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.
Salted Nutella 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
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour macaron mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe out 1 1/2-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.
- Bake for 13-14 minutes on the middle rack, rotating the pan halfway.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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