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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons with White Chocolate Pumpkin Ganache


Ever since I started reading blogs I have read about and wondered over, and over and over, etc etc, all the macarons I've seen. I've never seen them in person and really didn't know what to expect. I just knew it was something, someday, I had to try.

Well, yesterday was finally that day. I've debated over flavor combinations for a while because I didn't want to just recreate something I've already seen. While I was at it I also wanted to create something to celebrate the start of the magical Autumn season which we love!

Until recently I never really enjoyed pumpkin - probably only the last year or two that I have found the flavor interesting. There is a local bagel place that makes chocolate chip bagels (my favorite) and every year around this time through December they make them into pumpkin chocolate chip bagels. It used to always bug me because that meant that every year for a couple of months I had to switch to a different flavor bagel. Now, I am starting to enjoy pumpkin flavors more and more - perhaps even pumpkin pie come Thanksgiving - who knows!?

Anyway, when I was trying to decide what to make for my first attempt at macarons I knew they would have to be chocolate and that I wanted to make some kind of flavored ganache to fill them with. There are so many versions out there to choose from!


For my first time I decided to use Aran's recipe she recently posted. She also had a recipe with that for a fruit flavored ganache which is what I decided to base my filling off of as well. Huge thanks to Aran at Cannelle et Vanille for a great recipe (linked below). I have modified the details slightly below to reflect the changes in ingredients I made.

I wanted to try a different nut than just almond in the macarons and since I still had some roasted hazelnuts left from that cake a little while ago I decided that was the way to go. I also used white chocolate for the pumpkin ganache so that the flavor and color could really shine through. The ganache was very pumpkin-y so it looks like more of a puree than a smooth ganache, but it really tasted amazing with a little hint of cinnamon in the pumpkin as well.

A perfect tribute to Autumn! So, don't forget to check out the Art You Eat Event and create your own seasonal dish - sweet or savory, main, side, dessert, whatever - and join in the fun!!

My first attempt at macarons went better than I expected it to, and though they weren't perfect, they sure tasted amazing and now I have at least tried, so I won't be so afraid to give it a shot next time - and there will be many more times. If you still haven't tried making these, I encourage you to give it a shot - what's the worst that can happen? They bomb and you learn something.


Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons
SOURCE: Adapted from Aran at Cannelle et Vanille

100 grams egg whites
25 grams sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
225 grams powdered sugar
75 grams almond flour
50 grams hazelnut flour
15 grams cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Separate the egg whites at least 24 hours prior and even let them sit at room temperature for a few hours before starting to make the macarons. This will help them get rid of some moisture and become more acidic, which will help form a stable meringue.

Whip the egg whites and the lemon juice until they are almost fully whipped. Sprinkle in the sugar while still mixing. Continue to whip to a full meringue.

Sift the powdered sugar, salt, almond flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the meringue into the dry ingredients and fold until a shiny mass is formed. We want it to spread a bit but not too much.

Pipe the macarons onto a silicon mat and sprinkle with cocoa nibs. Let the macarons dry at room temperature for 20 minutes or so. Bake them in a 300F for about 8 minutes. Rotate the sheetpan and bake for another 8 minutes.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Ganache

100 grams white chocolate
40 grams pumpkin puree
20 grams heavy cream
15 grams butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Boil the pumpkin and heavy cream together and pour over chocolate. Stir until incorporated and the ganache forms. Wait a couple of minutes for the ganache to cool a bit and add the softened butter and cinnamon. Stir to create an emulsion. Let it harden a bit until it is pipeable and fill the macarons.



sweetpotato said...

These are the perfect fall treat! Wow, they look and sound heavenly!!

Manggy said...

Worst that could happen? They bomb and I weep over those expensive almonds! Best that could happen? I could get it beautiful and right the first time, like you did! Arrrh! Why am I so afraid?!? (I blame the humidity! Yes, that's right! ;)

Jacque said...

I know what you mean, thinking about trying macroons. Kind of like it's a baker's right of passage, LOL.

They look spectacular! I think you've hit a home run on your first try.

CB said...

You got those amazing macarons your first time? Oh you make me sick! LOL. They look awesome! Can someone please invent a way to reach into a computer so I can take what I see and get a nibble? K? thanks.

Deborah said...

Those look amazing!! I had been planning on making some, but then the whole pregnancy thing happened, and I haven't had the energy to try yet! I love the flavor combination you came up with!

Erin said...

These look amazing! I love the flavor combination you used- it sounds perfectly delicious!

Aran said...

they look amazing holly!

The Bentley Family said...

Holly, these are beautiful!I just want to sit and look at them all day and sigh. You truly are a phenonenon! You inspire me. I am new to this blogging thing but have thoroughly enjoyed yours. I was wondering have you ever tried making chocolate mousse? I would love to try and make some, but don't have a recipe. Just curious. I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

kate said...

holly! i'm freaking out! those look AMAZING!!!!!!

Peabody said...

Those are a fabulous flavor combo...see, this is why you are my TWD idol. :)

Maria said...

I love macarons! Yours turned out SO Good! Especially for the first time. I am very impressed. And the flavor combo is a dream! Nice work. I can't wait to make these!! We have done several flavors, I think the pink grapefruit and chocolate hazelnut are my favs...but this one might be a new fav!!

kim said...

such gorgeous, perfect macarons!! the flavor sounds wonderful :) i am still working up the courage to make these!

Gabi said...

You did great on your macarons! The flavour combo sounds great and so Fallish! If you have a chance drive up Sardine canyon by Logan- the Fall colours are spectacular right now!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful cookies! Chocolate chip pumpkin cookies are among my favorites. These look lovely.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Nice work, Holly!

Lauren said...

Congratulations everything looks (and I'm sure tastes) amazing.

Cristine said...

They look great! I think the time is coming for me to finally try macarons! Beautiful pics!

chriesi said...

wow these are fantastic!

nicisme said...

Fabulous macarons, I love them!

JaySpice said...

Wow. These look great. And this is your first time making them? Awesome

April said...

Nice macarons! They are still on my "to-do" list. Meanwhile, I am here to borrow your pumpkin ganache recipe. I'm going to double (triple?) it and use it for the filling of my soon-to-be-one-year-old's birthday cake. She's a BIG fan of pumpkin! Thanks for sharing!

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