Nutella and Hazelnut Macarons

I have always been a huuuuge Nutella fan. I always sometimes eat it by spoonfuls out of the jar – but who doesn’t. It really is just way too good. I have had a couple of requests for hazelnut/Nutella macarons recently, so now that Uni has finished and I now have a life again, here they are!

I had seen hazelnut macarons before which only used Nutella as the filling, but I wanted to make them special and go that extra mile so I made a ganache. I used half milk choc and half dark choc, with both cream and nutella. It was delish, how could it not be? Plus, I also roasted some whole hazelnuts, crushed them and used them in the ganache, too. If you are a Nutella fan, it is pretty obvious you are going to lurrrrrrrrve these.

For some reason the shells were slightly extra puffy this time, they were probably my best looking shells yet 😉 You know that you have made a good macaron when you pipe the filling and the shell remains sturdy and doesn’t show any signs of crumbling to the ground, and when they are crunchy on the outside, and chewy and gooey in the middle. Yummmmmm!

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • good quality cocoa, to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If white, really thick, powdery bubbles begin to form around the edges, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment (for these I didn’t add any colouring or cocoa in the mixture, but you could add a bit of cocoa if you wanted). Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12-15 really large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop. Macarons taste best when they are stored in the fridge, then brought down to room temperature to eat.

Hazelnut Ganache: (this great recipe was adapted from the great blog, Penguin Says Feed Me)

  • 110ml thickened cream (I used light thickened cream and the texture was still great)
  • 140g chocolate (I used half milk – Green and Blacks organic, half dark – Callebaut Couveture which my amazing boyfriend bought for me – it’s hugely expensive and I would never buy it myself, but it is fantastic, otherwise you could just use Green and Blacks or Old Gold/Club)
  • 2 generous tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 handful whole hazelnuts (probably about 10 nuts)

Place hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes in an 150c, or 160c fan forced oven. Pour into mortar and crush with pestle, or just on a chopping board and chop them finely. Set aside. Place chocolate, cream and Nutella in a medium sized saucepan and cook over low-medium heat until melted. Pour into bowl and set aside until firm (I usually make ganache before macarons, then it is firm enough to be piped later on). You don’t need to refrigerate this ganache, but ensure you stir it every half an hour or so.

Assembly:

Pair up identical macaron shells. Spoon ganache into piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe half a teaspoon onto a shell, and top with the crushed hazelnuts, then pipe another half teaspoon, and sandwich with the other shell. Dust with cocoa.

If you are a hazelnut lover, you will be able to eat a whole bowl of this ganache, no worries! You could also top cupcakes, or make a hazelnut/chocolate layer cake, or even a tart, with this ganache. But macarons are always the best 😀

Happy Hazelnuts!

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Daisy Macaron Pops

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mummies out there! To help celebrate, I made these super delish Daisy Macaron Pops – sweet, edible flowers filled with lemon curd and raspberry and white chocolate ganache sound pretty exciting to me! I was a little worried about making these, but they turned out a lot better than expected. And I just thought making them ‘pops’ added a bit of novelty. As I had to make two batches, the first one had to sit and wait whilst I made the second one, and it did thicken up a little in the process. As a result, most of the last batch I baked cracked a bit. But that’s okay. They tasted awesome, even though some of the petals looked a bit more like nipples. That’s okay.

The choice of fillings, I must say, were oh so tasty. Lemon curd is one of my faves and when made well, is always a winner. The lemon daisies tasted sooooooooo amazing the next day. And of course, white choc and raspberry is a classic combination. I could have happily spent the rest of the night just staring into space and drinking the ganache out of the bowl. What a lovely mental image 🙂

Macarons: (obviously I made two separate batches for this recipe. TIP – when you are making more than one batch of macarons, don’t ever double the recipe. Measure out the ingredients on their own and make the batches separately. When you have made the first batch, simply give it a good stir every few minutes to stop it from thickening and becoming dry).

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s lemon yellow food colouring gel
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s terracotta pink food colouring gel
  • 1 packet of Wilton’s large lollipop sticks, for Aussies these can be found at The General Trader, or Wheel and Barrow. For others, or Aussies who like to shop online, you can buy them online from Wilton’s website

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If white, thick, powdery bubbles begin to form around the edges, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine.

