Food & Drink

Salted Nutella Macarons

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Four years ago, I posted my French Macarons recipe.  Today, I wanted to do an update on new techniques and tricks that I’ve accrued over the past four years of maracon making. The one thing I didn’t change?  The salted Nutella buttercream filling.  To this day, it’s still my favorite buttercream.  It’s fluffy, airy, and the salt creates such a nice complement to the sweetness from the Nutella.

So the first thing I changed was the way I measured the ingredients.  Now, instead of measuring them using measuring cups, I weigh them.  I have found that by weighing them, I eliminate one thing that can really mess up your macarons – improper proportions of ingredients.  If you don’t have a scale, I highly recommend buying one.  They’re about $10 and they are pretty handy, especially when you are dealing with more finicky recipes.

The second thing that I changed was simply the way I made them.  A while back, while I was deep in the macaron Youtube binge, I found that there are three main ways of making them – the French method (where you beat aged egg whites with sugar then fold it with the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture), the Italian meringue method (where you cook a sugar syrup then beat in the egg whites, then fold in the almond flour/powdered sugar), and the Swiss meringue method (where you cook the sugar and egg whites over a double boiler, and then mix in the almond flour/powdered sugar).  Apparently, both the Italian Meringue and Swiss Meringue method are said to be more reliable in terms of giving you a consistent result.  Additionally, the meringue method can give you good results even in “bad macaron conditions” – such as high humidity.  Today, I’m going to show you how I made macarons using the Swiss Meringue method.

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Salted Nutella Macarons

  • Servings: 30 macarons
  • Print

Ingredients

Macarons

  • 100g egg whites (~from 3 large eggs, double check to make sure)
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100g almond flour
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • Gel food coloring

Salted Nutella Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Nutella or hazelnut spread
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Over a double boiler, whisk together egg whites and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is frothy, about 2 minutes.  Transfer this to a stand mixer or a handheld mixer with a whisk attachment and beat on medium-high.  Put in a pinch of salt and cream of tartar.  Beat until stiff peaks, about 3-5 minutes.  If you want to color your macarons, add a little bit of gel food coloring at this point and beat for 5 seconds only.
  3. In a food processor, combine the almond flour and powdered sugar.  Pulse 5x.  Sift the mixture into a bowl,  Discard any remaining chunks that cannot be sifted.
  4. Carefully put the almond flour & powdered sugar mixture into the egg white mixture bowl.  Beat on medium-low for 10 seconds.  Use a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the mixture.  Do the figure 8 test by scooping some batter up with your spatula and draw the number 8.  If the batter does not break, it’s done!  Make sure you do not overmix.
  5. Pour macaron mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.  Pipe out 1-inch circles on a baking sheet.  Bang the pan on the countertop a couple times to release any air bubbles.  Let it sit out to dry until the top forms a skin, about 20 minutes.  You should be able to touch the top without anything sticking to your finger.  When it’s dry, it’s ready to bake.
  6. Bake for 13-14 minutes on the middle rack, rotating the pan halfway.
  7. While the macarons are baking, prepare the buttercream.  In a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat together softened butter and Nutella until creamy.  Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. To assemble – pair cooled macaron shells of similar size together.  Turn all of them flat-side up.  Using a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, pipe out a nickel-sized amount of buttercream.  Sandwich the two shells together and press gently so the buttercream spreads to the edges.  Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Recipe notes:

  • The recipe calls for a double boiler.  If you don’t have one at home, no worries.  Simply fill a pot with about 1 inch of water and heat until simmering.  Place a heatproof bowl (glass or metal), and you have a double boiler!
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can skip processing the sugar and almond flour.  Just know that the tops might not be as smooth.
  • I love my Silpat, but in my many attempts of making Silpat work with macarons, it just doesn’t work.  My shells always end up sticking to the mat.  So I just stick to parchment paper.

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