Chocolate Hazelnut macarons are a dream for chocolate and hazelnut lovers in a lovely, bite-sized French macaron format. The macarons are filled with silky chocolate ganache and hazelnut paste with the most delicious natural nutty flavor. These creamy, crunchy, chewy Chocolate Hazelnut macarons are the ultimate afternoon tea snack that will impress everyone!
How hard it is to make macarons at home
In summary, yes they are not the easiest to make! Are they impossible to make at home? Absolutely not! You definitely have to try this macaron recipe paying attention to the hundreds of tips I am giving away!
Macaron making requires precision, patience and I would also say passion that will keep you going to practice and test the macaron recipe until you succeed. We, food bloggers, love to claim that a recipe is foolproof but if I want to be honest with you, there is no such thing as a foolproof macaron recipe or a recipe that works for all. The exact same recipe can turn out widely different just by changing something as little as a few more folds than necessary on the macaron batter - it will turn out too runny and that batch of macaron might end up like a pancake.
I have an in-depth professional French macaron recipe with a Troubleshooting Guide adapted for home bakers, make sure to check that before jumping into this Creme brulee macaron recipe.
For the macaron shells
Almond and Hazelnut Flour: Macaron shells are typically based on a meringue that is made using almond flour. These Chocolate hazelnut macarons are made using 50% almond and 50% hazelnut flour. You can skip hazelnut flour and use 100% almond flour if hazelnut is problematic to find in your country.
Look for fine almond and hazelnut flour. Worth buying good quality nut flour eg. so-called blanched almond without skin. Blanched almond basically means that the brown skin has been removed. Technically you can also make fine ground almond and hazelnut yourself in a food processor, however, you have to be extra careful to process the almond until it is fine BUT make sure that you do not over-process it until a point that the almond starts releasing oil.
While processing any nut after a while it starts to get sticky then oily then eventually you end up with an oily cream eg. almond paste that is super for making ganache or ice cream but not for making macaron.
Sugar: For the best result I recommend using 3 types of sugar at 3 different stages of this macaron recipe
- For the marzipan-like almond paste base, you will need icing sugar mixed with fine almond flour. Icing sugar is effectively granulated sugar grounded into a powder that typically also contains corn starch. If in your country icing sugar is not available, you can either use regular powder sugar or make your own icing sugar by mixing powder sugar with corn starch. Normally icing sugar contains 2% starch so you can mix 98g powder sugar with 2g starch to get 100g icing sugar
- For supporting the egg white while beating it up I recommend using fine sugar, that is normal granulated sugar pulse blended into smaller bits (but not going that far that it would turn into powdered sugar). Fine sugar is a common type to make meringue, however, if you are experienced in making meringue you might be ok using normal granulated sugar
- For the sugar syrup normal granulated sugar is totally fine
If you want to learn about the different kinds of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here.
Egg white: Making this macaron recipe like any other meringue-based recipe requires egg white! Make sure you use room temperature egg whites that are absolutely free from any sort of fat (e.g. egg yolk). If you get some egg yolk into the egg white, start again. Believe me, you can’t make a successful meringue and macaron with that batch, unfortunately. No aged egg whites are necessary, read more about ages egg whites here
Exact ingredient quantities can be found in the RECIPE CARD, at the bottom of this page
For the chocolate ganache macaron filling
Chocolate: Obviously you will need some chocolate to make the chocolate ganache filling for the macarons. In this recipe, I am using Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets). This is high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate.
Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40%, the one I use is usually 36%. Avoid substitutes like vegetable-based “whipping cream”
For the hazelnut filling
Hazelnut paste: Besides chocolate ganache, these Chocolate Hazelnut macarons will be also filled with a delicious 100% hazelnut paste. Check out my article about how to make hazelnut butter at home. If you purchase it, make sure you buy 100% paste that does not contain added sugar or oils, etc.
It has a texture like a peanut butter, is slightly oily, and has a super deep nutty flavor without being sweet (no added sugar). You will need some extra chopped roasted hazelnut to sprinkle the hazelnut paste - this will give extra crunchiness to the macarons
For the decoration
Chocolate & Hazelnut: I like to decorate with ingredients that indicate the flavor of my desserts. In the case of this Chocolate Hazelnut macaron I made some decorations using melted chocolate, concretely melted Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets), and hazelnut including the skin
7 Expert Baking tips about the technique
Disclaimer: Macaron is typically a dessert that most people have to try more than once to get it right. Do not expect that they turn out perfect the first time! The ones you see on Instagram or Pastry shops usually have been perfected many many times sometimes over years! I have a Troubleshooting Guide that will make your macaron journey easier so you can fine-tune your technique, ingredients, baking temp until you get it right! Enjoy the ride!