When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Set aside and make the second batch (repeat process from the start). Spoon the two mixtures into separate piping bags. On both of the piping bags, I used very small round nozzles, like these. You will need to buy a piping set for the finer nozzles, as the Multix ones only contain the wide round nozzle. I bought my piping set from Baking Pleasures. The reason why I used finer nozzles is because I thought it would give me more control over the mixture, as it can be quite oozy and messy. What ended up working best for me was using the wide round nozzle to pipe the rounds, and the finer nozzle for the petals. This worked really well and the mixture did not drip much at all. Once you’ve filled the piping bags, lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier, then carefully pipe seven small and even petals around the circle. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 8 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 30-35 daisies. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop.

Fillings:

Lemon – for the lemon curd combine 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, and 3/4 cup caster (white) sugar in a saucepan and whisk until smooth. Over a low heat, add 80g chilled butter, and the zest and juice of 2 lemons. Whisk until thickened. Strain through a sieve and refrigerate until firm. Using a piping bag with a round nozzle, pipe 3/4 tsp of lemon curd onto one half of a macaron daisy and place a lollipop stick in the middle, and sandwhich with another.

Raspberry and White Chocolate – to make the white chocolate ganache, combine 115g of white chocolate, 1/2 cup of thickened cream and 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste (optional) in a small saucepan. Stir continuously over a low heat until mixture has melted. Pour into a bowl/small container and leave at room temperature. To make the raspberry coulis, combine 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen) and 3/4 cup caster sugar, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat until raspberries have disintegrated. Strain through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. A teaspoon at a time, carefully spoon the coulis into the white chocolate ganache. You can put as much or as little in as you like. I used all of my coulis. When I tasted it, I got the hit of white chocolate at the start, and then a slight raspberry tang. Refrigerate until firm. When ready to use, spoon ganache into a piping bag with a round nozzle, and pipe 3/4 tsp onto a macaron half and place the lollipop stick in the middle, and sandwich with another. Then take pretty pictures of them in real flowerpots 😛

Happy Mother’s Day! X

 

Grape and Strawberry Nerds Multicoloured Macarons

Who doesn’t love the sweet, soury candy that is the famous Wonka Nerd! I have been thinking about doing some candy flavoured macarons for a while, and Nerds are definitely one of my favourites! Since I had never made multicoloured shells before, I decided to stick to just two colours, the classic pink/purple grape and strawberry Nerds combo.

I was a bit worried about the two colours mixing together, and also having two quality batches! Luckily, the macaron gods were on my side today. However, the gorgeous pastel colours that I had before I put them in the oven did cook out a little bit 😦 I should know this by now…!

For the filling, I made a half buttercream, half ganache. I melted the Nerds down with some cream, made a basic buttercream, and then combined the two. It was insanely glossy and smooth, and had a subtle soury tang from the nerds. I’m surprised that there was any left to actually fill the shells with 😛 Fatty.

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

Obviously, I made two batches for these macarons. Once you have made the first batch, leave it in a bowl, and give it a stir every 5 minutes or so.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s Violet food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s Pink food colouring (if you don’t think there is enough, just add more. The colour in mine did cook out a little as you can see).

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If syrup becomes white and thick, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon alternate colours into a piping bag (one spoon pink, one spoon purple) fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 24 large macarons, and about 50 smaller macarons. Store in the fridge, and bring down to room temperature to serve. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop.

Nerds Buttercream:

  • 175g salted butter – softened, not melted
  • 2 cups icing sugar mixture (I kept 1/2 cup for after I had added the cream, because I didn’t want it to become too watery)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 1/2 boxes grape and strawberry Nerds (I had a bit of a problem and couldn’t find the regular sized boxed, only the multi packs. If you have the same problem, grab 2 packs, and use three small boxes of each flavour to melt down into the cream).
  • 1 extra box grape and strawberry Nerds

Combine cream and 1 1/2 (3 small boxes of each colour) Nerds in a small saucepan, over a low to medium heat until the nerds melt and the cream slightly thickens. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate. Beat butter until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar, but keep 1/2 cup for after the cream has been added. Once 1 1/2 cups icing sugar has been added, slowly add the Nerds infused cream.

Assembly:

Match the macaron shells with likely pairs. Spoon Nerds buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe half a teaspoon of buttercream onto a shell, and sprinkle with Nerds. Pipe another half teaspoon on top of the Nerds, and sandwich with the other shell. Bon Appetit!

The April Mactweets monthly Mac Attack Challenge was the main reason for these macarons – this month’s theme is ‘Colour My World.’ This meant that you needed to have at least 2 colours in your shells, or a different colour for the top and bottom shells. Check out Mactweets here to see what other macaron obessionists have been whisking up, there are some amazing creations out there!

