Thursday, June 23, 2011
I have something to confess. A love affair, to be exact. I guess it’ll be easier to admit it, than try to hide my true feelings. My husband probably should know by now, after he caught me a few times sneaking out of the bedroom in the middle of the night.
Yes, that is bad. I know, really really bad. He also noticed I daydream throughout the day, all day long, just to think of this affair. Of course, the affair is with something sweet. Don’t you know me by now that I daydream about food all the time? Well, now you know.
No, my love affair is not with the macarons! That’s more of a love-hate relationship. My love is all sweet, soft and gentle. No fuzziness or attitude like how I described them here.
Yes, my love affair is with Nutella. My husband should know when he saw me picked up the extra large, double packed tubs of Nutella from Costco. Nutella and I go way back to my childhood. It’s truly my childhood sweetheart. Back then, I usually get Nutella in a sandwich, a crepe, or by the spoonful (and I still do)! Now, I love to enjoy it most with salty pretzels! If you haven’t try that, you just simply don’t know what you’re missing out on.
These Nutella Macarons are heavenly. I used some hazelnuts along with almonds for the shells to tie back the nutting flavor of the Nutella fillings. The macaron shells are slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, just how a perfect macaron should be. I made some Nutella buttercream for the fillings, but I preferred it straight out of the tub. The hazelnut flavor is more intense. My hubby love the hazelnut buttercream fillings, which is more fluffy and creamy. Either way, I’m a happy girl with these Nutella macarons.
Note: I also used some vanilla powder to add more flavors on the shells. It works much better than liquid ones since macaron doesn’t like moisture.
For more tips on making French Macarons, please refer to this post.
Nutella Macarons: (Printable Recipe)
Makes: 35 to 40 filled macarons
For the macaron shells:
90 grams egg whites (about 3) preferably aged 3-5 days in the fridge
pinch of kosher salt
30 grams granulated sugar
185 grams powdered sugar
55 grams almonds
55 grams hazelnuts
1 teaspoons of vanilla powder
Nutella for filling
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt on high, gradually add the sugar until stiff peak forms.
Place the powdered sugar, almonds, hazelnuts, and vanilla powder in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground.
Add them to the meringue. Fold the mixtures carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. The whole process takes about 40 to 50 strokes.
Test a small amount on a plate; if the tops flatten on its own after counting to 10, the batter is ready. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple more folds.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1 inch to 1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Here, I pipped them into heart shape instead of circles. You can do whichever way you preferred.
Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on their size. Rotate baking pans once half way through baking. Cool completely on wire rack before removing macaron shells from baking sheets.
Fill a shell with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Nutella, top with another shell, repeat until all shells are filled. If the filling gets too soft (especially here in California during summer time), keep filled macarons in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, remove from fridge and leave in room temperature for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy.