I should’ve been working on strengthening my macaron-making about 4 years ago, but now that I live in South Dakota, I have no idea what the current trends are. If they make it out here, they’re generally late to the party. It might be different in Sioux Falls, but I really don’t think macarons made the splash out here that they seemed to elsewhere. I know of only one bakery/patisserie in Sioux Falls that even sells macarons (there may be others, but I only know of the one). Cupcakes are still somewhat big out here, and I know that trend has all but died off for the most part. No matter. I’ve spent most of my life bucking trends and doing things I want regardless of what’s popular. Macarons appear to fall into that category. My aim is to get to the point with these that I can make them without fretting so much, although I probably will always turn the oven light on after about 4 minutes to see if they’ve grown feet.
Which is what I did while making these Hazelnut Macarons with Nutella Ganache. I had hazelnut flour and wanted to try using a different nut for the macaron shells, just to see how they compare with traditional almond macarons.
I had to bake them a few minutes longer, and I let them dry out longer than I do normally. Which may or may not have resulted in lopsided feet. I also had to mix them more than I did with almond macarons, before I got the proper macaronage.
And the ganache seemed to separate once I added the Nutella. I used generic chocolate-hazelnut spread from the store, so that might’ve had something to do with it. Still, these are pretty tasty, although I might just stick with regular almond macarons for the time being. Just until I get a little better at making them and all.
2 large egg whites, room temperature and aged at least 24 hours
53 g granulated sugar
For the ganache:
1/4 C heavy cream
1 1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the hazelnut flour and the powdered sugar. Process for 1-2 minutes. Sift. Repeat the process as necessary until there are 2 Tbsp. or less of solid pieces left. Discard these.
Combine the granulated sugar and the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Begin to whisk, gradually increasing the speed, and continue until you reach glossy, stiff peaks (between 6-8 minutes).
Add the hazelnut mixture all at once, and begin folding into the meringue to deflate it. Once all incorporated, test by lifting the spatula and letting the batter drop back into the bowl. It should hold its shape before sinking back into the rest of the batter. If it doesn't, fold for 5 more strokes and test again, being careful not to overmix.
Pour the batter into a bag fitted with a round piping tip (Wilton 2A or Ateco #804), and pipe 1-inch diameter circles on the prepared baking sheets. Bang several times on the counter to release any air bubbles, and allow to dry for 20 minutes.
Bake 1 sheet at a time, for 7 minutes. Rotate, then bake for 9 more minutes, or until the macarons easily peel off the parchment paper. Cool completely before filling.
To make the ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan just below the boiling point. Add the chopped chocolate and butter, and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Stir until the chocolate and butter are melted, then stir in the chocolate-hazelnut spread. It may suddenly look oily or like it's separated. Continue stirring, then place in the refrigerator to cool. Whip to combine with a hand mixer before spreading on half the cooled macaron shells to make sandwiches.
Cover and refrigerate the macarons for 12-24 hours, to allow the flavors to meld. Bring back to room temperature before serving.