Saturday 19 November 2016

Hazelnut Macarons with Hazelnut Buttercream

This was a bit experimental, triggered from finding 3 bags of blanched hazelnuts in the cupboard... I'd probably bought them for something ages ago (or, more typically, bought them for several things without checking to see if I already had some).

The cookbooks I have seem to lack recipes with hazelnuts in generally, if fact I've sort of already done them (with a Marjolaine cake and Nusskuchen). After a bit of pondering, I decided to give macarons, using ground hazelnuts a go. I'm pretty sure that you can make frangipane with other nuts (and I've done pistachio frangipane before), and hazelnut in meringue forms a dacquoise, so making super-picky macarons would be easy, right?

OK, so the macarons were not great. Firstly, I used a food processor to chop up the hazelnuts, but stopped before it started to form a butter (though I'll come back to this later, for the filling). The end result was somewhat chunkier than ground nuts, though probably as good as I can do with the equipment to hand. I used a complete swap of ground almonds for ground hazelnuts, and I suspect this was a mistake. While they are similar, hazelnuts are higher in fat, and lower in protein and carbs. Subsequent reading has suggested swapping out half the almonds for hazenut would have been better. I also dropped the amount of sugar in the mixture, which didn't help. The end result was a macaron that was very delicate, to the point of crumbling, and (more importnantly) no foot, and significant cracking. They tasted nice, but they were not right.

The buttercream, on the other hand, was bloody marvellous. As I said, I had 3 bags of hazelnuts (as well as half-used bag), so I also made a hazelnut-based filling. It seems that most people just use Nutella, however having made my own, I'd strongly recommend it, as it was a doddle, and lovely. I used a food processor to blitz the nuts, and then just kpet going (and occasionally scraping down) until a butterpaste formed. I then used that with normal butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder to make a buttercream to fill the macarons. It had a really good flavour, was not overly sweet, and I reckon it would go really well in a cake, or anything else where hazelnut complements.

So, probably don't bother with the macarons, but the buttercream is a goer! the recipe makes way more than you need...

Hazelnut Macarons - Recipe

Note - recommend using half the weight of nuts as ground almonds. Also, 100g of nuts, and 150g of icing sugar, as per a normal macaron recipe
  • Pre-heat oven to 150'C
  • Prepare two baking sheets with baking parchment, or silicone baking mats


  • 2 large egg whites (85g)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 150g ground hazelnuts (see note above)
  • 120g icing sugar (see note above)
  • ½tsp cream of tartar
1) place the egg whites in a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment

2) Beat until they start to froth

3) Slowly add the caster sugar and cream of tartar, while continuing to whisk

4) Whisk until soft, firm peaks are formed

5) Mix the sieved icing sugar and nuts together...I find using a whisk to stir them gets them well combined

6) Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue carefully, maintaining as much air as possible

7) Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a medium round nozzle attachment

8) On the prepared baking trays, pipe out circles about 2½cm diameter, leaving 1cm gap in-between each.

9) Tap each tray on the work surface 4-5 times (to remove any large air bubbles)

10) Leave the trays uncovered for 30 minutes to allow the surfaces to dry

11) Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes. With a bit of luck you'll get a foot form, and to cracking (if you have better luck than me)

12) Once done, remove from the oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool before filling

Hazelnut and Chocolate Buttercream - Recipe


  • 160g blanched hazelnuts
  • 120g butter (room temperature)
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
1) Place the hazelnuts in a food processor, and blitz until they form a butter paste (you'll probably need to scrape the sides down a few times)

2) Transfer the paste to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

3) Add in the sieved icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter

4) Blend the ingredients together

5) Transfer to a piping bag, and stick the macaron shells together in pairs, using a generous amount of the icing.