Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mocha Hazelnut Macarons


A Happy New Year to you all! In the interest of starting anew and cleaning house, may I present my gift to you:

Mocha hazelnut macarons!


Getting onto my soapbox (entirely held up by a hefty dose of cold meds - thank you Sudafed), I must proclaim: I MADE MACARONS. AND THEY WERE TASTY. AND THEY HAD FEET. *ahem*


So it turns out that there are certain perks to working 7 out of every 14 days, and one of them is that during the week, when I have days off, there's not much to do but bake. Oh darn. So thus began my second attempt at macarons. You see, I attempted them once, but... umm... sorta didn't really know what the heck I was doing. At all. I didn't sift, I tried a more complicated meringue method, they didn't dry completely, I piped them too large, didn't bake them long enough, and ended up tossing all of the failed little meringues.

These little gems have been hanging about my blog draft list, just waiting for me to have the time to unveil them. I wanted to make it something special, or my post especially witty (ha!). Instead, I find myself just wistfully wishing I had some left. These suckers are TASTY. Now, that's partially because I'm a sugar addict, but it's also because I love the combination of coffee and chocolate. Add in some hazelnut, and I'm a happy girl. Add in the ability to be OCD about piping each of these into perfect 1 1/2" mounds in little rows, and I'm freaking ecstatic.

Mocha Hazelnut Macarons (adapted from Tartelette and Aran)

For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3), aged 24 hrs
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
55 gr hazelnut meal
55 gr almond meal
2 tsp espresso powder

Sift together the nut meals, powdered sugar, and espresso powder. Twice if you're feeling like you need the insurance (which is what I do). In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites, adding sugar once they begin getting foamy. Continue whipping until you have a stiff, glossy meringue. Do not overwhip, or the meringue will dry out and become dull. Add the nut meal mixture to the meringue (sometimes I add the meringue to the nut meal, but that's harder to fold in), and begin folding the two together. Begin briskly, slowing down once everything is nearly incorporated. Do not overmix, or you will deflate the batter. It should flow "like magma" when finished. Pipe 1 1/2" mounds (possibly using a template) onto parchment lined baking sheets using a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. If they don't flatten on their own, wet a fingertip and pat down any "beaks" that form during piping. Allow to sit out for 30 minutes, or until the tops are no longer sticky when you lightly touch them with your fingertip. Bake at 300F for 12-14 minutes, longer if you pipe larger circles than 1 1/2". Let cool, and transfer shells to a cooling rack. If they stick, they probably were not baked long enough, so just add a couple minutes of bake time to the next batch. Pour a small amount of water underneath the parchment paper of stuck shells, let sit for a minute or two, then peel off any stubborn ones. Store unfilled cookies in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. To assemble, pipe or dollop about a tablespoon of ganache on one cookie and top with another of similar shape and size.

For the ganache:
80 gr heavy cream
160 gr dark chocolate

Finely chop the dark chocolate. Heat the heavy cream until it just bubbles around the edges of the pan, and then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute or two, then stir until smooth.

39 comments:

Marie said...

Your macarons are fabulous! This is one thing I have never made. I need to get with the program! They look perfect and delicious!

natalia said...

Ciao ! This time they are perfect !!! I would like to try them too but I'm afraid, I'm always worried with meringue-like things ! Have a wonderful year ! Baci

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

And you have every right to be ecstatic! I would be too! Haven't had the nerve to try them but if I do: coffee, chocolate, hazelnut - that's were it's at.

Di said...

Catilin, those look perfect! I think macarons are on my list of things to try in 2009.

Snooky doodle said...

wow these look so perfect. wish i could do such jems :)

CB said...

Feet! I totally feel your excitement. They look so delish too. Is that box coming to me? You probably need my address right? I'll be waiting... haha.
/Clara

rainbowbrown said...

Oh. I am in awe. You know I have a pretty massive collection of egg whites in the freezer. Every time I open the freezer door they scream at me and tell me they want to become macarons. Hmmm...

Baking Soda said...

I feel an urge to try! Could you pls send some of yr meds? They look perfect!

Lynnylu said...

Beautiful! I've never made them. You give me encouragement. Happy New Year! Hope your cold is better.

The Food Librarian said...

Those feet look great!!! These look soooo wonderful.

Happy New Year to you!!

Marthe said...

Your macaroons look great!! So far I haven't had enough balls to try and make them....

n.o.e said...

Whoah, chocolate and coffee AND macarons? Yes, it's too bad you don't have any more or I'd be right over!
Great job.
Nancy

Alicia said...

I must admit, you are queen of the macarons. Mine were quite pitiful. Lesson learned, do not use powdered egg whites!

pinkstripes said...

Your macarons look great! I ate my very first macaron last month and now I am determined to make my own. You've inspired me. Thanks for sharing.

strawberriesinparis said...

Those look perfect! and tasty tooooo

Cathy said...

I am glad to see that you are making great use of your non-working time! These look perfect! Your presentation is gorgeous. And actually, I find the "magma" instruction to be strangely useful. Happy New Year! I look forward to reading more about your kitchen adventures in '09!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Coffee, chocolate, hazelnut? ... swoon

Tartelette said...

Well done! They turned out perfect!

Peabody said...

Those turned out great!

AmyRuth said...

Way to go Caitlin. I've been reading about macarons on Tartlette's site and in my Pierre Herme's book. Didn't have time to tackle it during the holidays. So impressive and I love the link for the template. So awesome to have the guidelines. Feet too! Them feet were made for walkin.....he he. Need an address?
AmyRuth

Bria said...

Fantastic!! I have attempted macarons so many times its not funny. It almost makes me cry everytime I fail! The most success I have ever had is with the french meringue method- the italian meringue one kills me everytime. It is quite frustrating because I can't figure out what I am doing wrong!

Chef Scott said...

well these look picture perfect. Excellent Job!!

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, they look perfect! I tried making macarons once and failed =(

Jamie said...

WOW!!! Those look freaking perfect! Great job!!!

Jules Someone said...

Gorgeous! I don't think I could do that. Nice work!

Food.Baby said...

Love the choc-coffee-hazelnut combo - they look sensational!!

Gabe's Girl said...

so pretty! happy new year!!!

Lori said...

Great job! Its such an exciting thing, making macarons. You just never know and when you succeed it leaves you ecstatic. I like your flaor combo!

Veron said...

Oh my goodness...they look gorgeous and perfect! Great Job!

Olga said...

ooh, this looks fantastic! They remind me of the ones I've had in Laduree in Paris.

Congrats on your successful second try.

I'm still psyching myself to try on my first ;)t

Natashya said...

Amazing! They are picture perfect, right out of a magazine!
Congrats on your tremendous accomplishment - it gives the rest of us hope for ourselves..

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Liliana said...

Your macarons look amazing!
Congratulations - you should be so proud of yourself.

I have to give them a try this year.

Best wishes for 2009.

April said...

OMG. I must make this. Now.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

they are perfect!! happy new year!

Cora (Cora Cooks) said...

Absolutely amazing!

Jaime said...

wow i am so impressed!! i am still too scared to try making macarons!

Milkberry said...

Thank you for the comment on my blog! Thanks for the recipe, they are really delicious!!

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