1. How to make French macarons – Italian meringue technique
This macaron recipe is based on the Italian meringue method. Once you start making macarons you will realize that although the whole process looks like 20+ steps here, in reality, it is literally less than 15 minutes.
Regarding the quantity of this macaron recipe, it makes about two trays of macaron shells (22 macarons after the shells are sandwiched together) depending on the size and how closely you pipe them next to each other. In theory, you can half the recipe but it is not easy to whip up half size meringue also difficult to measure the temperature of the sugar syrup if it is a too small amount. Overall, I do not recommend half the macaron recipe if you are a beginner.
- First and foremost before starting this macaron recipe you have to measure all your ingredients with a Digital scale. This is non-negotiable, you absolutely can not make macarons using cups, it is simply inaccurate. It might work for simpler cookies (not really), but definitely not for macarons
- Arrange every tool you will need at hand, there is nothing more stressful than not finding the piping bag when you need it. You will need the following items: Rubber spatula, Stand mixer with a whisk attachment, Infrared thermometer gun or any other cheaper thermometer to measure the sugar syrup, Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. 1A Round nozzle tip, Silicone baking mat, or a tray with parchment paper, Digital oven thermometer to check your REAL oven temperature. Prepare also the food coloring next to the mixer
- Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any potential residue
- Pulse blend your dry ingredients; almond flour, hazelnut flour, icing sugar for 5-10 seconds (no longer as the almond can get sticky/oily ), then sift them together with a fine mesh sieve and measure with a Digital scale
- Make sure egg white is at room temperature, you will need 2 x 55g
- Move one of the 55g egg white into the mixing bowl of your Stand mixer
- Prepare and measure the superfine sugar and have it close by the Stand mixer
- Start making the sugar syrup by boiling granulated sugar with water in a saucepan
- Start whisking egg white on low/medium, once foamy, start adding the superfine sugar slowly, a small amount at a time
- Boil sugar & water together for a few minutes until reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F. On my powerful stove, this takes about 3 minutes. You absolutely have to measure the correct temperature either with a Infrared thermometer gun or any cheap sugar thermometer. One tricky part is how to measure the syrup temp in a shallow saucepan so make sure you use a small saucepan that actually can give some height to the syrup, which is easier to measure. If you use a large saucepan, the syrup "will get lost" in the saucepan making it impossible to measure the correct temp
- By the time syrup reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F, the egg white & fine sugar mixture should be already reaching a consistency of somewhere between foamy and soft peak. If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches the desired temperature, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving but do not whip it up to stiff peaks
- Once the syrup is at the right temp (118C-120C / 244-248F), remove from heat, and wait 5 -10 seconds for the bubbles to calm (be careful!!)
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined. Pour it slowly but constantly. This is one of the tricky parts of the process. What you want to make sure is that you pour the syrup without touching the whisker as that would result in making a whole lot of mess within the mixing bowl including sugar syrup crystallizing into hard sugar shards. Make sure you pour the syrup on the side of your bowl and it will be fine.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium/high and continue beating the egg white until it develops shiny, sticky, stiff peaks form, and as you touch the bowl it is more or less cool. In my experience, you do not need extra hard meringue as some other recipes state. I only beat the meringue for 3-4 minutes, by that time it is already stable and fluffy but check the consistency rather than the time
- While beating up the meringue mix the other 55g egg white with the almond flour mixture (almond meal, hazelnut meal, icing sugar). Use a flexible Rubber spatula. First, it might look crumbly but it should come together in a minute or two into a thick almond paste. This step can be done ahead if you wish, however, you have to cover it with plastic wrap as it can get dry in a few minutes
- In the meantime keep an eye on the meringue and check its consistency every now and then
- Once you have your stable meringue ready as well as the marzipan paste, let´s move onto the macaronage stage of this macaron recipe
- Gently fold in meringue into the marzipan mixture in thirds, making sure that each third is fully incorporated before adding the next
- In terms of the folding process, it is quite a particular one: I like to think that the first third is about loosening up the marzipan, the second third already working on the macaronage process and somewhat pressing the air out and the last third is fine-tuning the consistency to the stage you need - that is not too runny, not too stiff, the ribbon stage
- After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. How to check when the macaron batter is ready? When you lift the spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write the number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows writing the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready
- I would like to highlight that it is extremely important that you do not overmix your macaron mixture. Too much folding would result in too runny macaron batter that makes it impossible to pipe or even if you can pipe, it would spread too much.
