MacTweets Challenge # 13 is Falling in Love with Macarons, fall being the key word here.
Living in Sub Tropical Queensland a couple of months into spring I struggled a bit in deciding on a fall themed macaron. Nothing really jumped out at me, I toyed with the idea of a pumpkin filling but noticed a few of the other MacTweeters had already taken on that challenge.Nuts......
No, really, then I thought nuts...hazelnuts I would make a noisette macaron.
I searched around the blogiverse for a recipe but nothing jumped out at me so I decided to modify the recipe I already use. It felt a bit risky, but that's the kinda girl I am.....throwing caution to the winds I replaced some of the almond meal with toasted hazelnut meal.
How cute is this stand I bought from Sharnel Dollar Designs
and I LOVED them, more than almond macarons.
The fragrance of the hazelnuts as they toasted filled my house with a wonderful warmth and the finished macaron seemed a little heartier and less sweet.
I filled most of them with a white chai tea infused ganache which had a lovely taste but was a little bit too soft (I've modified the recipe a little to add more chocolate in the below recipe). The remainder I filled with a raspberry jam mix (just IXL shop bought) and those raspberry jam ones were the BEST.
I'm sorry I keep on using capitals but I'm a bit overexcited with these new macarons I came up with, I'm sure you'll love them too. Recipe after jump.....
Hazelnut Macarons makes around 40 filled cookies
170g (6 ounce) ground hazelnuts
20g ( 5/8 ounce) ground almonds
190g (6 5/8 ounce) Icing (confectioners) Sugar
140g Egg Whites, (5ounce) aged at least 3 days, separated into 2 lots of 70g (2 1/2 ounce)
190g (6 5/8 ounce) Granulated Sugar
48g (1 5/8 ounce) Water
1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F), put the ground hazelnut and almond on a baking tray and toast for a couple of minutes until it becomes fragrant but not yet coloured. I baked mine for 2 mins, took it out swirled in around and baked for another 2 mins.
2. Mix the ground hazelnuts, almonds and icing sugar together and pulse for a while in food processor to make ground nuts finer. Do not over process as the meal can become oily. Sieve into a large bowl. I ended up with quite a bit of hazelnut which was still too large so I popped it back into the blender for a while. After sifting this lot I discarded the remaining ground nut which was still too big to easily sift.
3. Place the ground nut and icing sugar mixture into a large bowl and add 70g (2 1/2) ounce of aged egg whites, do not mix.
4. Place remaining 70g (2 1/2 ounce) of egg whites in bowl of mixer fitted with the whisk.
5. Pop granulated sugar and water into saucepan stir to combine and cook without stirring to 118C. Once the mixture reaches 115C start mixing the egg whites on high. Once the sugar syrup reaches 118C remove from heat and immediately pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is only a little warm to touch, around 50C.
6. Add meringue mixture to the ground hazelnut/almond mixture and using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that disappears back into the mixture after about 30 seconds.
7. Pop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe in lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. To make the macarons as even as possible I apply a constant slow pressure to the piping bag and count a few numbers like up to 3 for each one.
8. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the macarons have formed a skin that doesn't stick to your finger.
9. Meanwhile preheat oven to 140C (285 F). Once ready bake the macaroons for around 13 to 15 minutes depending on size, they should not be browned. Remove the baking trays from the oven and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment of the baking trays onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.
10. Once cooled match disks into like sizes and sandwich together using the jam or ganache.
Store macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for one day prior to serving. They will last quite a few days like this and still be delicious.
Chai Tea Infused White Chocolate Ganache
140g white chocolate chopped into fine pieces
60 ml cream
1 bag Chai Tea
Bring cream to boil in a small saucepan remove from heat, add chai tea and allow to steep for 5 mins. Sieve mixture to remove the tea (there will still be some little specks, that's ok). Bring back to boil and pour over chocolate (don't add the chocolate to saucepan, use another bowl). Allow to sit for a little while and then stir ensuring chocolate is completely melted.
You can do this in the microwave if you like.
Pop ganache into the fridge until it is setting and pipe onto macarons.