Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons are classic French macarons made with ground hazelnuts, and filled with a decadent dark chocolate ganache. If you’re a chocolate lover, these are the macarons for you!
Here we sit, less than a week away from Valentine’s Day. And I’ve told you that Valentine’s Day means two things for me…red velvet and chocolate. I’ve hit you with two red velvet recipes — classic Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting and Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookie Bars. Because I’ve given chocolate zero love so far, I’ve decided to dedicate this whole week it, because it really is my main squeeze. Chocolate is the one I love the most. 🙂
I also made this Chocolate Week because I had 3 decadent chocolate treats that I wanted to make and I couldn’t decide on just one…so I made them all. Let’s just say that one day last week I was on chocolate overload. Chocolate for a snack…chocolate for lunch…you get the picture. It was pretty awesome. 🙂
I took a dark, moody twist with my photos here for no other reason than it matched my dark chocolate mood. I firmly believe the darker the chocolate the better, and these macarons will satisfy the biggest chocolate cravings. They were heavenly, and are my favorite out of the 3 chocolate desserts I will be bringing you this week. Hands down.
This was my first attempt at making French macarons, and quite honestly, I was a bit surprised they were successful. I’d built them up in my head so much because they’re hyped as being intimidating, fussy, you name it. They were the one thing that was on my bucket list to cover at cooking school, only we didn’t. I was quite disappointed, but let me just give you a big pep talk and tell you that you can indeed do this. You’ve totally got this. These light as air cookies with the crispy shell that gives way to a soft, exquisite interior is more than within your grasp.
I did not take step by step photos for these macarons, but I will be doing so at some point because they’re happening again and again. For now, I will just run down a couple of important things that will give you successful macarons:
- I used Bob’s Red Mill Finely Ground Hazelnut Meal, which really helped speed this process along.
- Pulse your hazelnut meal, even though it’s already finely ground, with the cocoa powder and powdered sugar in the food processor until they’re combined. Sift out any large bits of hazelnuts, and if there is a substantial amount pulse just the large bits again until they’re finer.
- Separate the eggs when they’re cold as they cooperate much better, then allow the egg whites to come to room temperature as they whip much more quickly. The cream of tartar acts as a stabilizer, which will help the whites stay nice and airy.
- Your egg whites are whipped completely when you dip the wire whip into the egg whites and turn it right side up and the whites stand straight up at the top of the whip.
- When folding the dry ingredients into the egg whites, do it in two batches, and fold from the middle down, up and over, and turn the bowl clockwise with each fold. Be gentle, and be careful not to over whip or you’ll deflate the egg whites.
- I drew a template of 20 1 1/2″ circles to help me pipe my macarons the same size, and traced it on (2) sheets of parchment paper, which I used to line my baking sheets. Make sure the side you wrote on is face down against the baking sheet so that the pen or pencil marks don’t transfer over to your macarons!
- Once the macarons are piped, rap the baking sheets on the counter once to pop any air bubbles, and allow to sit at room temperature to dry out.
This may seem like a lot to remember, but honestly, making macarons goes very quickly once you’ve pulsed your ingredients, and piping is a breeze with a handy dandy template!
I had my deep, dark chocolate ganache all ready to go when my macarons were done, and once they were cool, I filled them and placed them in the fridge until the next day. As much I wanted to test drive one, everything I read said to wait until the next day so the macaron shells could absorb the filling and soften slightly. And I’m here to tell you that it was worth the wait. The hazelnut flavor was very prevalent, which I loved, and the ganache just made these dreamy. I’m talking melt in your mouth dreamy.
I haven’t had a lot of macarons in my day, but I can tell you that this version will always be one of my favorites, if not my top favorite being the choc-aholic that I am. And these are one of the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day…whether you care about celebrating it or not. 😉
If you want more macarons, give these a try!
Blood Orange Walnut Macarons by Blahnik Baker
Chocolate Macarons with Rose Filling by Cooking with Manali
Red Velvet Valentine Macarons by Life Made Sweeter
Hazelnut Macarons by Baking a Moment
- 100 grams finely ground hazelnut meal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- pinch of salt
- 100 grams egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 30 grams granulated sugar
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Separate your eggs first, and place the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow the whites to come to room temperature prior to whipping.
- Make a template to make piping your macarons the same size much easier. I drew about (20) 1½" circles on a piece of paper, and traced it onto (2) large sheets of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper face down on your baking sheets to prevent pen or pencil from transferring to your macarons!
- Place the hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, espresso powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Sift into a medium bowl. If there is a sizable amount of large bits of hazelnut, process in the food processor until finely ground, and sift into the bowl.
- When the egg whites are room temperature, add the cream of tartar. Beat on medium speed with the whisk attachment until frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar while continuing to mix, then increase the speed to medium high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Your whites are done when you dip the wire whip into the whites, turn right side up, and the whites stand straight up.
- Add half of the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber scraper from the middle down, then up and over, turning the bowl clockwise with each fold. Repeat with the other half of the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-fold and deflate the whites.
- Place the batter in a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip (I used Wilton #806), and pipe onto the circles on your prepared baking sheets. Rap each baking sheet against the counter once to remove any air bubbles, and allow to sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes to dry out.
- Position your oven racks to the top and lower thirds of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Bake the macarons for 15-16 minutes, rotating the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. The macarons are done when they just begin to separate from the parchment. Cool completely on a wire rack. Fill with the ganache, and place in an air tight container in the refrigerator overnight to allow the macarons to absorb some of the filling and soften slightly.
- Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
- Fill a large sauté pan halfway full of water and heat over medium heat until the water simmers. Turn the heat down to low, then place the bowl of chocolate chips and cream, stirring constantly with a rubber scraper until the chocolate melts and emulsifies with the cream. When the mixture is smooth, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Once the macarons have been stored in the refrigerator to meld, bring to room temperature before serving, and store in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Ganache can be made ahead and heated briefly to bring to spreadable consistency.
Recipe adapted from Hazelnut Macarons from bakingamoment.com and Chocolate Macarons from joyofbaking.com. Ganache recipe by Flavor the Moments.