- On the other hand, not enough folding would result in too thick macaron batter which again makes piping difficult, leaving unappealing nipples on the macaron shells. It can also result in an unpleasant texture and an unappealing look of the final baked product
So overall there are two crucial steps you need to get right during making this macaron recipe: a strong meringue and an appropriate macaronage = folding technique that will make the batter into a so-called ribbon consistency. Again, it might sound difficult and a long process but in practice, this is done in less than 15 minutes!
2. How to pipe macarons
Once you have your macaron batter ready in the right consistency (ribbon stage) the next task is piping, it is actually a rather important part of making macarons.
You will need a Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. 2A Round nozzle tip, or alternatively, you can cut the end of the piping bag but make sure you cut it straight otherwise the macarons might turn out to be egg-shaped. Piping equal-sized, round macarons takes a lot of practice, don´t be hard on yourself!
Using a template with circles can be useful, but even with that almost 100% you don´t get it right the first time and it is fine! Ideally, the size of the macaron should be around 3-4 cm (1,5inch) in diameter, but don´t stress about that the first time. However, make sure you pipe more or less equal-sized macarons so you can sandwich them together later when they are baked.
You will also need a Silicone baking mat or a tray with parchment paper. Again, lot of debate about which is one is better (or a third option that many people recommend: teflon sheet). As you can see my macarons turned out almost identical on the parchment vs Silicone baking mat so don´t worry about it too much. If your macarons do not turn out well it is most likely due to inappropriate technique or baking temperature and not because of the baking sheet.
My personal preference is Silicone baking mat over parchment because it is more sturdy, less floppy and with parchment paper, there is always the risk of getting slight wrinkles on the paper that is not the best when you want flat macarons.
OK, now onto piping the macarons!
- First of all, you should move the macaron batter into the piping bag in a careful manner, making sure to minimalize any air bubbles. Fill the piping bag maximum half, then try to remove any air bubbles before piping - by pressing onto the piping bag with your hands
- Hold the piping bag fully vertical and pipe with even pressure. Leave some space in between the macarons making sure they don´t touch each other if they spread a bit, also the air can circulate in between them while baking
- As you pipe, the macarons should spread a little but not too much - if the macaron butter is in the right consistency. In case the macarons are spreading too much, or the batter is too runny, try making another batch and fold it less
- If you are experiencing tiny nipples on top of the macarons after piping, you can get rid of them by tapping the tray onto the kitchen counter a few times (once you piped a whole tray)
- Whether there are nipples or not, tap the tray onto the kitchen counter about 5-6x to release air bubbles. Pop any air bubbles that might've come to the surface using a toothpick
- Now onto waiting. You will need to rest the macarons until proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. There are some other macaron recipes out there with different ratios and sugar syrup temperature that requires longer or no resting time at all. This particular macaron recipe requires a resting time of 25-40 minutes depending on temperature and humidity. Test by gently touching the macarons. I found sometimes they feel "dry" already after 10 minutes but when I baked them they still cracked so make sure they are super dry as you touch them, and there is a real thick skin on the surface. Not resting your macaron long enough is the most common reason for cracks on the surface while baking so I would say it is probably a good idea to wait at least 25 minutes. On the other hand, do not rest them for too long (hours) either as that can cause a whole lot of other issues
3. How to bake the macarons
Once you nailed making meringue, the macaronage process, and the piping technique, the next thing is baking these amazing, delicate French desserts!
- I strongly recommend investing in an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer. Most oven under or oven heat and with macarons, that can make or break the outcome!
- The bad news is that there is no such thing as one oven temp that fits all! The good news is that once you make your first 1-2 batches of this macaron recipe, you will see whether you need to increase or decrease the oven temp. I do not recommend using a fan unless it is a professional oven that you have. In home-ovens the air can circulate all over the place that can cause a lot of issues on the meringue.
- So how to bake macarons?
- Bake only after appropriate resting time, there should be proper skin formed on the surface of the macaron
- It is a good idea to properly pre-heat your oven while resting your macarons so for about 25 minutes
- I recommend baking the macarons 155C / 311F but I pre-heat my oven +20C / 68F more as when I open the oven door, the temperature drops
- I bake the macarons in the bottom third of my oven so they definitely do not get browned on the top, you know your oven the best, please experiment
- I bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes, but you have to test them in your own oven. They should not get browned in this temperature but there should be a feet development already at around 5 minutes
- Once macarons are done, remove them from the oven and cool them on the parchment or silicone mat for 30 minutes. Please note, they will stick to the mat while they are hot, they are not supposed to come off until they cool!
If you come across any issue along the way, please visit my macaron tutorial for Troubleshooting.
