Friday, September 9, 2011

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Filling

Knowing that my best girl friends were coming over, I made macarons again last week.

One of them, H, is surely a macaron expert, she has tasted huuuuge amount of macarons from the most renowned pastry shops around the world! She told me about all the interesting flavors a macaron can carry, say olive, champagne, passion fruit with chocolate which turns out great but tastes like our 薑蔥白切雞 (steamed chicken with ginger and spring onion)! Hm. Maybe I should make some and verify this.

So, I was very inspired and motivated to play with the macaron flavours! I am planning to give my macarons an Asian twist! Goji berries, ginger, dates, lotus seeds, and all sorts of Chinese tea! So please bear with me, I will be making quite a number of posts on macarons in the very near future.

This time I made hazelnut macarons with chocolate cream cheese filling. Love the combination. For those who are planning to make these, do pay attention to the amount of ground hazelnut you put in along with the ground almond. The two nuts have different moisture content, so my suggestion would be to keep them in the ratio of 1:3.

For the Hazelnut Macaron Shell
(serving: 7 macarons)
- 1 aged egg white, 10g of sugar, 30g of ground almond, 10g of ground hazelnut, 60g of icing sugar
1. Mix the ground almond, ground hazelnut and icing sugar together.
2. Sieve the mixture. Set aside.
3. Beat the egg white with an electric mixed at low/ medium speed until it turns foamy. Add in the 10g of sugar gradually and beat until it stands (won't drop even when you turn the bowl upside down).
4. Pour in the powder mixture into the egg white.
5. Give it 30 quick strokes to combine the ingredients. Then slow down and mix it with 20 gentle strokes.
6. Put the mixture into a pastry bag or a ziplog bag. Cut the end and start pipping out the small rounds of 3-cm diameter. Instead of a pastry bag, you may use a syringe for baking.
7. Bang the baking pan, where your macaron shells are piped on, against the table for 3-5 times to avoid air bubbles from forming on the crust.
8. Set aside for 45-60 minutes before putting them into the oven.
9. Bake the macaron shells at 140C for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size. Of course you have to preheat the oven for 10-15 minutes beforehand.
10. Once done, carefully remove the macaron shell from the baking paper. They should not stick.

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
- 50g of cream cheese (room temperature), little icing sugar, 10-20g dark chocolate
1. Break the chocolate into smaller pieces and place them in a bowl. Place this bowl in a larger bowl filled with hot water. Stir the chocolate gently until they melt and turn silky. Set aside.
Don't be lazy and melt the dark chocolate by heating them with the microwave. I have tried this before and it was a huge disaster. The chocolate became dry and overcooked.
2. Mix the cream cheese and the icing sugar with an electric mix at slow speed.
The cream cheese must be of room temperature, otherwise the filling will not be smooth and creamy.
2. Add in the melted chocolate.
3. Mix well. No need to chill before use.

1. Fill one macaron shell with the filling. You can use the pastry pipe or a spoon to do that.
2. Top the filled macaron shell with a clean shell and let it sink.

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