Updated: Jan 24, 2020
These award-winning mocha hazelnut macarons have a delicate meringue exterior and a creamy-smooth chocolate ganache filling. I created this recipe for the cookie competition at the Los Angeles County Fair, August, 2013. They won Best of Division. Macarons are tricky to make, but not impossible. There are two crucial steps: beating the egg whites until stiff, and making sure the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature.
1 3/4 cups (150g) hazelnut meal (such as Bob’s Red Mill brand), toasted 1 1/2 cups (150 g) powdered sugar, sifted 1/3 cup plus two teaspoons (90 g) egg whites 3/4 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
In a bowl, whisk the hazelnut meal and powdered sugar together. In a separate bowl, dissolve the coffee crystals in the egg whites. If the coffee crystals don't completely dissolve, strain the egg whites before using. Pour over the hazelnut-sugar mixture, but do not stir.
In a saucepan, combine the following:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (250 g) sugar 1/4 cup (65 g) water
In a stand mixer, place:
1/3 (scant) cup (70 g) egg whites
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in the saucepan. Begin whipping the egg whites in the stand mixer until stiff peaks form. It's okay if they get blocky. When the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove it from the heat and carefully and slowly drizzle it down inside the bowl of the stiffly-beaten egg whites. Do not let the syrup go into the spinning beater, or it will end up on the sides of the bowl. Beat mixture for another minute. It will be glossy.
Fold the egg whites into the hazelnut mixture. Pipe or spoon the batter into one-and-a-half-inch rounds on parchment. A 20-inch disposable pastry bag and #10 Ateco tip works well. Let the batter dry until it forms a skin, about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the humidity.
Bake in a preheated 325-degree F oven for 4 minutes. (If using convection, heat the oven to 300 degrees.) Rotate the cookie sheets. At the 8 minute mark, rotate the cookie sheets again and lower the heat to 300 degrees (275 convection). Bake another 4 minutes (12 minutes total) until the cookies are set and dry on the outside. They won’t turn golden. Let cool completely before peeling them off the parchment.
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
1 1/2 cup (340 g) heavy cream 4 1/2 ounces (130 g) milk chocolate (such as Lindt milk chocolate truffles) 6 ounces (170 g) dark chocolate (such as Valrhona 85% cacao)
In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream until simmering. Pour over the chocolate. Let sit 5 minutes. Stir until fully melted and blended. Let sit at room temperature until it firms up (this may take several hours), or refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the macarons:
Pipe about 1/4 ounce (7 to 10 g) of the chocolate ganache filling on the bottom of a macaron. A #10 Ateco tip works well for this task. Top with another macaron to make a “sandwich.” Store in the refrigerator or freezer, well wrapped.