The Latin American cousin to the French macaron, alfajores are melt-in-your-mouth rich and buttery shortbread cookies that sandwich a sticky dulce de leche filling. Not quite as elegant as its French counterparts but equally as delicious, the proof of the cookie sandwich is in the taste of dulce de leche, a creamy caramel made with condensed milk that is simmered for many hours until it turns a gooey brown delight.The Alfajores is popular throughout South America in different variations – they can be topped with grated coconut, chocolate, or powdered sugar. Fruit and vanilla cream also make delicious additions to the light confection.
Here, Mario Malvaez, Head chef of TONO Cevicheria Singapore, shares a recipe for Peruvian Alfajores that is sure to make it the crowning glory of any meal.
MAKES: 30 PIECES | LEVEL: MEDIUM
PREP TIME: 16 hours (excluding the tempering of the butter) | TOTAL TIME: 20 hours
236g plain flour
60g icing sugar
- Temper the butter overnight.
- Mix all the ingredients with a beater, and leave to rest in the fridge for one night after wrapping the mixing bowl with cling film.
- The next morning, set the dough outside the chiller and leave to rest for 2 hours.
- Roll out the dough, cut into circles and freeze the individual dough circles until hard (roughly 2 to 3 hours).
- Bake at 150◦C for 15 minutes, then rotate the tray and bake another 15 minutes to ensure an even baking.
dulce de leche filling
3 cans condensed milk
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp whole milk
- Boil water in a pot deep enough to contain all three cans of condensed milk.
- Once the water comes to boil, place the cans of condensed milk into the water and boil for 3 hours.
- Towards the end of the 3 hours, dissolve the cornstarch into the whole milk.
- Remove the cooked condensed milk from the cans and place into a pot.
- Add the cornstarch and milk mixture to the cooked condensed milk and bring to a boil.
- Switch off the heat, and leave to cool.
- Add about 100ml of fresh milk to adjust the consistency, then leave to cool again.
500g mango puree
3 limes – juiced and peeled for zest
4 gelatin sheets
500g whipping cream
60g fine sugar
- Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
- Gently heat the mango puree with the lime juice and zest.
- Then add the soaked gelatin sheets until everything is mixed well and leave to cool.
- Whip sugar and cream until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold the mango-and-gelatin mixture into the whipped cream.
- Spoon a generous serving of dulce de leche between two cookie circles.
- Arrange your cookies on a plate.
- Pipe or spoon some mango mousse onto the plate to pair with the alfajores.