French Macarons – Hazelnut with Chocolate Ganache
As I promised, here is the second variation of French macarons that Megan and I made when we baked together. We went with hazelnut macarons filled with chocolate ganache. YUM.
As you can see in the pictures, the second batch came out a little differently than the first batch. These little guys still had feet, but they weren’t flat like most macarons. We thought something was up when the batter didn’t set properly before baking them. With the chocolate macarons, you could touch the batter and it didn’t feel sticky at all. These guys sat for about 3 times the amount of time the recipe says and they were still sticky.
Megan and I tried to understand what we did differently and we came up with a few theories… One thing was that we took turns being in charge of the mixing. While we did use the time both times, maybe something in the way we folded in the egg whites was different? During our research, we read about macarons being sensative to humidity. It did start raining at some point during our baking date, so that could have been a factor. Or it could have just been the way the recipe turned out. Who knows!
Even if these macarons didn’t have the same appearance as the chocolate ones, they still tasted amazing. They had the crispy outside with the chewy inside texture that you would expect in a macaron. So in my book, they were still a success.
I stored my macarons in a tupperware container at room temperature for about a week and they tasted fine. That’s how long it took me and Hubby to snack our way through them.
Megan and I will be baking together this weekend. We’re going to be whipping up some treats for Easter and Mother’s Day so keep an eye out for those posts coming soon.
Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache – adapted from Joanne Chang, as seen on Fine Cooking – makes 30 sandwich cookies
1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
1/4 cup (25 grams) hazelnut flour
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) confectioners’ sugar
4 egg whites (120 grams), at room temperature and at least a day old
4 tablespoons (50 grams) sugar
Line a clean, flat cookie sheet with a Silpat, and set it aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place rack in middle of oven.
Sift together almond flour, hazelnut flour, and confectioners’ sugar, and set aside.
In a spotlessly clean stand mixer bowl, whip whites on medium speed until they are foamy and you can start to see the tines of the whip leaving a trail in the whites, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, and continue to whip for about 30 to 45 seconds. Add another tablespoon of sugar, and whip again for another 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat with the third and fourth tablespoons of sugar.
When all of the sugar is mixed in, whip the whites for about another minute or two until they become glossy and shiny. Remove from mixer.
Fold in about half of the nut flour/confectioners’ sugar mix; when most of it is folded in, add the rest of the dry mix. Fold until mixture is smooth and a little stiff — it should drop smoothly off of the spatula.
Using a piping bag and a small round tip, pipe out small rounds of macaron batter about 1 inch in diameter. Try to pipe straight down and quickly pull away when you are done to minimize peaks. Pipe until you’ve used up all the batter.
Rap the cookie sheet several times to flatten out the mounds and to pop any bubbles that might be in the batter.
Let cookies rest for about 15 to 30 minutes, until they are no longer tacky to the touch.
Place in oven, and immediately turn oven down to 300 degrees. After 8 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet. Depending upon your oven, cookies take from 15 to 20 minutes and are done when they turn very light golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool.
Remove the meringues from the parchment and pair them by size.
6 1/2 ounces (180 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or use chocolate chips)
3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
Place the chocolate in a small, heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, scald the cream over medium-high heat (bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, but the cream is not boiling).
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds, then slowly whisk the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
The ganache can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before piping.
Fill the cookies
Using a piping bag with the same tip used to pipe the cookies, pipe 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of the filling onto half of the cookies—you want to use just enough filling that it spreads to the edge when topped but doesn’t squish out much when bitten. Top the filled halves with their partners. The cookies are best the day they’re made, but you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.