Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Homemade Gianduia

Gianduia (also spelled gianduja) is a chocolate-hazelnut spread. You may have heard of an Italian product called Nutella. Well, Nutella is actually the brand-name for a type of gianduia.

If you have tasted Nutella, you are probably aware that it is awesome. Well, for those of you who have dairy and refined sugar restrictions, you definitely will not be able to enjoy the Ferrero version of the spread.

However, what if I told you that you could make your own dairy-free and sugar-free gianduia, in a matter of minutes?

Please note that the no measurements are required for this recipe.

You can work with a double boiler, in order to not scorch the ingredients, but feel free to work directly on the stove top if you feel that your skills are advanced enough. Note, chocolate can and will burn easily if you don't know what you're doing.

Begin with melting a desired amount of unsweetened Baker's chocolate.

Once melted, add carob powder to sweeten.

(Carob powder is derived from the fruit of the carob tree. It is also known as St. John's-bread or locust bean. Carob powder is used as a substitute for cocoa powder and can be found quite easily in bulk food stores. Simply put, carob powder is very similar to cocoa powder, except that it does not contain any stimulants, like caffeine. Additionally, it contains some carbohydrates, making it naturally sweet. To me, it tastes a bit like "caramel meets maple syrup".)

Add enough carob powder to meet your desired level of sweetness.

Your mixture may become clumpy at this time.

To the mixture, add enough hazelnut butter to equal approximately 1/3 of the amount of melted chocolate and carob.

(Gianduia normally consists of approximately 30% hazelnut paste. I use hazelnut butter, because in Canada, hazelnut butter can be found easily in major grocery stores.)

The natural oils in the hazelnut butter should smooth out the clumps and bring the mixture to the consistency of a spread. If the mixture has not loosened up enough, feel free to add either some olive oil or coconut oil in order to get it to the desired consistency.

At this point, your dairy-free, refined sugar-free gianduia will be ready to enjoy.

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