Get your Gianduja on: a recipe for nutty, chocolatey holiday indulgence

By Alive & Well

Chocolate and hazelnut. Together. It’s a match made in heaven. You know, like wine and cheese. Book and hammock. Horse and carriage, apparently.

Gianduja was invented in Italy in the 19th century by a fellow called Caffarel (clearly, a Very Smart Man). It’s what the Italians call a combination of hazelnut and chocolate, and it’s a great, non-processed treat that’s perfect for the holiday season.

I found this recipe by chef Matthew Kenney in the August/September 2011 issue of Nature & Health and it has been a winner with family and friends. And the best  part? It’s gluten free, sugar free, casein free AND soy free.

Try it on yours over the holidays and let me know how you go.

Scrumptious Gianduja Slice

250g cacao butter, melted
2 vanilla beans, scraped
1 teaspoon hazelnut extract (I sometimes use vanilla instead)
1/2 teaspoon salt
250ml agave nectar (you can also use maple syrup or honey)
250g cacao powder
125g raw hazelnut butter
250g coarsely chopped hazelnuts

Blend cacao butter, vanilla, extract and salt until smooth.
Add agave, cacao powder and hazelnut butter and blend until well combined.
Pour into a large bowl and stir in the hazelnuts.
Lightly oil a 22cm pan with a removable base, pour in mixture and refrigerate to set.
When set, remove from pan, chop to desired size and serve with berries (or whatever you think goes best).

Enjoy! Have a wonderful holiday season. And thanks for being part of our little community in our first year of blogging. See you next year.

Other recipes you might like: our Goji Superballs and Dad-worthy Florentines.