Crazy About Hazelnut.

Macarons. I just can’t get enough of it. I don’t think my craze about them will diminish anytime soon. This was made a while back but this were the best macarons I’ve made. I made it before heading back to Singapore so I could bring it back for the loves of my life : family (:

And fortunately, they loved it! and these shells were the nicest I’ve made so far with happy feet!So sticking to using the Italian meringue for the shells!

I’ve made a few successful ones before : pb&j and bandung are just 2 of my favourite ones. This macaron was inspired by the sister-in-law-to-be! When she was in Melbourne, the only flavour of macarons she would have is hazelnut! So I promised her that I would try making them and bring them back home if they were successful. And thank goodness they were!

So I packed them nicely and neatly and compactly so that would be able to survive the 7 hour flight home!

Now enough about the shell. As for the beautiful filling, I attempted to make my own nutella! And I was so worried. Cos I LOVE nutella. and trying to make it from scratch was just something I never thought I would even attempt! When I made it, having it on its own (which I always do;digging a spoonful of nutella) didn’t have the “WOW” factor, but having it together – NOMS!

So here’s the recipe that I adapted from Anita from the Dessert First (: definitely a keeper!

Hazelnut Macarons with Homemade Nutella

Ingredients :

Italian Meringue Hazelnut Macaron Shell

200g hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
200g confectioners’ sugar
200g sugar

50g water
150g egg whites, divided into two 75g portions

A bit of cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)

Steps :

1. Stack two baking trays on top of each other. Line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. (I actually prefer the parchment paper, but that’s just me!)
2. Process hazelnuts with confectioners’ sugar in a food processor. Sieve out any large bits of hazelnut. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium until all the sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, place 75g of egg whites in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Continue cooking until the sugar syrup reaches 118 C/245 F.
3. While the sugar is cooking, begin whisking the egg whites. They should reach stiff peaks by the time the syrup is at  118 C/ 245 F. If it whips too fast, turn down or turn off the mixer. Turn the mixer speed to low. Carefully pour the sugar syrup in a slow stream into the mixer.
4. Turn the mixer speed to high and let the meringue whip for several minutes until it has cooled (to touch) and appears glossy and firm.
5. In a large bowl, combine the hazelnut mixture with the remaining 75g of egg whites until partially combined. Scoop the meringue on top of the hazelnut mixture. Using a spatula or dough scraper, carefully fold the meringue in, trying not to deflate it.
6. The final batter should be thick and flow slowly like magma. Do not overmix. Scoop the batter into a piping bag fitted with a ½” diameter plain tip.
7. Pipe 1 ½” rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle some cocoa powder straight after piping. Let the sheets sit for about 30 minutes to let the shells harden. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160 C/320 F.
8. Bake one set of macarons for 15 minutes, rotating once. Let tray cool for a few minutes before removing from the silicone mat. Let finish cooling on wire racks.
Homemade Nutella

1/2 cup (70 g) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces

2 ounces semisweet/bittersweet chocolate

1 cup (240 g) heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps :

Place hazelnuts in food processor and pulse until nuts are ground into a paste.

Place both chocolates in a metal bowl and place on another saucepan of simmering water. Stir chocolate occasionally until fully melted.

Place cream in a clean saucepan and bring just to a boil on the stove over medium high heat.

Stir cream into chocolate until fully combined.

Add ground hazelnuts and salt and stir until combined.

Pour mixture into a container and chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours until it has firmed up slightly and can be spread/piped onto the macaron shells.