White Truffle & Hazelnut Macarons

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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.

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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
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    • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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.
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  • http://www.sassyradish.com radish

    thank you SO much for sharing this recipe, they’re sublime – beyond any other cookie. totally worth the truffle. please thank the pig for me as well!

  • http://www.familyfriendlyfood.com/ Nurit – 1 family. friendly. food.

    Yes, I will definitely won’t make this recipe :) (because i will probably mess up. I never made macarons before/yet?) but would sure love to put my hand on a fresh truffle, and eat one of *your* macarons!
    Sounds like you put it to good use.

  • http://colloquialcooking.com Colloquial Cook

    Ah, Pierre, Pierre, Pierre…


    [siiiigh]

  • http://staceysnacksonline.com Stacey Snacks

    Your macarons look better than Pierre’s!
    I did not see the truffle variety available when we visited his Paris shop.
    These look very special!

  • http://www.mangotomato.blogspot.com Olga

    So pretty and impressive. I attempted macaroons once and they did not quite turn out :(

  • http://devourtheworld.blogspot.com jen

    at $4500 a pound at my black market source in LA and the fact that the macaron has managed to best me 5 times now, I’m thinking this is one of the posts that I just enjoy gazing at. beautiful!

  • http://www.thecotswoldfoodyear.com James

    This has to be what they serve you when you’ve passed the pearly gates?

  • Mel

    Thanks for the recipe, honey, I’m gonna take out my silpat and make a batch for my family tonight :)

    NOT!!! :…(

  • http://mllenoelle.wordpress.com/ mlle noëlle of simmer down

    I just tried making macarons for the 1st time and it was an utter failure on so many levels! :( I need a tutor. Made three batches and none turned out. Grrr. Yours look great though!

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    i’m just going to believe these are awesome. ain’t no way i’d ever feel comfortable blowing a white truffle on anything sweet (since 9 out of 10 times i’d eat something savory over sweet). but this looks gorgeous.

    one day i’ll be able to afford a white truffle. :( feel sad for me yet?

  • http://www.foodieindenial.com Foodie In Denial

    Sweet lord those look beautiful.

  • JD

    Definitly wont be able to try this one but it looks incredible.

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    We add our thanks to the pig!

  • http://dolceanewyork.blogspot.com Dolce

    I think I haven’t baked macarons in a year… Good god, this is such a beautiful looking macaron…

  • http://culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess.wordpress.com George@CulinaryTravels

    These look utterly scrumptious. Delightful :)

  • http://www.clumbsycookie.blogspot.com clumbsycookie

    I want to cry my Zen friend. There’s been a while I don’t sink my big teeth into some white truffle goodness! I’m so sold to these macarrons! That’s what happens when you get yourself together with Pierre!

  • http://baconandrhubarb.blogspot.com Rachel (S[d]OC)

    Whenever I see a truffle I think to myself, “Who was the first person to see that ugly thing and think, ‘I’ll bet that would taste good. I think I’ll eat it.” I think that this is the most creative use of truffles I’ve seen in quite some time. White chocolate ganache – whoulda thunk?

  • http://arimichan01.blogspot.com Thao Phan

    this this extreamy difficult!!!!!

  • http://fortheloveofkidsandfood.blogspot.com Miranda

    This is beautiful and very challenging! Great job and very impressive.

  • http://www.tavolini.blogspot.com Tavolini

    Honestly? I will probably never make these…but wow. I love to see these amazing creations you make!

  • http://lifesafeast.blogspot.com Jamie

    You make it sound heavenly! I had a look through PH’s macaron book and was fascinated by the combinations and I want to try them all! Gorgeous!

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com pigpigscorner

    Beautiful! Impressive!

  • http://www.honeyfromrock.blogspot.com Claudia

    Well, should I ever get my hands on a fresh White Truffle, this may be on the menu. I just tried my first truffles ever. They were Black Summer Truffles, in a tiny jar, preserved in salt, and, truthfully, can’t say they were anything to write home about. Maybe we have an emperor here with no clothes on?? Or, do I just need to try Alba Whites, fresh?

  • http://www.recipetaster.blogspot.com Alessio

    Zen, these looks definitely worth the money!!
    I didn’t actually get what you do with the almonds flour and the egg-white; you are supposed to stir them together, right??
    As second, when you open the oven door you actually are lowering its temperature so it doesn’t matter if you slam it back, right?
    Third, why do you warm choco and cream separately? The classical method (hot cream over choco), wouldn’t it work?
    At last a suggestion, when using temperature, trying being consistent in the unit of measure makes the things clearer for us poor Europeans. ;)

    Thanks for sharing, these macarons are the most sensual I’ve seen so far!

  • http://cakeonthebrain.blogspot.com cakebrain

    I’ve never ever seen a whole white truffe in person; nor have I smelled one. I can only imagine. Putting them in macarons is so innovative and daring!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Man, you are indeed insane. And now, gestating white diamonds in your tummy! Welcome back from Japan by the way! :)

  • http://eataduckimust.blogspot.com/ jared

    That is one expensive macaroon. never had truffles in sweets before, i bet it taste amazing. it was nice meet you and marc in kyoto. can’t wait to see your post after you have recovered from jet lag.

  • http://www.lafujimama.com Fuji Mama

    Oh my goodness! These sound SUBLIME.

  • http://anisettechef.wordpress.com AnisetteChef- Eugene, Or.

    Thanks for the tip on finding them under Hazelnut trees. I have an orchard right across the street. Sounds like a Dawn Raid on the first day of January is in the works! Pierre does it again!

  • http://vanillastrawberryspringfields.blogspot.com sugar plum fairy

    exotic truly…had my first tyrst with truffles in ‘no reservations’ recently& been on my mind since then.this is my second…

  • Dee

    Amazing taste, so unusual thanks to the white truffle. I love it!