Recipe: Blanca's Alfajores from Eat at the Bar »

By Matt McConnell

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Chorizo & Apple Cider, Eat at the Bar

Chorizo & Apple Cider, Eat at the Bar [©Matt McConnell]

<i>Eat at the Bar</i> by Matt McConnell & Jo Gamvros


When Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros travelled through Spain, Portugal and beyond, they fell in love with Europe's bar dining culture. When they returned home to Melbourne, that love was shared with the opening of Bar Lourinhã.

Here they serve up dishes from around the world and now you can try their recipes with their book, Eat at the Bar. Start with this delicious South American biscuit recipe.


Matt and Jo write:

Blanca is the mother of a friend of ours from South America. Before we first opened we spent a bit of time with him and his family and Blanca would make these beautiful biscuits called alfajores. Traditionally, they’re from Argentina. Blanca was from Paraguay and her husband was from Argentina.

Before they came to Australia, her mother-in-law pulled her aside and gave her a book on Argentinian cooking. She said to Blanca: ‘If you don’t know these recipes, my son will either die or leave you.’ Blanca cooked them, but she cooked them her way and the lightness of her biscuit was really beautiful.

You use these to sandwich a blob of dulce de leche, which is Blanca’s recipe as well.

Blanca's Alfajores

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 200 g (7 oz) butter
  • 300 g (10½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 225 g (8 oz/1½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 310 g (11 oz/2½ cups) cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
  • 1 × 400 g (14 oz) tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 90 g (3 oz/1 cup) dessicated coconut, for rolling


Beat the butter and sugar in a food processor until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks and whole eggs followed by the lemon zest.

Quickly add the dry ingredients, being careful not to overwork the mixture. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for about 1 hour before rolling.

Preheat a fan-forced oven to 150°C (300°F) or heat a conventional oven to 170°C (340°F).

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ½ cm (¼ in) thick. Using a 3 cm (1¼ in) round cutter, cut out the alfajores.

Place the biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked but not coloured. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the dulce de leche (see Note below), open the tin of sweetened condensed milk and place the tin in a saucepan. Pour in enough cold water to come three-quarters of the way up the side of the tin. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 4 hours, replacing any water that evaporates. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely before removing from the saucepan. The dulce de leche should be dark-brown in colour and thick, like a paste.

Spread the base of one biscuit with dulce de leche and press another biscuit against it. Spread the dulce de leche around the rim of the biscuit, then roll in coconut.

Note  Dulce de leche is an Argentinean caramel sauce. This recipe calls for a very thick dulce de leche firm enough to be sandwiched between two biscuits.

This recipe is from Eat at the Bar by Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Read more in the press release here »

 Eat At The Bar by Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros is published by Hardie Grant  (Sydney, NSW; Oct 2018; Hb, 240pp, RRP A$50.00). It is available at good bookshops nationally. It can also be found to purchase online via »

See links below for more recipes.

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March 29th, 2019
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