times, i must say.
Terri February 8, 2008 um 2:11 am
These are absolutely beautiful!! Love your photography too!!
Chris February 8, 2008 um 2:14 am
Add macaroons to my baking lessons Helen! 🙂
glamah16 February 8, 2008 um 2:29 am
These look heavenly! Cant wait to see what you make with the Matcha green tea powder of which I am currently craving to get. A little hard to find for me other than the internet.
Mary February 8, 2008 um 3:08 am
I’ve never had a macaron, but they look so beautiful. I’m glad you got your mojo back!
jasmine February 8, 2008 um 3:26 am
You know…I read the title and saw the macarons and immediately fell in love.
I am happy you’ve found your footing again, my friend.
Cookie baker Lynn February 8, 2008 um 3:29 am
I groaned when I opened your page – you’re taunting me with macarons again! They are so gorgeous. You must be a very proud baker to have made these beauties.
Cakebrain February 8, 2008 um 4:43 am
I don’t think you lost your mojo with the Zuckerman recipe because I had the same problems you did when I tested her recipe. I think there’s something funky with the proportions in the recipe. I figure if people like you and Veronica, with a whole lot of experience making macarons, can’t make a macaron recipe work, then it’s probably not a reliable recipe for us amateur bakers. Your dulce de leche macarons look fabulous. The crunchy crushed praline is inspirational! I have to try making them now! Have fun playing with your matcha!
Anonymous February 8, 2008 um 5:10 am
You and Anh have me craving for dulce de leche! This looks so delicious…I can just imagine 🙂 Your macarons (and Veron’s) are enviably perfect!
Mercotte February 8, 2008 um 7:05 am
Je n’aurai qu’un seul mot : Superbes !!!
Anonymous February 8, 2008 um 7:43 am
ils sont superbes !
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home February 8, 2008 um 8:51 am
My husband loves coconut and caramel. Last year I made him a caramel pie, and he placed a Somoa girl scout cookie on top of his first slice. I definitely have to try this!
La cuisine des 3 soeurs February 8, 2008 um 9:34 am
Trop beaux les macarons,encore mieux que chez Mulot.
Astrid February 8, 2008 um 11:38 am
Beautiful! I will try your recipe, though I wish I knew what weight egg whites to use, as eggs vary in size. But maybe it doesn’t matter so much.
Do you prefer French meringue to Italian meringue macaron recipes? I read in an Hermé recipe that he doesn’t add any sugar while beating the egg whites, to avoid giving the macarons the taste of meringues. I’ve tried his recipe about five times. First two times were great, but that must have been beginner’s luck, the last 3 were a disappointment. So frustrating! I know Italian meringue would help, but I have the preconceived notion they might be too sweet or too crunchy… Anyway, congrats on these little beauties! Can’t wait to find my own mojo!
Anonymous February 8, 2008 um 11:54 am
My vast experience with dulce de leche allows me to tell you that chocolate and dulce de leche make the perfect match. you must try!!!
As usual,terrific recipes and photos. Thanks.
Anonymous February 8, 2008 um 12:17 pm
i think you’ve hit on the most perfect combination ever!
La Tartine Gourmande February 8, 2008 um 1:21 pm
Tu es une reine des macarons, mais sans surprise!
Patricia Scarpin February 8, 2008 um 2:00 pm
Anything with dulce de leche has my undivided attention, Helen – these are magnificent!
MyKitchenInHalfCups February 8, 2008 um 2:10 pm
Yes, I was thinking just that about their little tongues.
Plastic on chairs . . .
Wonderful as always.
Meeta K. Wolff February 8, 2008 um 2:23 pm
Dulche de Leche in macarons – you outdo yourself. I need to give these a go they really do sound awesome.
Helene February 8, 2008 um 2:27 pm
Astrid: 3 egg whites were about 110-120 gr. I ued large eggs. Since I have the same results as far as shells and success with both the Italian and the French method, I make it easy on me an use the French. The Italian meringue produces very sweet shells.
monica February 8, 2008 um 3:09 pm
i am not suprised that you got your mojo back! other than tartlettes, beautiful macaraons are what come to mind when i think of you. congrats and these are an absolutely lucious comeback!! can’t wait to see what else is in store!
Jen Yu February 8, 2008 um 4:43 pm
I had my first macaron last July and fell in love. I’ve been wanting to make some for a while. It’s on my todo list for 2008. You have further inspired me (you always inspire me!) toward this goal. They are so beautiful!! I also want to tell you how touching it is that you and your mom are so close – I love it. yay for mojo!! 🙂
kellypea February 8, 2008 um 6:50 pm
I have yet to make these, but continue to look and read, and wonder. This particular combination of flavors sounds perfect.
