Hazelnut Macarons with Mascarpone and Nutella filling
for the shells
200g icing sugar
55g ground almonds
55g ground hazelnuts
3 free range egg whites (90g worth), left to age for 2 days
40g caster sugar
for the filling
100g Nutella or other hazelnut chocolate spread
1. Sift the icing sugar, hazelnuts and almonds into the food processor and blitz to give yourself an even finer powder.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to a foam using an electric mixer then add the caster sugar gradually and continue beating until you have a meringue that stands in stiff peaks.
3. Tip all the icing sugar and almonds on top. Using a silicon spatula, sweep around the bowl in a circle and then cut sideways strokes with the thin blade of the spatula through the centre backwards and forwards ten times. Repeat sweeping around the edge of the bowl and doing your ten strokes five times so that you’ve done fifty strokes. Your batter should be roughly ready by this point, you are looking for a flowing lava effect. If it is too stiff continue sweeping around the edge of the bowl and doing another ten strokes until you are happy with the flow.
4. Fix parchment paper to your baking sheet with a blob of meringue batter in each corner. Fill piping bags with the batter, I use disposable ones with around 1.5cm width snipped of the end.
5. Pipe discs in a circular movement around the size of a two pound coin. Allow a similar distance between the piped circles incase they spread. Pick the tray up with both hands and rap on the table firmly to make the circles settle.
6. Preheat the oven to 150c. Leave the piped circles to dry out for 20-30 minutes. The surface of the circles should dry out so that they are no longer sticky to the touch. The feet develop as the surface has toughened before the centre has cooked, the pressure that builds up under heating forces the top of the macaron to rise, then you should get feet.
7. Bake for 12-18 minutes depending on size. The length of time really is trial and error. I put mine on the lowest oven shelf but again you will need to experiment.
8. Hopefully, if you’ve cooked them enough but not too much, you’ll have that happy medium of a surface that peels beautifully off the baking parchment but a meringue which remains soft and gooey like a truffle inside. If you are having trouble removing them from the paper, some drops of water sprinkled under the parchment whilst still warm will help steam the macarons off. But I find that they come off best when completely cool and don’t need this. So don’t be impatient!
9. For the filling, stir the Nutella into the mascarpone until smooth. When the shells are cool, spread the filling on the flat side of a shell and sandwich with another, squeezing gently. Allow to set for a couple of hours. I find they keep in an airtight tin for a week. If you can resist them.
Helen (Fuss Free Flavours) says
Wow! That is a great write up.
I had no idea who Dhruv was until I saw him write his mane in Mimi's book!
Lovely to meet you!
How exciting! Well done for keeping it together–you HAVE been busy over the last few weeks. 🙂
I am so totaaly intrigued by this…my family loves the show and even more because they play Masterchef with all my meals at night……I so enjoyed reading this!!
faithy, the baker says
Awesome and such interesting post! Must have been so much fun and excitement!
I loved reading this… such a good mix of information and humour. Great. x
Well done, Sarah! You did very well. You were very brave. I would have collapsed under the pressure…haha. A lovely post. Thanks very much for sharing.
Heavenly Housewife says
Wow, what an amazing experience daaaaahling, I am so proud of you.
Nut-ella Fitzgerald macs are just perfect! And they are and I can't believe your macs were eaten by Master Chefs! Yay Sarah! Way to go, girlfriend! What a great experience and a fun day. Fab! AND you still got your Mactweets in on time! LOL you are adorable!
Food Urchin says
Brilliant write up Sarah and yes it was great to finally meet you too. I have to say it was very brave of you to go for making a cake in that time.
Hope to meet up again soon (for WMPC possibly?)
The Grubworm says
Great write up – i think i want a Miele kitchen now… It's cool to see everyone's efforts, all much better than i could rustle up in a hour i think. It must be pretty hard with both the time and the judging pressure.
Good job on the cake too, the fact you made it in the hour is pretty impressive, even if it was a little moist.And those macarons look great.
An Open Book says
i rem at the bbc good food show in birmingham, miele had a similar thing going and i was amazed at their cooking ovens..you cud actually set two temperatures in one oven and place two different dishes inside..how cool is that?
good show sarah…macaroons look great
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@helen Glad to know it's not just me then!
@sarah Thanks, I know I could do with a rest!
@nina I reckon my husband would like that game – we are more come dine with me fans in our house!
@faithy It was definitely fun although I wasn't convinced of that in the run up!!
@Charlie Thank you!
@Jamie I would never be making them in the first place if it wasn't for your encouragement along the way learning how!
