According to one of my friends, hazelnut and chocolate is the best food combination ever.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of hazelnuts roasting in your oven.
Another wonderful smell is the smell of browned butter. The butter may sizzle and pop a bit, but when the froth dies down, you smell the most fantastic scent, forsooth 😛
You may use unsalted butter, but I find reduced-salt butter adds just a tiny titch of salt rounding off the entire ensemble. It looks burnt, but it’s not. Just strain as much of the solids, if you can; if you can’t, that’s fine too. Butter is brilliant. 😀
Ferrero Rocher Macarons
175g icing sugar
100g egg whites
60g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp lemon juice
120g dark chocolate
Roast the hazelnuts for 30 minutes at 135°C.
Remove the hazelnuts, and fold up in a thick tea towel for 10 minutes.
Unfold the tea towel until the hazelnuts are covered by one layer on each side, and rub to remove skins.
Blend the hazelnuts in a food processor and measure out 120g. Leave to cool.
Sift the ground hazelnuts, icing sugar and cocoa together.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, lemon juice and salt until foamy. Add the granulated sugar and continue whipping until the egg forms stiff peaks.
Fold in the hazelnut cocoa mixture, a quarter at a time, until magma-like.
Pipe on parchment-lined oven tray in 4cm diameter rounds. If necessary, smooth over points.
Drop the oven tray on the bench to eliminate large air bubbles.
Rest for 1 hour or until not sticky to touch.
Cook 140°C for 20 minutes.
Allow to rest for 30 minutes or more, before removal.
As before, roast the hazelnuts, remove skin and blend finely.
Brown the butter in a saucepan.
Strain the solids from the butter and measure out 20g and 35g.
Blend the hazelnut meal with 20g of browned butter so that a paste is created.
Double-boil 150g hazelnut paste and the chocolate until just melted, while stirring.
Fold in the remaining 35g of butter.
Allow to cool to room temperature before assembling macarons.
Allow assembled macarons to rest overnight before serving.