I have my eyes on this Pierre Hermé recipe since last year but unfortunately the season for white Alba truffle had ended. So i waited patiently by the campfire. The seasons went from rain to thunder and back until finally one sunny morning – the diamond of the kitchen reappeared. Ok, i wasn’t literally waiting by the campfire but damn, it felt like it.
To be perfectly honest, you have to be a little bit nutty to even consider making these macarons. I know the main purpose of a food blog is to publish recipes people can make, but this one is just too over the top. The equivalent of bungee jumping for the cook. Fresh white truffles cost a bundle but was it worth using the precious in a macaron?
Let me tell you, it was worth every dime, every penny and more, so before we continue i would like to personally thank the pig who found the truffle. You have my word buddy, that i won’t turn you into a pork bun.
White truffles have the elegance of a clump of mud but the perfume of a Goddess. Like diamonds in the rough, the brilliance of their surface has been tarnished by the earth and yet, they shine through with their strong and inebriating aroma. Nature has a way of making certain that the truffle is a gift of surprise.
The window of opportunity to trap that evasive aroma is very short though. That’s where Pierre Hermé’s evil-genius white chocolate ganache comes into play to capture it perfectly. At first, i hesitated adding 20 grams of pricey fresh truffle into the white chocolate ganache but fear not my friends. You can trust PH. And like if that wasn’t enough, Pierre Hermé reveals his genius once again by bringing an unexpected guest -hazelnuts from the Piedmont region of Italy. The hazelnuts are toasted, roughly chopped and simply placed on top of the ganache to provide crunch. The God-sent crunch that turns this macaron into sheer perfection.
Now it’s funny to think that white Alba truffles are sometimes found under hazelnut trees.
Macaron Truffe Blanche et Noisette du Piedmont
White Truffle – Hazelnut Macarons
- Recipe adapted from Pierre Hermé’s “Macaron” cookbook
- Makes about 36 macarons
For the meringue:
- 160 grams almond flour, sifted twice
- 160 grams powdered sugar
- 55 grams egg whites, aged 7 days
- 8 grams titanium dioxyde + 5 grams warm water (optional, for color)
- 150 grams powdered sugar
- 37 grams bottled spring water
- 55 grams egg whites, aged 7 days (in a bowl in the refrigerator for 7 days)
For the white truffle ganache:
- 175 grams Valhrona white chocolate
- 175 grams heavy cream
- 22 grams fresh white Alba truffle
- 110 grams Piedmont hazelnut
For the meringues:
- Sift the almond flour and the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add the first batch of egg whites (55 gr) without mixing them.
- In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil until it reaches 118’C. Meanwhile, place the second batch of egg whites in the bowl of a mixer equipped with the whisk attachment. When the sugar is at 115’C start beating the whites on medium speed.
- Pour the sugar at 118’C over the egg whites. Beat until the temperature of the mixture drops to 50’C. Fold the meringue into the almond-sugar-egg white mixture until it’s homogeneous. Place in a large pastry bag with a plain #11 tip.
- Place parchment paper on two baking trays and use a pencil to draw 1 1/2 inches circles to cover the surface with 1/2 inch in between. You should have 36 circles on each parchment papers. Turn over the paper so the pencil marks won’t transfer to the meringues.
- Pipe rounds of the meringue dough onto the prepared parchment paper. Let the meringues out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This is a very important step, the piped meringue rounds develop a thin ‘crust’ over their surface.
- Preheat the oven to 350’F. Bake the meringues for exactly 12 minutes. Open the oven door quickly-twice during cooking. When the cookies are cooked slide the parchment paper onto a work surface and leave them to cool.
For the white truffle ganache and hazelnuts:
- Chop the white chocolate and melt in a bowl on a bain-marie. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream on the melted white chocolate in three addition. Remove from the heat. While it cools, chop finely the white truffle and add to the mixture.
- Scrap the mixture in a pyrex dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator.
- Toast the hazelnuts in a 350’F oven for about 15 minutes. While they hot, roll them in a strainer to remove the skins (i used a clean kitchen towel). Transfer to a plastic bag and hit it with a rolling pin to make smaller chunks.
Assemble the macarons:
- Place the white truffle ganache in a pastry bag equipped with a plain tip #11. Garnish half the meringues with the ganache, insert a few pieces of toasted hazelnut and cover with the other half to make a “sandwich”. Refrigerate in an hermetic box for 24 hours. Let them come to room temperature before enjoying them.