Cynthia February 8, 2008 um 6:52 pm
You’ve not more than your mojo back!
Bitten February 8, 2008 um 7:20 pm
OMG! You’re killing me! Dulce de leche! May not make it to the acutal recipe…
Oye Cookie! February 8, 2008 um 8:27 pm
What an amazing job! I love the little feet. I’ve been wanting to try making these for a while, but I need to work up the courage! Your recipe reminded me though to try David Lebovitz’s dulce de leche brownies. You can check them out on my site. Thanks for the inspiration!
Anonymous February 8, 2008 um 8:58 pm
I just learned how to make dulce de leche so perhaps I should make these sometime so soon! They’re adorable!
Georgia February 8, 2008 um 9:10 pm
Yum yum yum…you are a dessert goddess!
test it comm February 9, 2008 um 2:20 am
Those look good! I was wondering what Dulce de Leche was.
Jen February 9, 2008 um 2:35 am
Wow! You never cease to amaze, I love dulche de leche, what I would give to just have a taste.
Anonymous February 9, 2008 um 3:08 am
Wow, what a concept… And executed flawlessly. I have trouble believing that you, the pastry whiz, ever had difficulties with any baked good though! 😉
Anonymous February 9, 2008 um 5:46 am
The macaroons look absolutely amazing – nothing like the flattened sadness that I made and called them macaroons 🙁
Cakespy February 9, 2008 um 7:09 am
These are amazing! I have always loved how macarons look like mini cheeseburgers (in a sweet, cute way!). These are just a work of art!
Katie February 9, 2008 um 9:54 am
oh my! They look sinfully good.
Anonymous February 9, 2008 um 12:54 pm
Those look absolutely amazing. My favorite macarons are generally salted caramel ones, but this could, I am sure, become a close second!
Susan @ SGCC February 9, 2008 um 2:46 pm
Helen- Congratulations on making it to the top 10! I’m rooting for you. If you win, take a big suitcase and maybe you could smuggle me on the plane! Lol! Good luck!
Jaime February 9, 2008 um 9:24 pm
YUM. that’s all i have to say 🙂
Peabody February 10, 2008 um 4:57 am
Now I could really get behind this idea…yum. What great flavors.
Anonymous February 10, 2008 um 10:02 am
tartelette s il te plait pourrais tu donner un peu plus de precision sur le mode de cuisson four ventilé? double plaques ou plaque tres epaisse pour la cuisson et je voulais aussi savoir si tu utilisais des "blancs vieux" ou pas car tu n y fais pas du tout allusion ni pour la recette de mercotte ni meme dans le recette de stephane glacier qui le préconise merci d avance
Chouquinette February 10, 2008 um 2:34 pm
Wouah ! Those macarons look really delicious and are very beautiful !
eatme_delicious February 10, 2008 um 6:05 pm
What beautiful macarons! And dulce de leche?? Yum. I never really had an interest in macarons before (nor have I tried them) but recently I’ve been seeing more macarons posts and I really want to try making them.
Tarah at Genesis of a Cook February 10, 2008 um 10:23 pm
They’re so cute and yummy looking :] Yum!
Anonymous February 11, 2008 um 4:38 am
Oh my good gracious Helen!
If I’d ever wanted to make a macaron this would be it. My heart is a flutter and it’s not even Valentine’s Day yet.
Simply beautiful, as usual.
Anonymous February 11, 2008 um 6:15 am
Gathering up courage to attempt my first macaroon.. This post is inspirational!
Stella February 11, 2008 um 5:14 pm
It’s been a while since I’ve last been able to catch up with your recipes. Oh how I missed feasting my eyes on your beautiful photos:)
I’d give anything to have one of your macarons, I flat out LOVE them!
Jennie February 14, 2008 um 5:40 pm
There seems to be a dulce de leche recipe extravaganza going on in the food blogosphere…everyone’s making something with this lovely creamy caramel! I just posted a dulce de leche chocolate mini tart myself. Your macarons look fanastic! I wouldn’t have thought to put DdL in a macaron but now that you mention it…sounds perfect!
Mabel Mendez February 15, 2008 um 9:42 pm
Hice tus macarons y los puse en el blog que comparto. Gracias por tu receta!!! El dulce de leche proximamente voy a hacer mi receta.
silverrock February 28, 2008 um 6:10 am
Thanks for the comment! Yay! I’m a foodie 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you decide to bake up next
Anonymous January 15, 2009 um 9:46 pm
These are absolutely fabulous. I just finished sandwiching them together and can’t wait to hand them out!
I think you’ve gotten me hooked 🙂