Yeahhhh…I know it’s been a while. You may be wondering what crazy shenanigans I’ve been up to that have warranted such an extended e-absence. But don’t worry - I always deliver.
Dear friends and followers, I have exciting news. I quit my job, up and left my cosy, quaint apartment in San Francisco and am living a thrilling life in New York after a whirlwind adventure throughout Thailand and Singapore. See? I always deliver.
Now, don’t feel deprived of my many exciting Southeast Asian adventures just yet - oh, the stories will come. But, after a month-long hiatus, it’s high time I got to it and bake something good.
One of the myriad reasons I’m excited to be back home in the Big Apple is that I finally have people to eat my baked goods. I no longer have to yell at Boyfriend to eat 3 whoopie pies a day before they get stale. No, no. Now I have 6 hyperactive little nieces and nephews who would trade their soul for a cupcake and sacrifice each other for a cookie.
Not that I would need a team of 6 goodies-gobbling gobblins to polish off these suckers. Not only were my macarons delightfully perfect (with the exception of a little love nub on top), but my frosting was the most incredible stroke of genius. I had made Nutella frosting to top off my fave snickerdoodle cupcakes and had some left over. To jazz things up a bit, I threw in some juicy blackberries for a decadent twist.
Now before you’re humbled by my culinary prowess, I will admit the first few times I made macarons I had varied success. I used to pray to the Parisian gods, cross my fingers, toss some salt over my shoulder, and hold my breath as I pulled my cookie sheets out of the oven. I read blog after blog on troubleshooting and debunking macaron myths, never understanding my problem…until I finally realized my issue. All these macaron masters are secretly doubling up their heavy-duty cookie sheets. Geez, why had I never thought to buy thick restaurant-quality cookie sheets and stack them on top of each other before baking my perfect macarons?
Armed with the best-kept secret in the macaron world, I whipped up a perfect batch of these suckers and made the best tasting frosting imaginable. Yep, I stepped up.
If you’re feeling a bit apprehensive about trying these out, let me ease your trepidation. All the stuff about aged egg whites, and not baking on a rainy day? Baking folklore (and a load of hooey) if you ask me. My baking philosophy is if there’s no clear chemistry-based explanation for it, it’s not worth the extra effort. These are actually pretty fast and easy and absolutely incredible. My only complaint is that I made a reasonable number of macarons and now I can’t gorge myself on all the chocolatey almondy blackberry-y goodness.
Blackberry Nutella Macarons
Makes (a mere) 15 perfect macarons
Chocolate macaron shells from
and blackberry nutella cream from my imagination
Chocolate macaron shell ingredients
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Blackberry Nutella cream ingredients
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup butter, softened slightly
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons Nutella
- handful of fresh blackberries
- Get two legit cookie sheets and stack them, lining the top one with parchment paper.
- Sift the powdered sugar, almond meal and cocoa powder into a bowl and whisk to remove any lumps. Set the bowl aside.
- in the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they begin to hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until glossy and very stiff. (Hint: you’ll know you’re done when the eggs clump in the center of your whisk).
- Fold the dry ingredients into the firm egg whites with a spatula until the mixture is just smooth, taking care not to excessively fold everything together. (Hint 2: you’ll know you’re done with the when the mixture is like “magma” - it shouldn’t be too runny or too stiff. When you push the batter to one side, it should slowly return to its original position, kind of the way you imagine magma would flow).
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (about ½ inch, 2 cm) and pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1.5 inch circles evenly spaced one-inch apart.
- Hit the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons and remove any air bubbles trapped in the piped batter. Now here’s the questionable part. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before popping them in the oven. If you’re in a rush, throw ‘em in and don’t think twice about it. Before baking, make sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, bake the macarons for 10-15 minutes.
- When your macaron shells are done, let them sit for a few minutes before removing the hot baking sheet underneath and let them cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper.
- Now to the good stuff. Put flour into a small saucepan and slowly add milk, whisking.
- Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches the boil. After about 30 seconds of full boil, the mixture is as thick as it’s going to get. Allow it to cool about ten minutes.
- Apply plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture and put the saucepan in the refrigerator. Let it cool down for about an hour.
- Combine butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Beat about 4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
- With the mixer running, beat in the milk mixture. Beat for about another minute until you have a sweet and silky faux buttercream (if it looks curdled or broken, follow the golden rule of buttercream and just keep beating until it’s where you want it).
- Beat in vanilla extract, followed by Nutella. Grab a handful of washed blackberries and chop them finely and throw them in the chocolate mixture until they’re nicely incorporated.
- Head back to your macarons and match them according to size. With a nice, fat tip, pipe the blackberry Nutella cream onto one macaron shell and top with the other. Voilà! Perfect, superfancy, blackberry Nutella macarons.