I know you know what this is. You might not know the name (also spelled “gianduia”) but you know what it is. It’s the solid chocolate version of Nutella. It’s that creamy hazelnut chocolate that I fell in love with at Les Pralines Belges oh so long ago.
After managing to find a rather fetching bottle of hazelnut oil at Simon Johnson’s Subiaco store, I rejoiced. My mind wandered to this tasty treat of times past and I decided that I would make my own raw version of this Italian marvel. Just like that.
I managed to find a really basic gianduja recipe online. I immediately set to work on a base of my raw chocolate, which I made without maca powder and with powdered panela (evaporated sugar cane juice) rather than agave syrup.
I added hazelnut oil, coconut butter and extra panela before pouring my hazelnut creation over whole/crushed hazelnuts and bee pollen.
The end result
It tasted hazelnutty, it tasted good; it didn’t taste like gianduja. The flavour burst out as a childlike chocolate-crackle-in-a-chocolate rather than the dreamy decadence I was chasing.
The post mortem
Where I went right:
- Powdering the panela was a good move — plus the panela tasted more authentic than agave syrup.
Yep. That was the one thing I did right. I think. Oh, and the fact that I made a creamy raw chocolate that tasted good, even if it didn’t taste right…
Where I went wrong:
- Even though I ground it very finely, using panela turned out to be a liability. It did not completely dissolve as refined sugar does.
- Gianduja really has to be made with hazelnut paste. Hazelnut oil won’t do.
- You don’t get the same flavour from raw hazelnuts. [And so my hopes for a raw gianduja were dashed. Just like that.]
- I added too much coconut oil. That’s where the chocolate crackle flavour came from.
While it made for a fun afternoon, I can not foresee a second attempt at this particular experiment — unless I can figure out how to replicate a roasted nut flavour in its raw imitation.
Any bright ideas?
PS. A big thank you to my lovely friend Hayley for her assistance in the kitchen this afternoon 🙂