French Pâtisserie at its best: Chocolate Macarons with Hazelnut Praliné Cream Filling. Absolute addictive! You won’t be able to stop ;P
For the hazelnut praliné:
2.1 oz. (50g) sugar
1 tbsp. water
2.1 oz. (50g) whole hazelnuts
For the hazelnut praliné cream:
1 cup (240ml) milk (full-fat)
4 medium egg yolks
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
6 oz. (170g) butter, softened
For the macarons:
7 oz. (200g) confectioners’ sugar
3.5 oz. (100g) ground blanched almonds
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt, plus a pinch
3.2 oz. (90g) egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
For the decoration:
some sugar glaze or melted white chocolate
1. Start with the cream filling. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside. Add the sugar and water to a small pot and heat up until the water has evaporated completely sugar starts to melt and turns into caramel – be careful not to burn the sugar/caramel. Remove from the heat, add the hazelnuts, and mix. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread out. Let cool down completely. Break the mix into smaller pieces, add to a blender and blend on high speed until you get a smooth paste – depending on your blender/food processor this can take several minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
2. Add the milk for the hazelnut cream to a small saucepan. Add the hazelnut paste and mix in. Heat up on the stove so the paste can dissolve completely. Set aside and let cool down a bit. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl until foamy and thick. Add to the saucepan with the cooled hazelnut milk, heat up again, and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Let bubble a moment until you get a thick custard. Remove from the heat, place a piece of plastic wrap on the mix (to avoid skin from forming) and let cool down completely. When cooled down completely place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can do that a day in advance.
3. For the macarons add the confectioners’ sugar, ground almonds, cocoa powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a blender or food processor and mix until super fine. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl – you want any larger pieces gone. Set aside.
4. Add the egg whites to a bowl, add a pinch of salt and whisk until foamy. Gradually add the sugar while whisking constantly until stiff peaks form. Add about 1/3 of the almond mixture and gently fold into the whisked egg whites with a rubber spatula. When incorporated completely repeat with the remaining almond mixture in two batches. After the last addition fold/mix gently until the batter falls into ribbons when lifting the spatula and you can create the figure “8” with the batter. Fill into a large piping bag with a round tip.
5. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. If you need guidance draw 1.5 inches (3cm) circles with some space in between on the paper (and flip it upside down) and pipe the macarons onto the baking parchment. Tap the baking sheets on a flat surface to release air bubbles. If the macarons have little tips you can pat them down with your finger. Set the macarons aside and let them dry at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes. You should be able to touch the macarons without them sticking to your fingers.
6. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). One baking sheet at a time, bake the macarons for about 17 minutes until the macarons have risen nicely with little “feet” and are easy to remove from the baking parchment. Take out of the oven and let cool down – repeat with the second baking sheet. Let the macaron shells cool down completely on a wire rack.
7. Continue with the hazelnut cream by adding the soft butter to the bowl of a food processor and mixing it on high for several minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add the hazelnut custard to the bowl and mix in. When everything is added continue mixing for another 2-3 minutes to get a smooth cream. Fill into a piping bag with a round tip.
8. If your macaron shells have different sizes find matching pairs. Decorate half of the macarons with sugar glaze or melted chocolate to your liking (e.g. snowflakes) and let dry. Pipe a dollop of the cream onto one shell and top with the matching shell to create a sandwich. Place the macarons in an airtight container and let them rest in a cool place for 24 hours before serving.
Keywords: Macarons, France, chocolate, hazelnut, cream