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Ingredients for Dulce de Leche Macarons
- Powdered sugar
- Almond flour – finely sifted, blanched almond flour
- Egg Whites – no need to age the egg whites but they do need to be at room temperature
- Granulated sugar
- Powdered Egg Whites – If you have problems getting a strong meringue, adding a little bit of powdered egg whites will help
- Vanilla extract
- Gel food coloring – use gel instead of liquid because liquid will add extra moisture to your batter and can ruin the texture of the macaron shells
- Dulce de leche – you can either make the dulce de leche or you can buy it in a can, there is no difference
- Royal icing – optional, for decoration
- Nonpareil sprinkles
Dulce de Leche Buttercream for Macarons
- Salted butter – I always use salted butter when making buttercream so that I don’t have to add salt separately.
- Powdered sugar – You don’t need to sift it, but make sure there are no clumps. Add the sugar in parts so that it has time to dissolve in the butter and doesn’t make your buttercream grainy.
- Dulce de leche – either store bought or homemade (instructions below)
How to Make Dulce de Leche
Dulce de leche is very easy to make, but does require some patience.
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- Medium sauce pan
Remove the paper and glue from the can and place the sealed can in a medium saucepan filled with water. Make sure that the water is at least two inches above the top of the can. Heat on high until water comes to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
Continue checking the water level regularly and add hot water if necessary so that the can is always at least 2 inches below water.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE WATER COVER THE CAN AT ALL TIMES TO PREVENT CAN FROM BURSTING OPEN AND EXPLODING.
Remove the can from the water and let it cool before opening. DO NOT OPEN THE CAN WHILE HOT. Pressure will build up inside the can and dulce de leche will burst out if opened before it has cooled.
You can also buy a can of dulce de leche, ready to eat, which is what I usually do.
Is Dulce de Leche the Same as Caramel?
Caramel is made by heating sugar until it turns a golden brown color.
- Use room temperature egg whites because they will whip up better. If your eggs are not at room temperature, put them in a bowl filled with hot water for 5 minutes.
- Try not to get any yolk in your egg whites so that your meringue whips up properly.
- Whisk the meringue until you have stiff peaks. This is especially important because a weak meringue will lead to soft, fragile shells.
- Let the macarons dry completely before baking so they don’t crack in the oven. You can test them by touching the tops and if they’re not sticky, they’re ready to be baked.
More decorated macarons to try
Dulce de Leche Macarons
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- One 16 inch pastry bag
- Two 8 inch pastry bags
- Round piping tip
- Two silicone mats
- Two half sheet pans
- Oven thermometer
- 90 grams powdered sugar
- 80 grams almond flour
- 70 grams egg whites (room temperature)
- 70 grams granulated sugar
- 2 grams egg white powder (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 drops chocolate brown gel food coloring
Dulce de leche buttercream
- ½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tsp dulce de leche
Royal icing drizzle and sprinkles
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp meringue powder
- ½ tsp water
- nonpareils sprinkles
Prepare dry ingredients
- Sift powdered sugar and almond flour using a whisk to break down any clumps. Set aside.
- Line sheet pans with silicone mats.
- Insert the piping tip into the 16 inch pastry bag.
Make the meringue
- Whisk the egg whites on medium speed (speed 4) until you see small bubbles (this can take as little as 15 seconds sometimes).
- Slowly add 3 tbsp of granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, waiting about 10 seconds between each tbsp.
- Whisk until you start to see tracks in the meringue.
- Increase speed to 6 and continue slowly adding the remainder of the granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until you’ve added all the sugar.
- Once you have soft peaks, stop the mixer, scrape the sides and add the vanilla.
- Whisk for about 2 minutes, or until medium peaks, and then add 2 drops of gel food coloring. You can add more food coloring if you want the color to be darker.
- Whisk until stiff peaks.
- Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold the batter until you can't see any of the dry ingredients.
- When folding the batter, slide the spatula under the batter, lift it in a U motion, go over the top of the batter, and slide it under again. This way you make sure to get the batter at the bottom of the bowl.
- Once fully combined, add in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and repeat the process of folding.
- Add in the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and fold until fully combined.
- Once all of the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture has been added, continue folding a few more times to make sure all the ingredients are combined well.
- Now you need to deflate some of the air in the batter by taking the spatula and smearing the batter on the sides of the bowl two or three times, and then folding once or twice.
- Repeat the process of smearing some of the batter on the side of the bowl and folding until the batter looks smooth and glossy and runs down the spatula slowly in ribbons.
- You can test the consistency by lifting the spatula and letting the batter run down. If it falls in ribbons and sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, the batter is ready.
Pipe the macarons
- Transfer the batter to the 16 inch pastry bag.
- Holding the pastry bag at a 90° angle, pipe the macarons into ¾ inch circles about 1 inch apart.
- Tap the tray against the counter about 8 times to release any air bubbles.
- Let the macarons rest until they form a skin and are no longer sticky.
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 310°F.
- Bake the macarons for 14-16 minutes.
- Macarons are ready when they no longer shift if you touch the tops.
- Let the shells cool for about 20 minutes before adding the royal icing drizzle.
Royal icing drizzle
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and a few drops of water and stir with a spoon.
- Continue stirring, adding a few drops of water a time if necessary for a drizzling consistency.
- Once you can lift the spoon and the icing sinks back into itself within 10 seconds, the icing is ready.
- Transfer the royal icing to an 8 inch pastry bag, cut a very small opening at the tip, and drizzle on half of the shells.
- Add the nonpareils sprinkles while the royal icing is still wet so that the sprinkles stick.
Dulce de leche (if making on stove top)
- Remove the paper and glue from the can.
- Place sealed can in pot and cover with water. Make sure water is at least two inches above the top of the can.
- Heat on high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 2½ hours.
- Continue checking the water level regularly and add hot water if necessary so that the can is always at least 2 inches below water. WATER MUST BE COVERING THE CAN AT ALL TIMES TO PREVENT CAN FROM BURSTING OPEN AND EXPLODING.
Dulce de leche buttercream
- In a medium bowl, using the stand mixer, whisk the butter until smooth.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and whisk until fully combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and whisk until combined.
- Add dulce de leche to the buttercream and whisk until buttercream is creamy and smooth.
Assemble the macarons
- Fill an 8 inch pastry bag with the buttercream and cut about a ½ inch opening at the bottom of the bag.
- Pipe the buttercream in the center of half of the macaron shells and top with the decorated shells.