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Giandu-who? I know you've seen the word. It became all the rage a few years ago. Fine chocolate houses all over the world were touting it and singing its praises.

So what the heck is it?

Gianduja, pronounced zhahn-DOO-yuh, is simply a mixture of finely ground hazelnuts and chocolate. If you’ve ever had Nutella, and personally I could just sit and eat it with a spoon right out of the jar, you’ve had a version of gianduja.

In the Piedmont region of Italy, Turin to be exact, a confectioner named Pierre Paul Caffarel found that the mid 1800’s were a tough time to acquire the cocoa needed to produce his chocolates. Hazelnuts, on the other hand, were plentiful. So, in a move to not only stretch the lira and use a widely abundant local product but also to combat the inconsistent cocoa supply, he finely ground hazelnuts and blended the paste with melted, tempered chocolate. The new confection was named gianduja after the quintessential piedmontese carnival character.

Traditional gianduja is made with a combination of hazelnut and almond paste. It’s commonly cut into pieces and wrapped in gold foil. The texture is somewhat like eating the inside of a peanut butter cup.

Being a confectioner myself and in the spirit of Pierre Paul Caffarel, I also make gianduja but I make mine with the widely available nut in my part of the world, macadamia nut. I also like to pipe mine into truffle shells and use it as a filling.

So, here’s a recipe for you using Nutella, a widely available form of gianduja:

Peel and cut a pineapple into 1/2 inch rounds
Brush with a little vegetable oil
Grill lightly on each side to warm the pineapple and bring out the sugar
Arrange on a pretty platter
Warm some Nutella gently in a microwave
Drizzle (pour!) over the pineapple slices
Top with chopped hazelnuts that you’ve lightly toasted in a dry skillet



Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • In the words of Homer Simpson (complete with drool) Aagaggggaggagagg.....
      I love Nutella!
      I bought a jar once and it disappeared. A few months later I was looking for something in my boys room, reached under a bed and found my Nutella completely empty with a FILTHY spoon next to it. My boys obviously had your same idea in mind! :)

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • yum-although for me, b/c of my dairy allergy, I’d want the same thing w/ really dark chocolate-not a drop of milk in it.
      love the dark stuff-only need a bite for complete satisfaction!

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gabby wrote Oct 6, 2008
    • Wow!
      Amazing—I’ll send this to my daughter-in-law. She’d love it.

      I do want to visit and try out your delicacies—-let’s see some samples here.

            Report  Reply

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