If you love sour lollies and flavours, this is the macaron for you. The smooth buttercream combined with pings of tangy nerds are seriously a match made in macaron heaven! Enjoy 🙂

Aussie Green and Gold Vegemite Macarons

I know Australia Day was last week, but I hardly had any time to do anything for the occasion then, so here we are! I had a few ideas floating around, and I wanted to do something a little bit different, but still reflecting an Aussie theme obviously. I hadn’t made macarons in a couple of weeks, so I decided to try the vegemite macarons from Zumbo’s crazy cookbook! (page 27 for those who have it). FYI, if you have never heard of Zumbo, he is basically the Aussie version of Willy Wonka, and the king of the macaron. Check out his amazing creations and stores here.

I thought making the macarons bright green and gold would look fantastic, and I was so happy with them, and their flavour, too. I’m not a huge, huge fan of Vegemite at the best of times, but the filling is quite subtle, especially when coupled with the sweetness of the macaron shell itself. I was going to call it Vegemite Toast, because the ganache has breadcrumbs in it, however they are not as pronounced when sandwiched between the macaron shells. Once again, if you don’t know what Vegemite is, well, you’re not really missing out on much! It is an Australian yeast spread, which has an extremely concentrated and intense savoury/soury flavour, it’s a bit hard to explain exactly what it tastes like. I always see Americans on TV trying HUGE spoons of Vegemite, and clearly hating it. A tip – do not have too much, and have it with a lot of butter, on toast, and it isn’t too bad at all! Anyway, getting back on track…

I also decided to make lamington macarons, too, another traditional Aussie treat consisting of sponge cake dipped in chocolate, covered in coconut and filled with raspberry jam. Unfortunately, I think I may have added a bit too much cocoa to the meringue mixture, and most of the shells came out looking more like pancakes 😦 I did manage to salvage a couple of half-decent ones for a photo, but they pretty much crumbled straight after. On the bright side, however, they tasted AMAZING. Definitely one to give a go again.

Macarons: (obviously I made 2 separate batches for this recipe)

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • Food colouring and flavouring (optional)

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Line three oven trays with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If white, powdery bubbles begin to form around the edges, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add colouring/flavouring, now’s your moment. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12 large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons.

Macaron fillings and toppings:

Lamington – Add 1 tsp good quality cocoa to meringue mixture, before combined with almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites. After the macarons have been piped onto the tray, sprinkle with shredded coconut. To make the ganache, melt 100g good quality dark chocolate with half a cup of thickened (whipping) cream, and half a cup of shredded coconut until smooth. Spoon 2/3 tsp of ganache onto 1 macaron shell, spoon 1/2 tsp of raspberry jam on top of the ganache, and sandwich with another shell.

Green and Gold Vegemite – For the shells, add 1/2 tsp of Wilton’s colouring gel in Lemon Yellow (I do think that supermarket food colouring liquid will change the consistency of the shells, as you would need a lot to achieve such a bright yellow), to the meringue mixture. For the ganache, you will need 95g of thickened (whipping) cream, 112g good quality white chocolate, and 20g vegemite (you could probably use Marmite if Vegemite is not available), 25g breadcrumbs and 62g butter, softened – not melted. Put the cream in a saucepan, over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Have the chocolate and vegemite ready in a bowl. Pour the hot cream over the choc/vegemite mixture and leave for 2 minutes. Stir until mixture is smooth, and stir in the breadcrumbs. When the mixture has cooled down a bit, blitz in the butter with a stick mixer (if you do not have a stick mixer, make sure your butter is really, really soft and just whisk it in while it is still warm until smooth. Add green colouring (again, I used Wilton’s gel). Cool ganache until solid enough to pipe. Fill a piping bag fitted with around nozzle. Pipe approx. 1 tsp on a shell, then sandwich with another. (I did half Zumbo’s recipe here).

Please don’t be put of making these by my explanation of Vegemite, because when combined with white chocolate and butter – it tastes pretty great!

Check out MACTWEETS Mac Attack Challenge – an awsome blog that honours the amazingly delish macaron every month! For March, it will be Macaron Day (on the 20th). I have entered these little babies in the challenge…go you happy little vegemites!

Happy belated Australia Day!!!

(P.S. I will be overseas for 3 weeks now, so stay tuned for a post after then!)