Gianduja is a sweet spread made from fine chocolate and approximately 30% hazelnuts. This delicious chocolate delight originated in Turin, Italy when Napoleon ruled over that country. During this time, as we learned in history classes, the British and the French weren’t exactly on good terms, and the British fleet regularly patrolled the Mediterranean Sea to blockade French ships. |
Needless to say, this led to many shortages, and chocolate suppliers were hard pressed to provide the chocolate so loved by the Italians. As a result, a Turin based chocolatier, Michele Prochet, was inspired to stretch his diminishing chocolate supply by adding ground hazelnuts (commonly grown around Turin) to his recipes. Thus was born Gianduja, named after a popular puppet of the time that was said to represent a typical resident of Turin and the region of Piedmont which was, and still is, renowned for its hazelnut confectionery.
When is Nutella Not Nutella – When It’s Gianduja
If you think Nutella and similar hazelnut spreads sold by chocolate suppliers are gianduja you’d be mistaken. There’s no denying that they’re sweet and tasty – but they are a long way from the real thing!
Remember, top-quality gianduja, either from Italy or home produced in the UK and sold by many fine chocolate suppliers must have at least 30% pure hazelnut past. Look at the ingredients label and if it’s less than 30%, then it isn’t real gianduja.
Become Your Own Gianduja Producer
If, for some reason, you can’t find any gianduja chocolate retailers then don’t despair. With just a little time and effort, you can make your own at home – and it’s not that difficult.
• First you need 400 g. of chocolate and 400 g. of hazelnut brittle. • Now grind the hazelnut brittle into fine crumbs. Grinding them in a coffee grinder or food processor could heat up the sugar and make it melt, so use a plastic bag and a rolling pin. • Next melt two thirds of the chocolate in a double boiler and, when it’s completely melted, add the remaining chocolate and stir until it reaches 32º C. Don’t have a thermometer? No problem, just spread some of the melted chocolate on your lips and if it’s cool it should be ready (tempered). • Take 300 grams of melted chocolate and 300 grams of powdered hazelnuts and mix them together in a bowl. • Pour the mixture evenly over a silicon lined baking tray and leave to set • When its set, cut it into pieces and use the remaining chocolate to coat each one. • Before the chocolate hardens, roll each chocolate in the remaining hazelnut mixture and, voila, your very own, handmade gianduja.
Now you can share them with family and friends – or save them for yourself!
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established chocolate suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.
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