Guest Post from Blahnik Baker: Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

Folks, I haven’t felt this excited since I heard that these brand spankin’ new episodes of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon would be hitting the screen after nearly a decade of muffled silence. I told Zainab I’ve been crazy busy lately doing Grown-Up World things–like maniacally hurling homemade spiky shells at my fellow street-sharers on a FIVE-hour commute–but really I’d rather just lock myself in my dust-infested closet with my laptop and gorge on unhealthy amounts of Sailor Moon.

And maybe try like the moron I am to eat the pixels right off these gorgeous macaron photos Zainab sent me.

Have you met the stunning Zainab from Blahnik Baker? She’s the grad student baker blogger who knows what’s up. As a crazy Legilimency expert As a crazy someone who read Zainab’s post before posting it (duh), I know what she’s going to say about me and would like to add that I say the same about her, except times about a bazillion and forty. I admire her work, her dedication, and most of all her ability to excel as a fellow grad student while somehow managing to keep her marbles all where they belong: in her brilliant noggin of Nogginness.

So before I get carried away by my effusive praises (which are, by the way, super deserved), I’m turning over the floor to the lovely lady herself!

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache via Blahnik Baker_3

Hello everyone!! My name is Zainab and I am so excited to be here today. I am a HUGE fan of Wallflour Girl and she is one of my favorite blogs to read. I’m sure she is one of yours too because you are here :) I blog over at Blahnik Baker where I love sharing easy but creative desserts.

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache via Blahnik Baker_1

I just recently met this wonderful lady through a guest post she did over on Nancy’s blog. That post resonated so much with me that I spent all morning checking out her blog, writing and recipes!! Only to discover she is a PhD student like me and a passionate, honest and intelligent lady!! On her guest post, she wrote about her “Wall of Smiles” and I’m in love with her idea. I struggle very much with finding the happy moments in my daily life being a graduate student (it’s really hard) but ever since I read her post, I’ve been trying hard every day to pause and notice the little things. And at the end of every night, I think of one thing, event or person that made me smile and write it down in a notebook (or make a mental note if I am really tired and in bed already. I really need to move that notepad to my nightstand).

Thank you Ala! You inspire me daily :)

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Chambord  Ganache

Anyway enough small talk, on to the sweets now. Macarons!!! I love making macarons and have fallen madly in love with these French delicacies. I make them just for fun most times and I experiment a lot with flavors, texture and fillings.

Funny thing, when the husband walks in and I am making macarons, he can almost assume I had a long hard day at work and just need some peaceful baking time. And macarons do that for me. I know people think they are temperamental and hard to make, but to be honest they are actually very easy cookies to make.

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Chambord  Ganache

These hazelnut macarons were an attempt to make macarons with hazelnut flour instead of the traditional almond flour. The macaron shells are pillow-y soft and are filled with a sweet chocolate ganache spiked with Chambord.

I hope you enjoy these macarons! And thank you for having me today. Let’s all take a page from Ala’s book and enjoy the small things and moments in life. (Including these cookies!!)

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache via Blahnik Baker_5

Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Chambord Ganache

Ingredients

    For Macarons
  • 125g hazelnut flour
  • 175g powdered sugar
  • 105g egg whites
  • 75g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • For Chocolate Chambord Ganache
  • 1⁄2 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (plus more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Chambord (raspberry liqueur)

Instructions

  1. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. I used a 11⁄2-inch round cookie cutter to draw circles on the parchment paper and flip over the paper (drawing side down). Prepare a pastry bag with a round tip. I used Wilton 2A.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar and hazelnut flour into fine powder. Sift several times until there is less than 2 tablespoons of hazelnut bits left. Add these to the mixture.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula. Gently fold to deflate the meringue by pressing against the side of bowl and scooping from bottom until batter is smooth and shiny; about 20-25 folds. To check consistency, drop a spoonful of batter and it should have a peak that quickly relaxes back into the batter. Start checking the batter after 20 folds.
  5. Transfer batter into pastry bag and pipe the batter into the pre-traced circles on the baking sheet. Tap baking sheet hard on counter to release any air bubbles trapped in the batter. Let shells sit on counter for 20-30 minutes to dry, until a slight skin forms.
  6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until shells hard, rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking time. You should be able to peel off the macaron from the parchment. Cool completely on cookie sheets before peeling from the parchment.
  7. For the Ganache:
  8. Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-45 seconds and stir until chocolate melts. Remove from microwave and stir in butter until melted and chocolate is smooth. Whisk in Chambord with butter. Match same size cookies; pipe a little mound of buttercream onto flat side of one cookie and top with another. Store refrigerated for at least 24 hours before serving.
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/07/guest-post-blahnik-baker-hazelnut-macarons-chocolate-ganache/

I’ve never made a macaron in my life–commitment issues are the least of my problems–but you can bet your holy eggbeaters that I’m going to make this recipe ASAP. Thank you, you wonderful lady!

As if we needed more proof that Zainab is Wonder Woman in civilian disguise, I’ve taken a leaf out of her book by recruiting quite a few lovely guest posters for July and some of August. With life spinning out of control faster than a Mario Kart hit by ten red shells in succession, I’m up to my nose in sleepless work and am incredibly grateful for this wonderful crew that will be helping me survive. Look forward to meeting them all over the next few weeks–you’re going to love them all!

Oh, and for the record: Zainab, you totally made my Wall of Smiles today. Just FYI. ;)

Loving what you read today? Connect with Zainab!

