Macaron vs. Macaroon: One of my pet hates is people not understanding the difference between macarons (pronounced mah-kah-ROHN) and macaroons (pronounced mah-kah-ROON). Many think that it is just a alternative of spellings or pronunciations of the some thing, but that is incorrect.
Macaron: Macarons are the most elegant sandwich cookie you will come across, a delicate meringue that comes in a variety of creative flavours with yummy fillings.
They are made with egg whites, powdered sugar, sugar, and almond flour and are can be difficult to get right. Achieving the perfect texture, domed tops and the elusive foot can be hard.
Macaroon: Are homemade, chewy, goodness. These delightfully sweet confections are known for their golden crisp outside and chewy soft inside.
They are often made with egg whites, shredded coconut (although I tend to use hazelnut as I am not a huge coconut fan), and sugar, the recipe could not be simpler and you don’t need a pastry course to achieve the sweet toasted crunch and pillowy centre. Since they don’t require the precision and science that macarons do, macaroons are a more approachable, friendly cookie.
So with the explanation out of the way, below is my recipe for Hazelnut Macaroons. I think they are great for petit fours.
Serves: 24 petit fours
What you will need:
125 g ground hazelnuts, see notes below
150 g caster sugar
2 egg whites
50 g milk chocolate, chopped roughly into 1 cm chunks
1 tsp vanilla essence
(1) Preheat the oven to 160 °C (fan assisted). Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
(2) Combine the ground hazelnuts and caster sugar in a medium bowl.
NOTE: Lightly toast the hazelnuts in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, remember to shake the pan to prevent them from burning. After 3 – 4 minutes their skins will begin to crack and flake off. Remove from the heat and leave to cool enough so you can handle them. Next place 6-8 nuts in between your the palms of your hands and rub vigorously until the skins flake off. Now blitz them in a food processor until finely ground.
(3) In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites until white and frothy, but not stiff.
(4) Lightly fold the egg whites into the nut and sugar mixture with a large metal spoon.
(5) When evenly combined, fold in the vanilla essence and chocolate chunks.
(6) Place a teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to the baking parchment. The macaroons will spread whilst baking, so make sure you leave sufficient space between each.
(7) Optional, place half a hazelnut in the centre of each biscuit.
(8) Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes until just firm and a lightly coloured.
(9) Leave to cool on the baking tray.
(10) Once cooled, use a palette knife to remove from the parchment.
(11) Serve with coffee.