Gianduja Cream, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, and Gluten-Free, is the perfect recipe for all the chocoholic out there. Intensely chocolatey, smooth, and luxurious, this chocolate hazelnut spread is easy to make and has only 5 ingredients.
"Vuoi pane e zucchero, o pane e olio, bella di nonna?" - "Would you like bread and sugar, or bread and oil, my beautiful baby?" my grandma would say to me after she picked me up from school. Few were the times I would opt for bread and oil, my choice was almost always sweet. In specific, she would wet the slice of bread in water and then sprinkle granulated sugar on top, as simple as that, my sweet snack as a child at my granny's place.
As my parents and my grandpa were working, she would be the one to walk me to kindergarten or school, and then come to pick me up to bring me to her place. She was my nonna, my mom, my nanny, my friend, my teacher. At that time we were living in the same building, her apartment on the 1st floor, ours, on the 6th. Sometimes, when my mother came back from work and stopped at my grandma to get me, I would insist I'd stay there longer, I would have never left if it was for me. Not that I did not love my mother or my family, but at nonna's it was awesome. I would help her make fettuccine, her specialty, or the wonderful tomato sauce nobody made like her. Or I would just play with her wardrobe, modeling in her dresses, shoes, and most of all the hats, the ones she used for weddings and special occasions. She had so many beautiful ones, including my mother's wedding veil, I would play with. But my two favorite ones were: a summery light beige hat, with flowers on one side, and one black, with a veil and a rose. She wasn't a baker, and she did not have a sweet tooth, so when snack time arrived, she would present me those two options of wet bread, one sweet, one savory. Or, on the occasions she was making dough, she would make pizzette that she would fry and sprinkle with sugar. I was already in middle school when Nutella started to appear in her pantry and as my snack of choice, on the usual slice of bread. I was so happy, and to this time, a slice of bread with a chocolate hazelnut spread is my most favorite dessert or breakfast. I remember her buying the Nutella in the drinking glasses, not the jars, and she would make the whole set of six or twelve glasses. She thought that for the same price, at least Nutella had doubled its use, as my treat, and as a glass.
I am not ashamed when I say that a glass or jar of Nutella has been in my pantry ever since, or at least, until a few years ago, when people starting to pay attention to the ingredients and palm oil was considered a bad choice, either for the environment and health. At this point, healthier options of real chocolate hazelnut spread started to appear on the Italian market and replaced the most popular brand in my life. When I started to come to Canada to visit my future husband, and then I came to stay a bit longer, I saw that Nutella was also sold here. To my surprise, though, I found that it was not like the one I loved in Italy, it was way sweeter, in a way that made my teeth ache. So, on every trip back and forth from Italy, I would buy at least 3 or 4 little jars of chocolate hazelnut spread to bring back to Edmonton. They are incredibly delicious, chocolaty but not sweet, and unlike anything I've tasted here. Pure melted chocolate, cocoa, hazelnuts and some oil. And that is the flavor and texture, I wanted to recreate in my own version of a chocolate spread.
When the last jar of chocolate spread I had brought back was gone, there were few weeks of research to find a store bought equivalent in Canada, that led to no avail. I was slowly getting discouraged and planning a trip to Rome just to buy some more when I encountered online a recipe made by one of Italy's young and talented Pastry Chef: Luca Montersino. I had bought his "Cacao e Nocciole" spread at Eataly in Rome, recurrently, and found it was just what I was looking for: a dark chocolate spread, with a lovely hazelnut flavor, that tasted like a Giandujotto (the famous Italian cioccolatino). In his recipe for homemade gianduja cream, he uses milk or dark chocolate, hazelnut paste, unsweetened cocoa, melted butter, and rice oil.
Our first homemade delicious Gianduja Cream!
To make our Gianduja Cream, we adapted the recipe, using: a mix of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) and semisweet chocolate chips, organic hazelnut butter, unsweetened cocoa, and coconut oil. We did not use any butter or rice oil, but the natural oil that was at the top of the hazelnut butter. Just five ingredients, a bowl, a whisk, a spatula, and a jar. With Loreto, it took us 10-15 minutes to put together, between the melting of the chocolate in a bain-marie, adding the rest of the ingredients, then cooling it off in an ice bath, while constantly stirring. The taste test was my favorite. I was in heaven! Finally, I had recreated my favorite treat. I have to confess I have been having toast and Gianduja Cream every morning since that day we made it.
The texture of this Gianduja Cream is literally luxurious, and smooth. The cocoa nicely incorporated into the melted velvety sheen of the dark chocolate, the richness of the coconut oil blending in so well, leaving us with a chocolaty creamy flow on our tongues!
The flavor, beautiful. The smokiness of the cocoa nicely infusing the dark chocolate, which in turn enhances the distinct toasted nutty flavor of the hazelnut butter. The coconut oil silky and rich in that unmistakable coconut flavor, leaving us with sighs of content and fulfillment until the next wave of cravings for Gianduja Cream comes in!
Song of the day: Send my love (to your new lover), by the fantastic Adele.Print
- 150 g milk or dark chocolate
- 6 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 20 g coconut oil
- 20 g hazelnut oil (the oil from the top of the hazelnut butter)
- 135 g hazelnut butter (you can buy it at organic stores or you can make it blending 100 g hazelnuts and 50 g sugar in a food processor until creamy)
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (double boiler) over medium low heat.
- Add the cocoa powder, the coconut oil, the hazelnut oil, the hazelnut butter.
- Stir and mix everything until melted.
- Once melted, let cool while continuing to stir. To speed up the process, put the bowl in an ice water bath.
- When the gianduja cream has cooled off, fill the jar.
Gianduja Cream lasts at room temperature for a long time. It will tend to harden a bit over time. If you want it more liquid, leave it 10 seconds in the microwave.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Cuisine: Italian
Ricetta in Italiano:Print
- 150 gr cioccolato al latte o fondente
- 6 gr cacao amaro
- 20 gr olio di cocco (o burro liquido)
- 20 gr olio di riso o nocciole
- 135 gr pasta di nocciole (si compra pronta oppure mettete le nocciole e la metà del loro peso in zucchero nel frullatore fino a che diventa una pasta es: 100 gr nocciole 50 gr zucchero)
- Fate sciogliere il cioccolato a bagnomaria, a fuoco medio basso.
- Aggiungete il cacao in polvere, l’olio di riso (o nocciole), l'olio di cocco (o burro liquido), la pasta di nocciole.
- Mescolate bene e amalgamate tutto.
- Togliete dal fuoco una volta sciolta e fate raffreddare continuando a girare. Per accelerare i tempi mettete la ciotola a bagno maria in acqua e ghiaccio.
- Quando la crema sarà raffreddata mettetela nel barattolo.
Si conserva a temperatura ambiente per molto tempo, ma tende a solidificarsi un po'. Se vi piace più liquida mettete il barattolo 10 secondi nel microonde o a bagno maria.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
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I love baking and kneading dough because it takes me to a happy place in my soul.