A recent trip to Buenos Aires saw Claire Aldous devouring many versions of these delectable biscuits. She has added warm spices and orange zest to hers before filling them with dulce de leche and a slick of chocolate.
100 grams butter at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 x #7 egg (large)
1 cup plain gf flour* or regular flour
¼ cup cornflour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¾ teaspoon each ground mixed spice and cinnamon
Dulce de leche (you could also use a good purchased dulce de leche)
150 grams dark chocolate, melted
2 x 395 gram tins condensed milk
ceramic or metal baking dish, about 24cm wide
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan bake
Beat the butter for two minutes then add the sugar, honey, orange zest and the vanilla and beat until light and pale. Beat in the egg until very well combined.
Sift the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and beat gently to combine. The dough will be very soft at this point.
Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a flat disc. Wrap well then chill until firm.
Roll the dough out on a floured bench to ½ cm thick. Cut out 5cm circles and place on a lined flat baking tray. Reroll and cut out the scraps of dough. Chill the biscuits again until firm. You should get about 30.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes until lightly puffed and lightly golden around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack.
To assemble: Top half of the biscuits with a teaspoon of chocolate and using the back of the spoon, spread the chocolate right to the edges. Leave to set. Place a heaped tablespoon of dulce de leche (below) on the remaining biscuits and use a small palette knife to spread evenly. Sandwich with the chocolate topped biscuits.
Store the Alfajores in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Makes approx. 15 doubles.
*I used Bakels gf flour which is available in supermarkets.
Dulce de Leche
You can buy tins of caramelised condensed milk, but it’s not thick enough to fill the alfajores. I prefer to use the oven for this easy, stress free way to cook the caramel as I’m not keen on having tins boiling away on the stove top for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake
Tip the condensed milk into the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Place in a roasting dish and add enough hot tap water to come halfway up the side of the baking dish.
Bake for 2½-3 hours, adding extra water when needed to keep it at the same level. The caramel should be a dark golden colour and firm to the touch. Uncover and cool then refrigerate, covered, for several hours or overnight.