@marymoh You don't know how close I was to it all going horribly wrong!!
@thegrubworm I want a Miele kitchen sooooo badly now. Great to meet you the other night too.
@HH Thank you Daaaaahling!
@foodurchin Yes we must pork chop soon
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@anopenbook Yes their ovens are hot and cool at the same time if you get what I mean!!!
Hey, that sounds like you had a fantastic day! I am envious of your skills. Baking is such a talent. Well done! Look forward to seeing your new site..
Barbara Bakes says
What a fun adventure! I would have been very nervous being judged. I've never had to cook under pressure. Well done!
what a great post and a wonderful opportunity. Love the Nut-Ella Fitzgerald idea. So cute!
Top post and lovely to meet you too! I am now quite put out that I missed my chance to try one of those macarons!
Great write-up and some lovely pics, Sarah! And lovely to finally meet you. AND I ate one of your macarons and it was gorgeous.
Poor Dhruv – he's used to being mobbed :^P
Heather Davis says
Great write up Sarah! Love the bit where you say if there was a tombliboo in the room I'd have known who it was. Sums up a mom's life right? Looks like you had a great day. Well done for not completely freaking as I would have done. The Macs look fab!
Kitchen Butterfly says
I absolutely loved Dhruv's food……in this last series. What a great experience to cook for Greg and John. Well done….
Oooh I love Masterchef – excellent dinnertime telly. 😛 You did really well in the time you were given, well done you!
Wow, so much fun! The mac look perfect 🙂
Wow! You brave, BRAVE lady! Your macs are gorgeous, girl!! Well done! 🙂
Deer Baby says
What a fantastic thing to have done!! Wow. Glad it went off well. And to have met those two in real life and survived the sarcasm. You're right – every home should have an Alison.
Really good – keep up the good work!!
Mummy V says
Wow, what a great experience! Your macaroons look amazing! I can't wait to try the recipe, the diet may have to go on hold at the weekend 😉 x
Quite an adventure. Amazing macs under such pressure. I'd have picked you as the winner. Not everyone can make a good macaron.
Great video, and what a fabulous experience! Your macs look fantastic – Nutella makes the perfect filling.
PS. Thanks for the shout-out, I'm so glad you went, aren't the Miele people lovely?!
Oh I am so excited for you, you did such a good job. I think you would be a natural on the tele, you looks so pretty!! Anxious to hear about the GBBO too! Well done!
Sarah, there is always a good surprise when I come over here. Wow, you are 'chic'! Congratulations on the macaroons – they look lovely. Can't wait for your next post.
How very exciting! I can't cook at all and yet MasterChef is the one programme that I watch religiously on TV. The macaroons look amazing….yum!!!
Well done for taking up the challenge! Your Macaroons look great and the real contestants on Masterchef get their timings wrong all the time. Really enjoyed your post and totally agree about people being just as they seem on their blogs.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Of course they would ask you! You are a great baker and I bet they just knew that you'd have the right personality for the camera. What an awesome experience and thankyou for sharing it! 😀
Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) says
That is one hell of a challenge to overcome girl! Well done! I couldn't think of a better person they could have asked. Great pictures too.
Danny looks a bit like Heston Blumenthal in that top picture!
Could you come & be my next door neighbour? I bet the constant smells from your oven are amazing!! I promise I wouldnt invite myself round for lunch & diner.. much! 🙂
Anne's Kitchen says
OMG, how cool does this look?! How were your nerves this time? I would have DIED with John and Greg tasting my food. I love Masterchef!!! OMG, this must have been so cool!!!! Next time I'll join, I was too scared to do it this time! Did anyone win anything? xx
Mr. P says
I just saw this. How amazing! Well done.
Daily Spud says
All I can say is bravo for taking something like that on in the first place – I have to admit that I, er, don't really watch MasterChef either, so I would have been equally clueless about the format.
What an experience, so interesting. Thanks for the info and tour. Your mac's are beautiful and the FEET, the FEET!
Deeba PAB says
WOW, what an amazing experience Sarah, and what a beautifully written post. Very graphic and great fun. You had such an awesome good time..YAY YOU! Sorry I'm here late, but I've been insanely busy for the past month. Things aren't looking better as yet though. Wow also that you found feet at Mieles'; their ovens sound like a DREAM! Mine comes from the stone age!! Thanks for showing them 'feet' off at MacTweets!
Just catching up on reading my fav blogs! Loved this. Those macaroons look amazing – why don’t you come and sell them with me at my market stall? Seriously! They’ll fit in with my gluten free range so well.
We’ll have to all catch up when Beth’s back from Lebanon.