Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Chocolate hazelnut macarons

The time has some for the mandatory Nutella-related macaron recipe. The development of this recipe was entirely serendipitous - I just happened to have spare chocolate shells along with Nutella, double cream, and hazelnut syrup at hand, I thought I'd combine them into a chocolate hazelnut macaron. I would usually make all my own macaron fillings, but when it comes to Nutella, why mess with success? Amazingly, this recipe required no optimisation - it was perfect from the beginning (unheard of!), so clearly it was meant to be, and made to be blogged!

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The ingredients
(makes approximately 30 3.5 cm shells)

For the shells you will need:

- 70 g ground almonds
- 50 g icing sugar
- 52 g egg whites (aged for at least 24 hours)
- 52 g caster sugar
- 1/8 tsp gel or powder food colouring
- 1/2 tsp cornflour
- 10 g cocoa powder

For the chocolate hazelnut cream you will need:

- 100 ml double cream
- 1 tablespoon Nutella
- 1/2 tablespoon hazelnut coffee syrup (I use Monin syrup)

And for the Nutella centre you will obviously need some Nutella, around 2 tablespoons

French meringue macaron recipe

For a detailed and illustrated step-by-step guide to making my macaron shells, please see my french meringue macaron recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C
  2. Grind the almonds in a food processor with the icing sugar, cocoa powder and cornflour
  3. Beat the egg whites with an electric whisk and gradually add in the caster sugar
  4. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, continue to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then whisk in the powder or gel food colouring
  5. Fold in half of the almond mixture until fully incorporated then fold in the final half
  6. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe out onto trays lined with baking paper or silicone baking mats. Firmly tap the trays on the countertop to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Quickly pop these with a cocktail stick
  7. Allow the macarons to rest until they are dry to the touch
  8. Bake the macarons at 150C for about 20-30 minutes or until you can break one open and the interior is no longer wet
  9. After baking allow the macarons to get quite cool before filling

Chocolate hazelnut filling recipe

  1. Lightly whip the double cream to soft peaks with an electric whisk. Take care not to over whip, as this can create a grainy appearance
  2. Gently fold in the Nutella and the hazelnut syrup until the cream is an even pale brown colour
  3. Transfer the Nutella cream mixture to a piping bag and pipe around the perimeter of the shells leaving a well in the centre for even more Nutella!
  4. Place the Nutella into he centre of the chocolate hazelnut cream, as Nutella is kind of sticky, I find it easiest to do this but spooning the Nutella into a piping bag and piping it on - it's much less messy this way!
  5. Pop the second macaron shell on the top and allow the macarons to mature in the fridge for 48 hours and always remember to bring the macaron to room temperature before serving

This is a really good recipe for those new to macaron baking as the cocoa powder in the shells adds stability and somehow protects against overmixing at the macaronage stage. The filling is really straightforward and probably something you can knock up without a trip to the supermarket!