It’s been a busy past few weeks. Christmas is coming. Christmas in my household means Stollen, cookies (lots and lots of cookies) and chocolates. The Stollen I will make on December 23rd. I’ll start cookie production on December 1st. For the last three weeks, however, I have been elbow deep in chocolate. Here is a gratuitous picture of chocolates that I have made in the past.
This year I made chocolate dipped apricots and chocolate dipped ginger. I made a batch of Pfeffernüsse (OK, so I did start the cookies) and dipped them all in chocolate. I made peanut butter pretzel balls, and salted caramel truffles. I soaked figs in whiskey and covered them with chocolate. I molded miniature chocolate peppermint pigs, and larger chocolate Santas. I stirred leftover chocolate into rice crispies, cornflakes, and raisin bran and called it (ahem) a breakfast bar. I also made gianduia, wrapped it around toasted hazelnuts, and dipped it in chocolate.
I hope to make more truffles, time permitting, closer to Christmas. I have my eye on an assortment of walnut wine, ruby port, and scotch.
In the meantime, however, I give you my recipe for gianduia. Gianduia is an Italian chocolate hazelnut paste. It is fiendishly difficult to pronounce, but marvelous to eat. For pronunciation tips check out this video.
Gianduia is ridiculously easy to make, if you start with nut butter. In fact you can take this recipe and use it with any nut butter you please. Almond and peanut work especially well.
Once you’ve made your gianduia you can roll it into balls and dip it in chocolate. I have also poured it into a pan, let it set, and cut it into squares. I have even made several different kinds (with dark, milk, and white chocolate, respectively) and layered them in a pan before slicing into bite sized pieces.
(Note that the amounts are by weight, in grams. Sorry about that, but it’s how I measure it.)
- 400 g nut butter
- 150 g powdered sugar
- 210 g dark chocolate (70% or higher)
- Melt the chocolate on the stove over low heat or in a microwave.
- Stir in the sugar and nut butter.
- Pour it into a foil-lined pan if you want to cut it into squares, or let it sit in the bowl to harden if you pan to roll it into balls.
- Wait until it hardens to cut or roll it. This will take several hours. Be patient.