Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons

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These are definitely in the running for the best macarons I’ve ever made. If not the best, they are absolutely the most decadent and doesn’t everyone want a decadent treat in their life every now and then?

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I got the idea for these babies from the Ferrero Rocher chocolates. You know, the hazelnut covered chocolate spheres filled with nutella and a hazelnut? I used my friend’s imitation nutella recipe and sprinkled crushed hazelnuts on top of the filling and on top of some of the shells.

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Did you know that the Oregon state nut is the hazelnut? Little bit of nut trivia for ya!

I coloured the shells purple because it’s my colour. Feel free to use purple, another colour, or just leave the shells white. I promise they will taste just as good no matter what they look like 😉

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Whoever thought of making Ferrero Rochers needs some kind of award. It’s like an elevated ball of nutella and translates so well to being adapted for a macaron. Like, so well. It’s been a month since I made these and now sitting here typing about them almost has me drooling. They’re just SO GOOD!

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I mean, really. What could be better than a ring of milk chocolate buttercream, filled with hazelnut spread, sprinkled with crushed hazelnuts, sandwiched between two macaron shells? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing.

Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons

Yield: about 40 macarons

Ingredients

    For the shells:
  • 200g almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 fl. oz. water
  • 200g sugar
  • 160g egg whites, separated in half (80g)
  • Gel food colouring (optional)
  • Crushed hazelnuts (optional)
    For the milk chocolate buttercream:
  • 6 1/2 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    For the hazelnut spread:
  • 2 cups (16 oz.) hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Crushed hazelnuts, for sprinkling

Instructions

    Shells:
  1. Put almond flour and powdered sugar in food processor and process until fine. Sift into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil (do not stir). Make sure mixture doesn’t go above 240°F.
  3. In a mixer, gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks. When sugar mixture reaches 220°F, increase beater speed. When syrup reaches 240°F remove from heat and pour in a thin stream into beaten egg whites. Beat for a further 10 minutes to cool down the meringue.
  4. While the meringue is beating, combine the sifted ingredients and the remaining 80g egg whites to form an almond paste. If adding colour, add it to the paste before adding meringue.
  5. With a flexible spatula, incorporate 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen it up. Then add remaining meringue, carefully working the batter.
  6. Fit a piping bag with a large, round tip and fill with batter. Pipe onto silicone or parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly tap the bottoms on your countertop (if using crushed hazelnuts, sprinkle on top now) and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 14 minutes.
    Milk Chocolate Buttercream:
  1. Melt your milk chocolate and set aside to cool.
  2. Once chocolate is completely cool, sift the powdered sugar and cream together with the butter.
  3. Add the cream and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  4. Fold in the melted chocolate, then beat until buttercream is nice and fluffy.
    Hazelnut Spread:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. Place roasted hazelnuts in a food processor and blend for five to 10 minutes. Wipe down sides of food processor with a spatula as needed. Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt. Blend for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a jar and store in a cool place for up to one month.
    Assembly:
  1. Pair together macaron shells of similar shape and size. Pipe a ring of buttercream on one half of each pair. Dollop hazelnut spread inside the buttercream ring, sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts and gently sandwich together.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
http://www.bryonycooks.com/chocolate-hazelnut-macarons/

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