Ferrero Rocher Macarons - it's another mash-up! Delicious chocolate hazelnut macaron shells with a Nutella ganache filling, dipped in melted chocolate and chopped hazelnuts for that signature Ferrero Rocher taste and look.
I love creating new macaron flavors, and last week, I went to a wine tasting hosted by the Portuguese Ambassador to the UK. Needless to say, it reminded me of the famous 1990s Ferrero Rocher adverts we had here in England (if you've not seen them, watch here), and an idea was born...what if I made Ferrero Rocher macarons? It sounded pretty over the top, but I set about breaking down this famous sweet treat to see what I could do.
What are Ferrero Rocher?
Ferrero Rocher are a chocolate Italian confectionary with three elements. A gooey, chocolate hazelnut encased in a wafer sphere coated in chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. Ferrero Rocher are named for their creator, Michele Ferrero, and a Catholic shrine Rocher de Massabielle.
The issue I faced making Ferrero Rocher macarons was sweetness. Macaron shells are incredibly sweet, and I needed to balance this out against the filling and coating, which was also going to be very sweet. But I managed it, and the result is an elegant and tasty treat that stays just the right side of sweetness.
What makes this the best recipe?
- The shells: macaron shells are made with ground hazelnuts as well as ground almonds, and they replicate the wafer element. We coat the hazelnut macaron shells in melted dark chocolate mixed with chopped hazelnuts.
- The filling: The Ferrero Rocher macaron filling is a mixture of rich ganache made with a lower percentage cocoa solids dark chocolate so that it thickens to the right consistency, plus a small amount of Nutella. Nutella on its own would be too sweet as a filling, but the balance with the ganache and slight acidity from the cream works perfectly.
- The topping: Finally, the macarons are dipped into chocolate and hazelnuts to perfectly imitate Ferrero Rocher, but in macaron form.
Is this your first time making macarons? Be sure to check out my full, detailed guide to making Italian macarons (with Italian meringue) first. I prefer the Italian method with macarons, as the meringue has more stability and structure, which makes the macaron batter harder to overmix.
Ferrero Rocher macaron shells
- Ground almonds: This Ferrero Rocher macaron recipe uses ground hazelnuts and almonds.
- Ground hazelnuts: Hazelnut flour is less dense than almond flour and works well blended together.
- Egg whites: We need two separate lots of egg whites, one for the Italian meringue and one for the almond/hazelnut paste. Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature for the best results.
- Powdered sugar/icing sugar: This is mixed with the nut flour and egg whites to form a paste.
- Cocoa powder: Mix cocoa powder with the nut paste to get a delicious chocolate macaron shell. Make sure to use high-quality, high cocoa percentage chocolate powder.
- Fine granulated sugar: This is used to make a sugar syrup for the Italian meringue.
- Water: We use water to help us melt the sugar evenly and avoid sugar crystals.
Ferrero Rocher macaron filling
- Double cream/heavy cream: Use high-quality heavy cream for the Ferrero Rocher chocolate ganache filling.
- Nutella: Nutella has the classic rich chocolate hazelnut taste we need.
- 50-60% dark chocolate: It is important to use chocolate with the right percentage of cocoa solids to get the correct creamy texture and thickness.
Ferrero Rocher macaron topping
- Hazelnuts: Finely chopped hazelnuts complete the Ferrero Rocher look, taste and texture.
- 85% dark chocolate: We use a higher percentage of dark chocolate for the topping, as it is more fluid and forms a nice light layer rather than a thick, brittle one.
See the recipe card for full quantities.
- Preheat the oven to 145 degrees Celsius / 295 Fahrenheit.
- Prepare and weigh out the ingredients, separating the room-temperature egg whites from egg yolks if necessary. Take care not to get any egg yolk into the white.
- Make the nut paste by sieving the nut flour and icing sugar to remove any lumps. Then blend them all together with the cocoa powder until they are a very fine consistency and completely combined. Put the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the first lot of egg whites with the ground nuts/powdered sugar mixture until it is fully incorporated. You can stir vigorously, I like to use a hard metal or wooden spoon. It will form a thick paste.
Prepare the Italian meringue. Place the water and granulated sugar into a saucepan. Gently warm the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Then turn up the heat, stop stirring, and place the sugar thermometer into the mixture.
Once the temperature reaches 115 degrees Celsius/240 degrees, whisk the other egg whites in a separate large bowl until they form soft peaks. Then slowly start to pour the sugar syrup into the whisked egg whites bit by bit whilst continuing to whisk.
