The idea behind these macarons came from meeting a lovely French girl named Sandra. Sandra is a friend of a friend and has since moved overseas with her partner. However, in the relatively little time that she and I spent together, she opened my mind about French cuisine and became somewhat of a reference point for all things French. An avid baker and home cook as well, Sandra would tell me fantastic stories about food and wine in France, and wonderful recipe ideas. She taught me how to say 'macaron' properly. She informed me that no one in France really buys Moët Chandon because it is considered to be a rather inferior product in France. Most importantly, however, she told me of the Nutella Cookbook. A cookbook filled with hundreds of recipes using the delicious chocolate hazelnut spread - sweet and savoury. Nutella spaghetti.. Nutella Cake... The list goes on. I was speechless. I was in nutella dreamland. It was time for Nutella to feature once again in my pantry.
Alas the cookbook she referred to is in French, and with my Francophone friend now living on the other side of the world, my quest to source a version in English continues.. Until then, I will have to be a bit creative. Not that sandwiching macarons with nutella is outlandishly creative, but it is wickedly decadent :)
Adapted recipe from The AWW Macaroons & Biscuits
3 aged egg whites (I left mine out overnight in a bowl covered with clingwrap)
1/4 c (55g) caster sugar
1 c (160g) icing sugar
1/4 c (25g) cocoa powder
1 c (120g) ground almonds
2 tsp cocoa powder, extra
Nutella, for the filling
1. Grease heavy oven trays and line with baking paper.
2. In a food processor combine the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder and pulse briefly in a few 2 second bursts. Then sift the mixture twice and set aside.
2. Beat eggwhites in a small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form, starting slow then gradually building to full speed. Add caster sugar a little at a time, beat until sugar dissolves.
4. Fold in the almond meal, sugar and cocoa mixture in two batches.
5. Spoon mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain tip. Pipe 4cm rounds about 2cm apart onto the trays.
6. Tap trays once on bench firmly to remove bubbles and so the macarons spread slightly.
7. Dust macarons with extra cocoa powder through a sieve; stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150 degree celsius.
8. Bake macarons between 15-17 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely on trays.
9. Sandwich the macarons with the nutella, and be transported to nutella heaven!
Tell me readers, what is your favourite way to eat nutella?