Sunflower Seed Macarons with Black Truffle Salted White Chocolate Ganache

When the very talented and prolific Shulie, writer of Food Wanderings, approached me on Twitter to do a guest post for her tree-nut free macaron series, I was, first and foremost, starstruck and busy thanking the high heavens that I was hiding behind a Twitter profile in my unkempt getup so Shulie wouldn’t be able to see how flabbergasted I was. Within two seconds of losing my cool, I realised the dangers of crossing into tree-nut-free macaron zone……and right about 3 seconds later, I grew acutely aware of the itch in my hands to experiment in the kitchen again. Just so you know, the adrenaline rush did the trick and I said yes. Of course I would say yes, it’s Shulie, and we’re talking about macarons here!

Regular readers of this blog would know that I am obsessed with eating them, and I am equally obsessed with making them. I’ve created a multitude of flavours over the past year but to make a tree-nut free one sounded pretty daunting to me. I mean, aren’t almonds the very soul of macarons; if we do away with almonds, which are tree nuts, would I still find feet? Would it still be a….macaron?

I was hesitant, and very intrigued at the same time. It would be wonderful to make this work, however challenging it might be, because people do suffer from tree nut allergies (take Shulie’s son for example) and I hate to know that he can’t enjoy macarons if they were made of almonds. So I did my research..if you don’t know already, the tree nut family is annoyingly large. Almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia -almost every nut you can think of is a tree nut, except peanuts, which are legumes. Just working out the base of the macaron shells was extremely challenging. Predecessors in Shulie’s tree nut-free macaron series, however have managed to make tree nut-free macarons work using pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanut flour and cocoa nibs. I wanted to add on to this variety and soon found myself browsing the aisles of specialist stores, but the answer was right under my nose all this while – sunflower seeds. Now, sunflower seeds are a good source of nutrients and boast a distinctively nutty flavour with a sweet-ish aftertaste; these were just perfect for the shells. The sweetish nutty aroma was a perfect marriage with the salted white chocolate ganache that have been infused with the deep earthy flavours of black truffles; I was very pleased with these macarons.

I hope you enjoy the flavours as much as I have enjoyed making them. Most of all thank you, Shulie, for inspiring me to push boundaries with traditional recipes. I’m glad to have helped create yet another tree nut-free macaron recipe to add to your wonderful series; most of all, I’m happy to be able to offer macarons to everyone who couldn’t have them previously. No one should miss out, and it’s all thanks to your thoughtful initiative, Shulie!

Before you go, you HAVE to hop over here for the rest of the post and I promise you, more photos of my Sunflower Seed Macarons with Black Truffle Salted White Chocolate Ganache await (I am very proud of this food styling approach I used this time….)! You will also get your hands on my recipe, so please go over now! Say ‘aye’ to nut-free macarons, and say hello to the lovely Shulie too! Oh, if you’re visiting from Shulie’s, a BIG hello and warm welcome to you!

*Updated: This post has been featured on Foodgawker. Check out my profile on Foodgawker to see my other featured posts!

If you love macarons, join me on my macaron journey.

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

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37 Responses to “Sunflower Seed Macarons with Black Truffle Salted White Chocolate Ganache”


  1. 1 Huiling July 8, 2011 at 9:38 am

    BIG thumbs up for the food styling babe! Another Level up!

  2. 5 BigAdele July 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Just the photos make you want to eat them !

  3. 7 Maameemoomoo July 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Gorgeous! Stunning! Beautiful!

    What else can I say babe? U have outdone yourself this time. Nut free macaron?!?! Who would have thought?

    Ps. So it’s a blessing in disguise that u couldn’t find the peanut flour in London eh? ;)

  4. 9 mimosacafebakery July 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    BigAdele is right, the food photography is (dare I say it) downright sexy. It might be a picture of something you don’t even like, but you would reconsider because it just looks so good.
    I’ve never made macarons, but I think I might have to give it a go.
    Congrats on the guest post and on another successful recipe.

  5. 11 Jia July 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Oh my, what an interesting combination! They look so good! And the photography is gorgeous.

  6. 13 foodwanderings July 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Hey girlie you are super talented. So happy to have you on board.Just got my new Nikon and coming to camp in London for few sessions and The Fat Duck.:) In any event you know I am never lost for words but you caught me off guard! Stunning recipe, macs and photography but I’ve been a fan for awhile now. Welcome to the nut free Mac Divas!

  7. 17 Annapet July 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Rachel, wow! But I knew that already that you make the most inspired and beautiful macarons! One day I’ll make my way back to London and please let me know when you’ll be in the SF Bay Area!

    I am so happy you are guest-posting for Shulie at @FoodWandering!

  8. 19 Junia @ Mis Pensamientos July 9, 2011 at 12:45 am

    visiting your blog from food wandering’s post! beautiful macarons! this would taste awesome with sunbutter in between – ultimate sunflower macaron hehehe. have a great day! found u on twitter!

  9. 21 joanne July 9, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Your macarons look great. Do you have any tips for someone who is starting out making macarons for the first time? For example, is there any particular piping equipment that I should buy / avoid? Also, what do you do with the remaining egg yolks when you bake these? Thanks for sharing!

    • 22 The Pleasure Monger July 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      joanne: Thank you! You will need a baking tray, baking parchment, an electric mixer (handheld or standing), a spatula, disposable or reusable piping bags, and a round piping tip. You will need to understand the quirks of your oven too, because what works for me may not work for you. So have a play around with the recipe, and tweak it to your conditions. I have to say that macarons are quite temperamental and it depends on the humidity and climate of the area you work in too. Like what @foodwanderings said, the egg yolks could be used for custards, ice creams. I use them for creme brulee, and if they are fresh, use them for hollandaise or bearnaise sauce etc. Hope this helps and good luck!

  10. 24 Holly July 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Beautiful pictures and post!

  11. 26 foodwanderings July 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Joanne, Jumping in here about the egg yolks. Can be used for custards or ice cream bases.

  12. 28 rsmacaalay July 11, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Those macaroons look so perfect!

  13. 30 Jolene July 12, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Its perfect! I wouldn’t expect anything less from you! Esp with macarons! :)

  14. 32 breadetbutter July 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Oh wow, this looks AMAZING! I’m so impressed, I still haven’t ventured into macaron making hehe. I especially like how you used sunflower seeds, makes it much more special.

    Now I’m craving for macarons! :P


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Read about my food-gasmic adventures in San Sebastian here! Also please come by and check out the prettiest cake I've made over here!
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