4. How to make chocolate ganache macaron filling
Making the ganache filling for the Chocolate Hazelnut macarons is extremely easy and quick! It also tastes amazing…and you will need only 2 ingredients!
Chocolate ganache is chocolate and cream mixture with endless uses; cakes, cupcakes, tarts, etc. I recommend to chose a high-quality brand with high cocoa content chocolate to avoid disappointment, I am using Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets) that has high cocoa butter %, tastes amazing, and works wonderfully silky while making ganache.
Regarding the cream, I am using heavy cream that has 36% fat content. Do not make ganache using low-fat creams or vegetable creams.
Chocolate ganache in general is a 1:1 mixture of chocolate and warm cream however for this Macaron chocolate ganache filling you will need a slightly thicker consistency so more chocolate and less cream
- Place finely chopped high-quality chocolate into a bowl or use Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets).
- Semi-melt chocolate in the microwave stirring every 30 sec, make sure you do not burn it. No need to fully melt it
- Heat cream until just simmering. If it’s boiling, the cream is too hot and could burn the chocolate. If the cream is not warm enough, it won´t melt the chocolate properly and won’t emulsify
- Pour warm cream over the chocolate
- Let the mixture sit for a minute then stir together or use a blender to emulsify
- Place ganache into a shallow container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for min 6 hours or overnight. The ganache will set into a pipeable consistency that is firm enough to fill your Chocolate Hazelnut macarons
5. How to fill these Chocolate hazelnut macarons
Finally, you nailed this macaron recipe, your chocolate ganache is set, it is time to fill your macarons!
Filling macarons takes again some practice. The general rule is to pipe the filling onto one side of the macaron shell then press two shells together evenly so the filling will come out to the side but not more. How much filling do you need per macaron? It is impossible to give an exact amount here, you will see after filling one or two macarons whether you need more or less.
Filling these Chocolate hazelnut macarons is simple
- Pipe the chocolate ganache around the macaron shells
- Then, pipe a small amount of hazelnut paste into the middle
- After, sprinkle the middle with chopped roasted hazelnut
- Finally, sandwich the two shells together
6. How to decorate the macarons
Decoration can really take French macarons to the next level and the sky is the limit! In general, when decorating any cake, donut, macaron, etc. it is worth using ingredients and flavors you anyway included into your dessert, eg. I am using chocolate and hazelnut here.
You can decorate the top part of the macaron shells either before filling them or after filing. Melt some chocolate in the microwave, pour it into a small piping bag, and make a very very tiny hole on the piping bag then apply some stripes on macaron shells. Make sure you place the hazelnut pieces into the chocolate immediately after applying the stripes otherwise they won´t stick to it.
Please note that this is just one idea of decoration, you can totally skip it, or feel free to use your creativity and decorate the macarons according to your liking.
7. How to store
Macarons are normally stored in the fridge in an air-tight container and their shelf life is rather a delicate matter.
Once they are filled, they need about 12h in the fridge for the shells to soften however over time they will further soften and can become mushy. My recommendation is to make the macarons a day ahead so if you want to serve them on a Saturday afternoon tea, assemble them on Friday and they will have the perfect texture for Saturday.
Macarons can be also frozen before and after filling too, I don´t tend to do it but if you are making them in a large batch, it might be a good idea.
Ideally, you will need the following items for making this macaron recipe:
Digital scale - For a consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients. This is absolutely a MUST
Rubber spatula - Every home baker needs a few good quality rubber spatulas, not just for this macaron recipe but for every dessert where the recipe states "folding"
Stand mixer - Macaron making is a multitasking process and a stand mixer will make your life easier while beating the meringue. I did make macarons a few years ago with an electric hand mixer but it is about 1000 times easier and less risky with a stand mixer. I have a KitchenAid Classic and that works perfectly fine
Infrared thermometer gun or any other thermometer - Once you progress in your baking journey at some point you will need some thermometer to measure sugar syrup or any other ingredients that need to be at a certain temperature. You can buy it as cheap as a few euros/dollars or you can purchase a more advanced Infrared thermometer gun that is a must to use for chocolate tempering
Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. 2A Round nozzle tip - Nozzle tip is not mandatory in case you can cut your piping bag perfectly straight and pipe the macarons directly without nozzle, however, a piping bag is absolutely necessary to make macarons. I must state that no matter what piping bag you chose to purchase, practicing your piping technique is also a must. If you have never used a piping bag before, perhaps it is a good idea to make any kind of cheap buttercream and practice first
Silicone baking mat, or a tray with parchment paper - I warmly recommend investing in 2-3 pieces, I use it all the time in other recipes too. If it is not accessible for you, use parchment paper, it should still work for this macaron recipe!