The Italian meringue will turn a smooth, glossy, and opaque white. Continue to whisk once all of the sugar syrup has been added to bring down the heat until you can touch the side of the bowl, and it feels warm but not hot.
Be careful not to add the Italian meringue into the nut paste whilst it is still very hot, as it will scramble the uncooked egg whites in the nut paste, and you will end up with a sorry mess.
Mix the Italian meringue into the nut paste in three stages.
Firmly mix in the first third of the Italian meringue with a metal or wooden spoon to loosen the paste. Fold in the remaining two-thirds one at a time using the softer spoon or spatula, being very gentle with the final third to not overmix the batter and make it too slack. It should still softly hold itself and not be sloppy.
Pipe the macaron shells. Transfer the macaron batter to a piping bag, relax it slightly more with your hands, and then cut the tip off. Pipe the macaron shells onto a lined baking tray or cookie sheet, leaving a small gap in between each cookie as they will expand whilst they bake.
Pick up the tray and firmly smack it down onto a work surface twice to settle the Italian macaron batter and help prevent air bubbles.
Bake the hazelnut macarons straight away for 17 minutes, then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the tray.
Nutella ganache filling recipe
Heat the cream in a saucepan until it reaches the steaming point. Break the (lower cocoa solids %) chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl with the Nutella. Pour the hot cream over the top and stir to form a smooth and rich chocolate hazelnut ganache.
Put the Ferrero Rocher chocolate ganache filling into a piping bag and chill in the fridge to thicken it.
Chocolate hazelnut topping
Melt the chocolate for the topping in a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water and chop or blend the hazelnuts into small pieces. You don't want the chopped hazelnuts to be completely ground down, but we don't want huge pieces either.
Mix the chopped hazelnuts into the melted chocolate and dip half of the macaron shells into it to coat the domed outside of the shell before placing them on a tray to harden.
Finish your Ferrero Rocher macarons. Pipe the Ferrero Rocher macaron filling onto the uncoated macaron shells and sandwich with one coated in the chocolate and chopped hazelnuts.
Serve and enjoy!
Hint: why not go one step further and use edible gold leaf on the outside of your chocolate macaron shells?
If you have any leftover ganache and chunky hazelnut chocolate topping, mix them together and spread thinly onto a lined baking tray. Put it in the fridge, and it will harden, at which point you can snap it into pieces and make chocolate hazelnut brittle.
Wine pairing for Ferrero Rocher
A sherry or sweet red wine like an Italian Brachetto d'Acqui pairs well with the chocolate hazelnut flavors of these Ferrero Rocher macarons. Alternatively, a Cabernet Sauvignon has been known to work well with chocolate! Or I found this cocktail recipe for a nutty martini made with Frangelico, the Italian hazelnut liqueur, which sounds tasty.
If you love baking macarons as much as I do, try some of my other macaron flavors!
- Weighing scales. Digital is best. Baking is a science, after all, so we need precision! I do not recommend using the cup system to make macarons.
- A sieve to ensure that the powdered sugar and almond flour is as fine as possible.
- A blender/food processor to thoroughly combine the almond flour and powdered sugar. This ensures a completely smooth finish on your macaron shells.
- A small saucepan to make your sugar syrup
- A jam or sugar thermometer to measure the temperature of the hot sugar syrup. The sugar syrup needs to be at a particular temperature to make Italian meringue, and it is impossible to judge without a thermometer. The best thermometers for sugar syrup do not allow the bulb to touch the bottom or sides of the saucepan, thus ensuring you are measuring the temperature of the sugar and not the pan.
- An electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk your room-temperature egg whites into soft peaks before slowly adding the hot sugar syrup.
- Two large mixing bowls, preferably glass. Try to avoid using a metal mixing bowl for the Italian meringue, as it will conduct heat and prevent the mixture from cooling.
- A metal mixing spoon for combining ingredients more vigorously.
- A silicon mixing spoon or spatula for further, more gentle mixing.
- Baking sheets/trays - not high-sided ones, as this builds up too much steam
- Silicon mat or baking parchment paper (but the silicon mats are better and allow for lower waste as they are not single-use)
- Piping bags - to pipe your macarons onto a baking tray and then also to pipe your fillings.
Store leftover Ferrero Rocher Macarons in an airtight container in a cool place for up to two days and then refrigerate. Use within a further three days.
