I go through phases. It’s no secret. One week i’m wearing pink (well, actually, i’m always wearing pink so that’s a pretty poor example) one week i’m wearing headbands, the next its all about the pony tail, one week i’m making chocolate fondants, the next week i’m making delicious soups. This month, it’s all about the macaron. P.s. if you see any typos on these posts where I talk about ‘macaroni’ its because of this stupid autocorrect!
So the stars aligned this month for the Sweet Australian Blog Hop when i’d been on a spree of macaron making and realised that this month’s theme was ‘nuts about sweets’. Hooray! Macarons = almond meal = nuts. But how boring would it be if I just made normal macarons and left it at that? Surely they had to be more nutty? So I had a little think and decided to use up some hazelnuts that I had stored away in my pantry to make some hazelnut praline to put into my macarons.
But you can’t have praline on its own so I whipped up some chocolate macarons
and some chocolate buttercream
and then I thought ‘its a bit random to just hand hazelnut praline in these chocolate macarons. How can I make it even more hazelnutty?’ and SHAZAM! the answer came to me. FFFRRRAAAANNNNGEEEELIIICCOOOOOOO!
Or just Frangelico – hazelnut liqueur to the uninitiated.
I whizzed up the hazelnut praline in my mini food processor
and sprinkled some on top of the buttercream
and voila! Chocolate Macrons with Frangelico Buttercream and Hazelnut Praline
Chocolate Macaron Recipe – Adapted from this recipe by Adriano Zumbo
270g almond meal
270g icing sugar
60g cocoa powder
110g egg whites
300g caster sugar
2g powdered egg whites
110g egg whites
1. Combine almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Sieve the mixture thoroughly at least twice.
2. Put the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment
3. Put the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved
4. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat until the mixture is boiling and reaches 118 degrees celsius
5. When the sugar syrup is close to the required temperature, place the powdered egg whites into the mixer bowl with the real egg whites and mix until frothy
6. When the sugar syrup is at the required temperature, pour the sugar syrup in a slow and steady stream down the inside of the mixer bowl while the machine is still mixing. Turn the speed up to high and mix for about 8 minutes (or until the mix has gone from very hot to just warm)
7. Stir the extra egg whites into the sieved almond and icing sugar mix
8. Add the meringue mixture to the almond mixture and fold through. Once it is all combined, continue to fold until the mixture has loosened and is more ‘lava like’. You don’t need to be as gentle here like you would with a normal meringue, the aim is to soften the mixture rather than to keep all the air in it just be careful not to over mix!
9. Pipe 4cm circles of mixture onto a baking tray making sure that there is enough space between each macaron as they will spread slightly
10. Leave the trays for 30 mins to form a skin on the top. This will be how your macarons gain their ‘feet’ as the skin makes sure that they rise evenly and pop those little feet out the bottom (after 10 mins of resting, turn your oven on to 135 degrees celsius)
11. Place trays in the oven for 16 minutes or until they have a firm outer shell. Remove from the oven and set aside for 2 minutes. Carefully remove one macaron shell from the tray to check if the base is cool and dry. If it is still sticky on the bottom, put the tray back in the oven for another couple of minutes. When they are done, cool them on the trays.
Chocolate Frangelico Buttercream Recipe
125g unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
135g dark chocolate
1 tbsp frangelico
1. Melt chocolate in a bowl either in the microwave or over a double boiler and set aside to cool slightly
2. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip for a few minutes until pale and creamy
2. Add chocolate to the butter and mix well
3. Mix in the icing sugar and frangelico then turn your mixer on to high and beat for a few minutes until light and fluffy
Hazelnut Praline Recipe
70g caster sugar
1. spread hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for 5-8 minutes at 180 degrees celsius or until toasted
2. take hazelnuts out of the oven and place onto a clean, dry tea towel. Fold the tea towel over the nuts and rub vigorously until the skins have come off
3. place hazelnuts back on a tray covered with baking paper
4. heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved
5. turn the heat up to high and let the mixture boil without stirring for 3-5 minutes or until golden. Pour over the hazelnuts and leave to cool
6. Once the toffee has cooled, break into shards and place into a small food processor. Whiz until it resembles crumbs.
1. place macarons into pairs that are the same size
2. pipe the buttercream onto the bottom of one of the macarons
3. sprinkle some praline over the buttercream
4. place the second macaron bottom down on top of the buttercream and press firmly together
This blog hop was kindly hosted by Nic from Dining With a Stud