Digital oven thermometer to check your REAL oven temperature - I would say this is non-negotiable. So many of you messaged me with various baking problems in the past year and at least half of these issues can be contributed to inappropriate baking temp. In the case of making macarons, baking temp is one of the most important factors, and being aware of your real oven temp is as important as measuring your ingredients properly
More macaron recipes
Chocolate Hazelnut macarons
- Small enough saucepan to measure sugar syrup correctly
Almond & Hazelnut paste
- 120 g Granulated sugar
- 50 g Water
Chocolate ganache filling
- 300 g Milk chocolate eg. Decorate with melted white chocolate and chopped pistachios
- 180 g Heavy Cream 36% fat
- good pinch of salt
Hazelnut paste filling
- 50 g Hazelnut paste homemade hazelnut butter or store bought
- Small amount of roasted chopped hazelnut optional
- Melted chocolate + hazelnut
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Make the Chocolate ganache filling
- Start by making the ganache as it needs to set in the fridge before using
- Place finely chopped high-quality chocolate eg. Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets) into a bowl
- Semi-melt chocolate in the microwave stirring every 30 sec
- Heat cream until just simmering. Pour warm cream over the chocolate. Add a good pinch of salt. Let the mixture sit for a minute then stir together or use a blender to emulsify.
- Place ganache into a shallow container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for min 6 hours or overnight. The ganache will set into a pipeable consistency that is appropiate to fill your macarons
Make the hazelnut paste
- Make hazelnut paste by processing roasted hazelnuts in the food processor until it becomes creamy. Alternatively purchase ready made 100% hazelnut paste
- Measure all your ingredients with a Digital scale and prepare all the tools you need at hand
- Properly clean your mixing bowl and whisk attachment by wiping them down with vinegar
- Pulse blend icing sugar with almond and hazelnut flour for 5-10 seconds then shift them together. The mixture should be very fine powder like.
- Move one of the 55g egg white into your Stand mixer.
- Star whisking the egg white on low / medium speed then gradually add the superfine sugai into it
- Start making the sugar syrup by boiling granulated sugar with water in a saucepan
- Move one of the 55g room temp egg white into your Stand mixer
- Start making the sugar syrup by boiling granulated sugar with water in a saucepan. Boil the sugar syrup until it reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F. Use a Infrared thermometer gun or any other thermometer to measure the correct temp
- By the time syrup reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F, the egg white & fine sugar mixture should be already reaching a consistency of somewhere between foamy and soft peak
- Once the syrup is at the right temp, remove from the heat. Keep the Stand mixer speed on medium and begin slowly pouring the syrup down on the side of the mixing bowl making sure that the syrup flows on the side only and does not get onto the whisk
- Increase Stand mixer speed to medium / high and continue whisking the meringue until it forms early stiff peaks meaning it is strong enough to hold its shape but not over whipped
- In the meantime mix the remaining 55g egg white into the almond & hazelnut flour and icing sugar mixture until it forms a paste, use a flexible Rubber spatula.
- Once meringue as well as nut paste ready, gently fold in meringue into the paste with the help of a Rubber spatula. Fold meringue in thirds, making sure that each third is fully incorporated before adding the next
- The first third is about loosening up the paste, the second third already working on the macaronage process and somewhat pressing the air out and the last third is fine-tuning the consistency to the stage you need that is ribbon stage
- After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. When you lift the Rubber spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows writing the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready
- Tap the baking tray onto the kitchen counter a few times to release any air bubbles then pop air bubbles out using a toothpick
- Rest the macarons at room temp for about 25-40 minutes depending on your kitchen temperature and humidity. Test by gently touching the macarons, they should feel dry on the touch and proper skin should form on the surface of them
- Pre-heat the oven while macarons are drying. I recommend baking the macarons 155C / 311F but I pre-heat my oven +20C / 68F more as when I open the oven door, the temp drops. Make sure you use a Digital oven thermometer to check your real oven temp
- Bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes, adjust if necessary to your oven
- Once macarons are done, remove them from the oven and cool them on a cooling rack but leaving them on the parchment or Silicone baking mat for 30 minutes. They are not supposed to come off the baking mat until they are properly cooled
- Once the macaron shells cooled, remove them from the baking sheet. In case they ended up slightly different in their sizes, make sure you pair the similar sizes next to each other
- Pipe the chocolate ganache filling onto one side of the macaron shells around then pipe hazelnut paste into the middle. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts then press two shells together evenly so the filling will come out to the side
- Decorate with melted chocolate and chopped hazelnut
- Macarons require about 12h aging time in the fridge, within this time frame the filling will soften the shells.