Gianduja is a highly desired filling for chocolates as it is both delicious and luxurious. Many recipes and methods to prepare Gianduja exist but all contain similar ingredients. These mainly include hazelnuts, sugar and chocolate and at times with lesser amounts, milk powder and cocoa butter. Some of us in the pastry lab also make Gianduja using part hazelnuts and part almonds. To make a silky smooth Gianduja a roller refiner machine is necessary; however a good quality food processor can provide good results as well. The recipe for Gianduja below is made using purchased hazelnut paste, for a recipe using raw hazelnuts see my recipe here on my site.
Chocolates which are made using pure Gianduja (Thus no fillings which contain Gianduja but also include butter, cream, fruit purees etc) can be kept for a much longer time if compared to standard ganache. The extended shelf life is attributed to a very low Aw value of chocolate and hazelnut paste, the main components. Ganache an emulsion of chocolate and cream (which contains a large amount of water) has a high Aw value. Remember, generally speaking the higher the Aw value of chocolate fillings the shorter its shelf life will be. Fillings with high Aw values are perfect breeding grounds for micro organisms. Certainly there is more than the Aw value which determine shelf life, but for chocolates made in high sanitary conditions and using the correct working methods the Aw value is a very important one. In upcoming work I will go deeper into this subject.
When using Gianduja in chocolates it is important to remember that the delicate flavor of hazelnuts can easily be lost. Using chocolate with a cocoa mass content of 60% or higher will make it harder for your consumers to fully appreciate the wonderful Gianduja flavor.
Gianduja Chocolates with Dried Cranberries
|17 oz||Hazelnut paste, sweetened||500 g|
|7 oz||Milk chocolate (38-42% cocoa)||210 g|
|3 oz||Dried Cranberries||90 g|
|For enrobing, as needed||Semisweet chocolate 52-58%||For enrobing, as needed|
- This Gianduja can be made and poured between candy rulers or can be left to crystallize and then rolled between thick plastic to desired thickness. The chocolates featured here were made using a frame which allows the creation of an uneven surface.
- Using candy rulers create a frame of approximately 12 x 12 inch (30 x 30 cm) onto a silpat. Set aside.
- For fast setting of the Gianduja temper the chocolate and mix with room temperature hazelnut paste followed by cranberries.
- Pour into the frame and even out using an offset spatula. If not using a frame allow the Gianduja to set in the bowl, stirring every few minutes for even cooling. Once crystallized remove from bowl and roll to desired thickness between plastic sheets.
- After several hours or overnight (do not refrigerate) cut into desired size.
- Temper dark chocolate couverture and enrobe the Gianduja centers. “Mark” the surface using your dipping fork.