Archive | September, 2014

Nutella Hazelnut Macarons

29 Sep

September 29, 2014

Something got into me this weekend, and for no apparent reason, I had the desire to use Nutella. I normally don’t buy Nutella and it has been awhile since I’ve had a Nutella sandwich. In fact, it was about 8pm on Saturday night and I convinced my husband that we had to go get a jar of Nutella so that I can have it available the next day to complete my macarons.

Nutella consists mainly of hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa and is traditionally used as a spread. I used the Nutella to flavor the buttercream and for the macaron shell I opted for all hazelnut flour and no almond flour, where as when I made my hazelnut macarons I used a mixture of both flours . To give the macarons an extra pop of Nutella flavor, I piped a dollop of Nutella in the center of the buttercream when sandwiching the cookies together. Needless to say, these macarons were quite nutty!

2014-09-28 03.22.182014-09-28 03.34.27First fill with Nutella buttercream in the center.

2014-09-28 03.33.21Then pipe a dollop of Nutella on top of the buttercream for extra flavor!

Hazelnut Macarons
190g hazelnut flour
375g powdered sugar
155g egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
45g sugar

Y= about 45 sandwiched macarons, about 1.5 inches in diameter

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together hazelnut flour and powdered sugar for about 30 seconds. Divide in parts if food processor is not large enough to fit everything at once.
  2. Sift the mixture into a clean bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place egg whites in a mixer bowl. Whisk until slightly foamy on medium speed.
  4. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and whisk to incorporate.
  5. In a steady stream, add sugar. Once all the sugar is added, increase speed to high.
  6. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Peaks should be shiny and smooth. (If using fresh egg whites vs. carton egg whites, the peaks should form fairly quickly).
  7. Transfer the egg whites to a clean bowl.
  8. Sift a third of the dries into the egg white mixture. Carefully using a spatula fold the dries into the egg whites. The dries do not have to be fully incorporated at this point.
  9. Sift the next third of the dries into the mixture. Continue to fold.
  10. Lastly, sift the remaining of the dries and fold.
  11. Continue to fold until the dries are incorporated with the egg whites. Be careful not to over-fold, otherwise the batter will be too runny.
  12. Line sheet pans with Silpat (or parchment paper).
  13. Using a piping bag fitted with an Ateco 304 tip, pipe 1-1.5 inch circles. Once the sheet pan is full, tap the bottom of the sheet pan to get rid of any air bubbles.
  14. Once all the batter has been piped, allow macarons to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  15. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 6.5 to 7 minutes.
  16. All to cool completely.
  17. Once cooled, fill with hazelnut buttercream.
  18. Filled and sandwiched macarons can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for a 1-2 months. When ready to eat, always bring to room temperature.

Hazelnut Buttercream:
4.5 oz Sugar
¼ C + ⅛ C Egg whites
8 oz butter, softened and cut into pieces.
4 T Nutella (adjust as needed)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
  5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
  6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape sides down if necessary.
  7. Add the Nutella, one tablespoon at a time to the buttercream. If you like a more sweeter, nuttier flavor, add more Nutella.

2014-09-28 03.54.352014-09-28 05.16.102014-09-28 05.18.352014-09-28 05.04.18

 

Chocolate Orange Biscottis

23 Sep

September 23, 2014

The chocolate-orange flavor combo has not always been my favorite when it comes to desserts. However, that changed recently and I don’t mind it as much as before. Occasionally, I find this flavor combo as my go-to for certain types of sweets, particularly in scones and biscottis. Originally, I only planned on making chocolate biscottis, but decided to add orange zest for an extra tangy kick to these twice-baked cookies.

The best part about biscottis? They taste so much better when dipped in tea or coffee, as they soak up the liquid and soften up a bit.

2014-09-01 05.08.54After the first round of baking, at 375F for 30 minutes.

2014-09-01 05.22.26Sliced and ready to go back in the oven for the second round of baking.

Chocolate-Orange Biscotti
3 oz Butter
3/4C Sugar
3 Eggs
2C AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla Powder
1 ½ C Chocolate chips or chunks of choice
zest of 1 orange

Directions:
1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add the eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, combine, flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla. Add to the wet mixture. Mix to combine.
4. Add chocolate chips and orange zest. Mix to combine.
5. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place batter onto the sheet pan and shape into a log.
6. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
7. Once cooled, use a serrated knife to cut the log into slices and place on a separate sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake again at 325F for 30 minutes, flipping slices halfway through. This dries out the dough and results in a crispy biscotti.

2014-09-02 06.37.492014-09-02 06.41.332014-09-02 06.53.51

 

Chocolate Pot De Creme

14 Sep

September 14, 2014

I’m a fan of dark chocolate and prefer dark over milk or white chocolate any day. After all, there are more benefits in eating dark chocolate, which justifies eating more of it, right?

Warning, if you’re making Pot De Creme, be patient- there’s a baking and chilling process involved, which usually means you make it today, and won’t enjoy it until a few long hours later or until the following day. I made mine late at night and chilled it overnight and by dinnertime the following day, dessert was patiently waiting.

Since this can be a rich dessert, I suggest using smaller ramekins to get the right proportion; otherwise, you will get chocolate-wasted.

2014-08-24 05.37.21Chocolate Pot De Creme
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 ⅓ C heavy cream
⅔ C milk
½ tsp espresso powder (optional)
½ tsp vanilla powder
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
2 T sugar

Y= 4 medium-sized ramekins

Directions:
1. In a saucepan, bring cream, milk, espresso powder, vanilla, salt to a boil.
2. Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Pour heated milk mixture over chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together yolks and sugar.
4. Carefully add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg-sugar mixture, whisking constantly.
5. Strain the custard into a clean bowl.
6. Divide custard evenly into ramekins.
7. Place ramekins in a roasting pan or a Pyrex baking dish. Fill the pan with hot water until it comes up halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
8. Loosely cover pan with foil.
9. Bake custards at 325F for 30 minutes. Uncover and check custard. Edges should be set and center slightly jiggly. If custards are not set, bake 10-15 minutes longer.
10. Remove from oven and allow ramekins to cool completely

2014-08-24 05.59.082014-08-24 05.49.33

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