Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cinnamon Nutella macarons

After several months of baking goodies in the dorm ovens, I'm still not too confident yet about the accuracy. These ovens definitely are hotter than whatever I set them as and I'm constantly pulling my things out early so they don't burn. It's for this reason that I haven't tried making macarons yet - they are more sensitive to changes like this.

Macarons are one of my favorite things to bake though - not even the macaron marathon from this summer could tire me of them! So I bought myself some almond flour and set out to give it a try.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was that it must be much, much drier here (or at least in my dorm room) than back in California. Usually it took me an hour to get the macarons to dry before baking but here, by the time I'm done piping the last shells, the first ones are pretty much already dry.

My first attempt here was over Thanksgiving (cranberry macarons) and I let those shells dry the full hour before realizing they already good awhile back. Luckily for me, the shells didn't crack and did manage to form proper feet, but boy, did they rise. These were probably the tallest, fattest macaron shells I had ever seen (no pictures, unfortunately, they all disappeared before I could take any).

They also baked way faster in these temperamental ovens and I had to pull them out early. The recipe below says 14-16 minutes for your normal functioning ovens, but mine were already starting to brown at about 10-11 minutes.

Today's recipe is relatively simple - no crazy flavors. I just sprinkled the tops of the shells with cinnamon and used Nutella (straight-up, nothing else added) as the filling. For fun, I added blue gel coloring, with a hint of red, to get that pale blue-ish color above.

Now that I can confidently make macarons, I may branch out and try some other trickier recipes that I've had my eye on...maybe some pies? Stay tuned! :)

Cinnamon Nutella macarons - makes about 30 macarons

  • 100 g egg whites (aged)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 50 g white sugar
  • 110 g almond meal/flour
  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • Gel food coloring
  • Cinnamon (for sprinkling)
  • ~¾ cup of Nutella (for filling)
  1. The previous day, separate egg whites into the bowl, cover with paper towel, and keep in fridge overnight. 
  2. Sift the almond meal, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder together and set aside. 
  3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  4. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. 
  5. Add white sugar in. Continue mixing on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
  6. Add gel food coloring to the mixture and beat until the coloring is even. The amount you add will depend on the type of coloring you use (for this, I used some blue with some red).  
  7. Add the almond mixture to the meringue - I added it in three parts. I sifted a third of the mixture into the meringue, and then folded/scrape the bowl for 10 strokes. Repeat with the remainder of the mixture, a third at a time. The batter should run off your spatula in thick, slow ribbons. 
  8. Transfer batter to a piping bag with a ½ open round tip.  
  9. Pipe macarons shells that are 1½ inch wide and 2 inches apart from each other. Keep the tip low and close to the paper so the shell can spread out instead of pile up. 
  10. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. 
  11. Let shells sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes or until the top no longer feels tacky when you touch it. 
  12. Bake in preheated oven at 325F for 14-16 minutes, or until the bottoms just barely separate form the parchment paper. 
  13. Let cool completely before removing from the parchment paper. 
  14. Sandwich 1 tsp of Nutella between two shells to form a macaron. 
  15. Enjoy!

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