My last semester of culinary school I had the pleasure of executing many of the desserts and pastries for dinners and events. 400 individual chocolate ganache cakes with fresh orchids sent me into chocolate overload and as close to hypoglycemic as I've ever been. With all the desserts i've made I have never attempted french macarons, maybe out of pastry fear or maybe because I didn't want to ruin fond memories of beautifully made macarons.
My favorite two are here in San Diego and a pastry shop down the street from Hediard's in Paris. Mmmm I can taste them now, crunchy, soft and filled with a lovely butter cream. Give me a great cup of cafe au lait and I am in heaven!
A few posts ago I mentioned that I had made cookie gift boxes for a select few people, I always add a few new cookies and macarons seemed like the perfect challenge.Yes, I do like a good challenge!
I chose a basic recipe from Pierre Hermes and added my own filling of Nutella, Vosges cocoa powder and heavy cream. They were delicious and before I could get them in the boxes my kids had eaten many of them! Sorry friends, you will have to take my word that they were that good!
French Macarons with Nutella Cream
adapted from Pierre Hermes
makes 30 cookies
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. egg whites at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Beat egg whites and salt in mixer on medium until foamy, add granulated sugar gradually. Beat on high until egg mixture is stiff and glossy. Combine almond flour and powdered sugar and add to egg white mixture. Using a rubber spatula slowly fold mixture over until combined. About 50 folds or less. Transfer mixture to a piping bag without a tip.
Draw equal circles onto two pieces of parchment paper using a tbsp. measuring spoon 2 inches apart. Pipe mixture onto circles and let mixture dry on counter 30 minutes.
Place in oven at 325 for 11 minutes, rotating sheet pans half way through.
Remove from heat and let cool.
1 cup Vosges cocoa powder
1/3 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream
Place all ingredients in mixer and mix on medium until creamy. Place in piping bag.
Take one half of the macaron shell and pipe a small circle of the Nutela cream in the center. Place second half of macaron on top. Continue process until all macarons are sandwiched.
Macarons will hold 5-7 days or freeze and bring to room temp. before serving!