Macaron shells freeze very well for up to one month. Defrost thoroughly before filling.
Clean all of your utensils, bowls, and measuring containers before beginning this macaron recipe. It is important that no fat gets into the egg whites, and it's common for there to be residual oil on kitchen items!
Yes, macarons freeze really well, but be sure to freeze macaron shells before they are filled.
Yes, you can technically use any nut flour in macarons, but you need to ensure the fat content in the recipe is balanced correctly. All nuts have differing oil levels, and as baking is such a precise science! I use a 50/50 split of almond flour and hazelnut flour in this Ferrero Rocher macaron recipe.
Personally, I have never had the same results when making macarons or meringue using pre-packaged egg whites that are readily separated. I am not sure if it's due to preservatives.
Yes, older egg whites are better than fresh egg whites for meringue. This is because the proteins have had a chance to break down in older eggs.
A perfect macaron has a smooth, glossy domed top and flat underside. It also has 'feet', the crackly, vertical layer that rises up and lift it when the macarons bake.
Ferrero Rocher Macarons
- 1 Sieve Blender/food processor
- 1 Metal or wooden mixing spoon
- 3 Silicon baking mat or baking parchment paper
- 185 grams (6.5 oz) Powdered sugar (icing sugar or confectioners sugar)
- 95 grams (3.3 oz) Ground almonds
- 95 (3.3 oz) Ground hazelnuts
- 65 grams (2.3 oz) Egg whites
- 1 tablespoon (1 teaspoon) Cocoa powder
- 185 grams (6.5 oz) Granulated sugar
- 100 ml (4 floz) Water
- 65 grams (2.3 oz) Egg whites at room temperature
Ferrero Rocher filling
- 200 ml (17 floz) Double cream /heavy cream
- 200 grams (2 tablespoon) Chocolate 50-60% cocoa solids
- 2 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) Nutella
Chocolate hazelnut topping
- 200 grams (7 oz) Dark chocolate 85% cocoa solids
- 75 grams (2.5 oz) Hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 145 degrees Celsius / 295 Fahrenheit.
- Make the nut paste by sieving the almond and hazelnut flours and icing sugar to remove any lumps. Then blend them all together until they are a very fine consistency and thoroughly combined. Stir in the cocoa powder and put the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the first lot of egg white with the ground nuts/powdered sugar mixture until it is fully incorporated.
- Prepare the Italian meringue. Place the water and granulated sugar into a saucepan. Gently warm the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Turn up the heat, stop stirring and place the sugar thermometer into the mixture.
- Once the temperature reaches 115 degrees Celsius/240 degrees, whisk the other egg whites in a separate large bowl until they form soft peaks. Then slowly start to pour the sugar syrup into the eggs, whilst continuing to whisk.
- The Italian meringue will turn a smooth, glossy and opaque white. Continue to whisk once all of the sugar syrup has been added to bring down the heat until you can touch the side of the bowl and it feels warm but not hot.
- Mix the Italian meringue into the nut paste in three stages. Firmly mix in the first third of the Italian meringue with a metal or wooden spoon to loosen the paste. Fold in the remaining two-thirds one at a time using the softer spoon or spatula, being very gentle with the final third to not overmix the batter and make it too slack.
- Pipe the macaron shells. Transfer the macaron batter to a piping bag, relax it slightly with your hands and then cut the tip off. Pip the macaron shells onto a lined baking tray, leaving a 2cm gap in between each macaron.
- Pick up the tray and firmly smack it down onto a work surface twice to settle the Italian macaron batter and help prevent air bubbles.
- Bake the chocolate hazelnut macaron shells straight away for 17 minutes, then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the tray.
- Make the Ferrero Rocher macaron filling. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it reaches steaming point. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl with the Nutella. Pour the hot cream over the top and stir to form a smooth and rich chocolate hazelnut ganache. Put the Ferrero Rocher filling into a piping bag and chill in the fridge.
- Make the topping. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water and chop or blend the hazelnuts into small pieces.
- Mix the chopped hazelnuts into the melted chocolate and dip half of the macaron shells into it to coat the domed outside of the shell, before placing them on a a tray in the fridge to harden.
- Finish your Ferrero Rocher macarons. Pipe the Ferrero Rocher macaron filling onto the uncoated macaron shells, and sandwich together with one that has been coated in the chocolate and chopped hazelnuts.