Happy Valentine’s Day dear readers! Continuing with my chocolate confections, today I will share with you these wonderful dulce de leche and almond bon bons. I had the most special feeling making these treats. First, they are made with homemade dulce de leche, a traditional candy from my state in Brazil. Second, it was one of the sweets served on my wedding. I tried to reproduce them and I got exactly the same luscious flavor. What could possible go wrong when you have dulce de leche, almonds, cream and butter, covered with dark chocolate? Nothing!
As opposed to my first bon bons I didn’t have problems making these one. The homemade dulce de leche is quite easy to prepare. Although the cooking time reaches about two hours, you just have to stir it occasionally. When the dulce de leche is done, almonds, butter and cream are incorporated and cooked until a consistent cream is formed. To make the bon bons and the base of the lace heart I used the shell molding technique. To prepare the chocolate lace heart shell I used a parchment paper cone and a heart mold. When you will use just a little amount of chocolate to decorate, a paper cone is better than a piping bag. You can see how to fold a paper cone here. The lace effect you will get by making doodle lines following the heart shape in a chocolate mold.
I hope you have a lovely day with your sweetheart!
Dulce de Leche
1 quart whole milk
1 cup sugar
Combine the milk and sugar in a large, 4-quartsaucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate the foam that appears on the top of the mixture. Continue to cook for 1 hour. If you want a darkcaramel color continue to cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer if you want. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.
Dulce de leche and almond filling
½ cup dulce de leche
2 oz/100g ground almonds
1 tablespoon butter
¼ heavy cream
½ teaspoon almond extract
Combine ground almonds, butter, dulce de leche, cream and almond extract in a mediun saucepan. Stir the mixture until it starts to show the bottom of the pan while you scrape it with a spoon. The mixture should be thick enough to show the bottom of the pan for a few seconds before the mixture back again.