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I’m still trying to get the environmental issues worked out in my new kitchen. Downtown gets very hot and humid, even during this time of year. I have air conditioning but still make almost constant adustments. I’m accostomed to working upcountry where the air is cooler.

So yesterday I decided to forego the usual production schedule and make something a little different.

I’ve blogged about Gianduja (jhan-doo-ya)before and how much I enjoy making it. There’s a history behind it that’s near and dear to my little Italian heart.

In the 1600’s in the Piedmont region of Italy there was a candy maker by the name of Caffarel. Cocoa became scarce and he needed to come up with a way to stretch his product and stay in business. Hazelnuts were abundant in the region so he toasted them, ground them to a paste and mixed them with chocolate to create a confection that would be delicious and cost effective for him at the same time. If you’ve had Nutella, you’ve had a somewhat modern version of Gianduja.

Being Italian I wanted to create something that honors my heritage. Living in Hawaii I wanted to use local ingredients as much as I can. So I produce my own version of Caffarel’s Gianduja and I made a batch yesterday. I toasted macadamia nuts, ground them to a paste, mixed them with dark chocolate, piped it into gold foil cups, topped them with a cap of dark chocolate and a sprinkling of more toasted mac nuts. I looked at my work after it was done and it actually made me happy. I love what I do.

These could actually become my favorite confections to make.



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