Blog: www.blahnikbaker.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blahnikbaker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlahnikBaker

Instagram: http://instagram.com/blahnikbaker

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26 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies

26 Responses to Guest Post from Blahnik Baker: Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

  1. I love this flavor combination so much it makes me want to shout from the rooftops…. or stuff my face with an embarrassing number of macarons. Pinned!

  2. Chocolate Chambord Ganache? Yes, please. Luckily, we have some Chambord on hand. ;-) Terrific recipe and guest post — thanks.

  3. I LOVE that you two ladies are now friends and that Zainab is guest posting here today. I’m such a huge fan of you both. Ala, I’m sorry to hear you’re so swamped over on your end! If you need anything (guest post, a sympathetic ear to bitch ‘n whine to) let me know! Zainab, wow, are these macarons ever impressive. They look absolutely perfect, I LOVE that you used hazelnut flour, and that gorgeous chocolate chambord filling looks divine. I’m sure these taste a million times better than storebought macarons (which I always find cloyingly sweet and flavourless). Your photography is top notch as usual, my friend.

    • heh–and thank YOU for introducing us! Dawww, this is why I love you–I am almost in the needs-manic-help stage, but I’m terribly happy too so I have nothing to complain about, really. (Weird, huh?) Although it’d be an awesome break if you were still coming down for the month… ;) Zainab really has nailed this whole gorgeous photos and awesome recipes gig, hasn’t she? Amazing! So glad again that we all found each other (yayyy)

  4. Beautiful, beautiful macarons, although Zainab never fails to impress! And I loooove your narration, Ala. You crack me up!

  5. Ala! I just watched the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal last night on Hulu! A complete guilty pleasure! And oh my gosh, this post! I love macarons. Seriously love macarons. But it always seemed too intimidating to make since it’s such a delicate dessert. But this recipe seems straightforward and easy enough to follow. I might just be brave enough to try making them. It’s nice to meet you, Zainab. Now I’m off to check out your blog.

    • YAY so glad you can check out the awesomeness that is Zainab’s blog! Andrea, I looooove your comments so much though–this Sailor Moon fellow-feeling made my day. Truth be told…I haven’t even had time to watch the first episode yet :gulps: I’m worried about getting addicted! Is it totally worth it?! Ahhhhh! How many episodes have been released? We need to discuss this!

  6. Pingback: Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Chambord Ganache - Blahnik Baker

  7. Ala, thank you so much for having me today!! I am so happy to jump in when times are hectic. Just heart you lady!!

  8. Hi Ala, stopping by from Zainab’s blog :) Love these macarons, they look so beautiful! The hazelnut flour is such a great idea and sounds amazing with the chocolate chombard ganache! What an awesome recipe and the photos are gorgeous girl – pinning :)

    • Why, it’s a pleasure and honor to have you here! Any friend of Zainab’s is an instant friend of mine–just add water (and some food photos, yummm) ;) Isn’t she just a gem? I’m off to skip on over to your blog now. Cheers, Kelly! Awesome to meetcha!

  9. Liz

    I keep saying I’m going to make macarons again…and here’s another gorgeous recipe to push me closer! So nice to find the lovely Zainab guest posting for you!!! You are BOTH terrific!

    • Whoo! We should have a macaron-baking party–though I’m such a novice at it, I’d definitely need to go in with Zainab’s amazing confidence! THANK you, Liz (you’re terrific too!).

  10. Ala!! you’ve got to try making making macarons! Zainab says they are easy but I think these are pretty challenging. . especially when trying to get the perfect little “feet.” But after you make them, you feel a huge wave of accomplishment! :P anyway, I love Zainab!!! she is awesome and so glad to have crossed paths with you both in this huge, blogging world of ours. I have to tell you that I loved the video link you shared on one of Nancy’s blog posts. . the video “look up”. . thanks for sharing that!

    • Haha! I’ve heard the same story about macarons from other folks, but I guess it’s a balance of know-how and confidence–I will definitely try making them soon! And YES, I love this bloggy circle I’ve found with you guys, such an open and friendly place :) so glad you loved the video, it was a total surprise and I loved it as well. Thanks, Alice! <3

  11. Aw hi!! Stopping by from Zainab’s blog as well, and I think I’ll stay here for long! Your recipes look fantastic and your writing is great! :)
    These macarons look heavenly! I can imagine that they’re awesome with the hazelnut flour addition! And raspberry and chocolate us such a perfect combo indeed xxx

    • Consuelo, I am hopping over to your blog ASAP–my heart totally melted when I read your comments (can we be BFFL’s? we are so totally BFFL’s because I love your blog already gahhhh). Stick around, I can’t wait to see you evurywhaaaare! And yes, isn’t Zainab amazing?! (Awesome to meet you!)

  12. YUM. what an awesome recipe and flavour combination… my macarons never turn out as perfect as this. definitely will be giving this recipe a go, thanks for the inspiration!

    • I know, I don’t know how Zainab does it! (Well, now we do know, but still–such perfection.) By the way, I’m super excited to see your blog, Thalia–it looks gorgeous already (I’ll have to wait until I get back to a real computer though, so remind me if I haven’t stopped by in a few days hehe). Cheers!

  13. Never made nor tasted one, but sure would like to try and your recipe looks so good.
    Thanks

  14. Mari Tanks

    If there was a pool of Chocolate Chambord Ganache, I would swim in it all day. Perfect for this hazelnut macaron recipe.

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