Spreading Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons with Ganache, Nutella or I’m a Hazelnut?

There have been a few disgruntled faces at Nutella recently. In the Autumn, Casino supermarkets in France brought out their own version of the famous hazelnut spread, called ‘Je suis noisette’. Casino claim their spread is better in that they don’t use palm oil and so it’s more ecologically friendly. What’s wrong with a bit of competition? Nutella naturally went nuts but the campaign is still going strong.

“I am hazelnut, the first spread without palm oil”, says the jar

If anyone knows me, however, I am not a Nutella fan. There, I’ve said it. My children are fans, though. They also tried this new spread, and bingo! They love it. Replacing the palm oil with sunflower oil, cocoa butter and coconut oil is surprisingly alike in both texture and flavour. They also love Nutella but recently they’ve been adding the Je suis noisette version to the shopping list, saying that it tastes more chocolatey. Well, then.

What would you prefer inside?

However, on a macaron note, I know many people who simply use Nutella spread as a quick macaron filling instead of making their own ganache. Believe me, it’s not the same.  No, no, no. I even tried using it as part of my macaron demonstration at the Aye Write Festival last year as I was cooking in a library from a suitcase since I had to adapt without a kitchen. But there’s no comparison. Using a spread is far less intense in chocolate and, above all, makes the overall macaron far too sweet. Somehow the chemistry doesn’t work with the spread and, unlike a chocolate ganache, it doesn’t permeate properly into the shell for that vital 24 hours thus making the macaron too dry and chewy.

For the sake of about 30 minutes, I do encourage you to make that extra effort and make your own chocolate-hazelnut filling. Just use ground hazelnuts in a classic dark chocolate ganache…

There, I’ve said it again. And for Nutella or other chocolate spread fans, if you spread the word, I think it’s time for me to run away. Yes, I think I’ll run to Scotland and hide in the hills with a box of these macarons.

On return, I promise a new wave of recipes… what would you like to see?

19 replies
  1. parisbreakfast
    parisbreakfast says:

    I too was attracted to the jar and I don’t go bananas over Nutella to begin with.
    Go figure. I think I like the handwritten script and doesn’t it say what percentage of hazelnuts(35%) is inside which fancy pants Nutella does NOT!
    Inquiring minds need to know.

  2. Gourmantine
    Gourmantine says:

    I have to confess, I’m one of nutella fans out there, but have been making my own version for health sakes for a while now and it’s so true that macarons with nutella filling become too sweet (been there did that).
    On the note of new recipes, I always enjoy seeing desserts, especially with berries in season 🙂

  3. Lellibelliskitchen
    Lellibelliskitchen says:

    Those look so yummy! I’ve done a mixture of home-made ganache and Nutella plus some frangelico liqueur for my filling for my hazelnut macarons and it turned out great.

  4. Liz
    Liz says:

    Beautiful! I would love a lemony theme please for May. May is very lemony and zesty when it gets hot in Scotland (well, I can dream) and one starts thinking about lemon meringue pie, lemonade and lemon macarons!
    Really enjoyed this blog post, thank you!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      It just so happens that I have some up my sleeve for you in May, Liz. Now I best get packed and off now. Dreaming of sunny skies in Scotland! Thanks for popping by.

  5. Ann Mah
    Ann Mah says:

    You make ganache sound so easy! I have to admit, I avoid Nutella because of the unhealthful and environmentally unfriendly palm oil so am intrigued by Je suis noisette. Especially since your kids have called it chocolatier!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Ganache IS so easy, Ann. Heat up your cream and pour over broken chocolate, stir in some butter et voilà. Now, you’ve got me thinking of chocolate again…. hm.

  6. Gina
    Gina says:

    I don’t eat the spread myself, but my daughter likes it. I’m in your camp, there is no comparison to a ganache with a high quality chocolate and fresh nuts.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Ah, speculoos spread by Lotus is good but somehow in macarons it would make them dry, non? I can see that on crêpes 😉 You back to Paris this summer? Hope to see you.

  7. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
    Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says:

    Oh, I’ll take the homemade gananche anytime. I think I’ve bought Nutella about 3 times in my life and then only under pressure from my little Nutella-addicted niece. Apart from the teaspoonful she ate, it has mouldered in the cupboard until I threw it out.

    I’m sure she’d prefer ganache if she was introduced to it. After going to the effort of making macarons, why, why, why dumb them down with hazlenut spread (if not confined to cooking from a suitcase… in a library…).

    What would I prefer inside those gorgeous chocolate macarons – perhaps Dulce de Leche.



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