Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hazelnut & Espresso Macarons

I'm not a big fan of macarons. I'm not a big fan of meringues either but somehow I don't mind pavlova...
Feeling inspired after watching Adriano Zumbo make macarons on his TV show the other day, I decided to give it a go.

Not bad for a first attempt I must say! Would I ever make them again? Probably not. It was way too time consuming- probably took me a few hours to make and prepare and not even a minute to eat!

Recipe from The Dairy Kitchen Cookbook, page 19

Makes 16

1¼ cups pure icing sugar
125g hazelnut meal
3 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ cup caster sugar
½ cup thickened cream
1 teaspoon freshly ground coffee beans
1 teaspoon coffee essence (optional)
200g good quality white chocolate


For the macarons, process icing sugar and nut meal in a food processor until very finely ground. Sift the mixture, discarding any leftovers.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually add sugar, beating well between additions until sugar has dissolved and mixture is thick and glossy. Gently fold in nut mixture in batches. The mixture should run slowly down the sides of the bowl when tilted. If the mixture is too firm, add a little more runny egg white.

Using a piping bag with a small plain nozzle, pipe 4cm circles of the mixture onto baking paper lined trays. Stand trays at room temperature for at least 2 hours or until a dry glossy crust forms. Bake at 140°C for 15-17 minutes, until just firm but not coloured. Cool completely before using a metal spatula to carefully remove from trays.

For the ganache filling, heat the cream and coffee in a small saucepan until just simmering, remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth and glossy. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until thick. Sandwhich macaron shells together with piped ganache.

Notes & Tips

Assembled macarons will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container.

For dark chocolate espresso macarons, substitute dark chocolate in the ganache and lightly dust ground coffee over macaron shells before baking.

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