Now that eating them (or even handling the nuts without gloves) is not an option I've become even more obsessed with creating treats with those flavours. Call it a sad form of self-torture, but I just can't stop myself! Luckily, I have lots of willing taste-testers on hand to make sure my goodies pass muster... When it came to this smooth, thick and dark chocolate-hazelnut creme filling, I was lucky to come out of the kitchen with any left to actually fill chocolates with! I can certainly understand, though - while the base recipe is essentially a modified ganache (cream, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, chocolate-hazelnut extract and Frangelico), it truly morphs into a thick, velvety "custard" of sorts with the addition of guar gum.
Usually reserved for gluten-free baking in my kitchen, I've since discovered it's handiness for thickening sauces and purees (it has saved my vegan, gluten free stir-fry sauces more than once). Adding even a smidge more than you really need in a dish can drastically change the texture, and by looking at how much is technically required to thicken x amount of liquid I was able to figure out just the right quantity to add for my runny chocolate sauce to become a smooth, pipeable creme. What didn't get eaten right away, I stashed in a freezer container for filling chocolate shells later on - given the amount of Nutella fans I know, there still won't be enough to go around!
Shared with Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Gluten Free Fridays
Gianduja Creme Filling
Makes ~2 cups, 32 servings
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup half-and-half cream
1 1/2 cups chopped bittersweet couverture chocolate
2 tbsp Frangelico
1 dram (~1 tsp) super strength chocolate hazelnut flavour (i.e. Lorann's), optional
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp guar gum
- Combine the creams in a measuring cup or small pot and heat until vigorously steaming.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream overtop. Let stand 3 minutes, then stir to melt the chocolate.
- Cool 20 minutes, then whisk in the Frangelico and chocolate hazelnut flavour.
- Mix together the cocoa and guar gum, then whisk into the chocolate mixture until well incorporated and beginning to thicken.
- Cool to room temperature, then chill (covered) until use.
Total Fat: 4.4 g
Cholesterol: 4.9 mg
Sodium: 2.9 mg
Total Carbs: 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
Protein: 0.7 g