Chocolate, Caramel & Hazelnut Spread

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By Darren Purchese

Like Nutella..only better. This chocolate spread has lots of uses none better than spreading onto toast for a delicious European style snack. There is a bit involved with this recipe and it is important that you are careful when cooking with caramel as it is so hot. Also important is making sure your pan is large enough to cope with the mixture boiling up when you are at the reduction stage. You will need to cook this down to the the correct thickness to ensure the chocolate spread is not too hard or too runny so make sure the saucepan can handle the volume of liquid and remember it will boil over so make sure your pan is oversized.

A quick note on Gianduja… its a delicious creamy chocolate confection originating from Italy, renowned for its smooth texture and rich hazelnut flavour. It is made by blending finely ground hazelnuts with sugar and cocoa solids, resulting in a luscious paste that is then combined with milk chocolate. This combination produces a velvety, nutty chocolate with a distinctively creamy profile.

The production of gianduja involves roasting and grinding hazelnuts to create a paste, which is then mixed with sugar to form a praline. This praline is melted and combined with milk chocolate, creating the final gianduja product. The hazelnuts not only impart a delightful taste but also contribute to the creamy consistency, making gianduja a versatile ingredient in both chocolate and pastry making.

It is often used as a filling for chocolates, truffles, and pralines. Pastry chefs also incorporate gianduja into mousses, ganaches, and spreads. It can be purchased online, from a chocolate supplier or in specialised pantry and ingredient shops.

This recipe was first shown to me over a decade ago by one of the best pastry chefs in the world, Ramon Morato from Spain. I have been making it ever since and it is fantastic.

Time

1

hour

15

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Medium

Save

1

Portions

4
Jars

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Ingredients

Servings

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STEP A

100 ml warm water
100g caster sugar
15g pectin powder *

STEP B

2 litre cream, thickened
100g glucose syrup
2g vanilla paste
2g salt flakes
2g bicarbonate of soda

STEP C

600g caster sugar

STEP D

250g dark chocolate, min 55% cocoa solids
150g gianduja
1

For step A… add the pectin powder to the 100 g of caster sugar and then mix well, add into a tall cylindrical jug and pour over the water. Use a hand held blender to blend until smooth. Set aside.

* Pectin is a natural gelling agent used to help thicken jams syrups in fruits that are low in natural pectin. It’s found in many places these days including health food stores, specialised food ingredient stores, online and even supermarkets now stock this item. It’s natural, vegan and gluten free. If you are having trouble finding this then you can use jam setting sugar as a substitute for the pectin. This can be found at the supermarket, and you will need 500 g jam setting sugar to make this recipe. Just follow the recipe as stated using the jam setting sugar in place of the caster sugar.

 

2

For step B… place the cream, salt, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla paste and the pectin solution (from step A) into a large saucepan and heat to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

 

3

For step C… heat a large oversized saucepan to hot and use the direct method to caramelise the sugar. Do this by adding in a quarter of the sugar to the hot dry pan and use a heat proof spatula to stir the sugar. Stir and melt the sugar until you have a lump free dark amber caramel. Once this is achieved add another quarter of the sugar to the pan and stir to melt again. Continue this process another two times by adding in a quarter of the sugar at a time and stir until you have a lump free dark amber caramel. Be careful as this is hot. Deglaze the hot caramel with half of the hot mixture from step B. Be extremely CAREFUL at this point as the mixture will expand furiously and the resulting steam is extremely hot and can burn you. Once the mixture has tempered add in the remaining cream mixture.

 

4

To cook the mixture… continue to cook over a medium to high heat and stir regularly with a heat proof spatula. Reduce the mixture by two thirds until you have a thick caramelised base.

 

5

For step D… Remove the pan from the heat and pour a quarter of the mixture on top of the chocolate and gianduja. Leave to sit for 20 seconds before blending to a smooth emulsion using a hand held blender. Mix this with the remaining caramel cream and stir to a smooth and homogeneous mass.

 

6

To store… pour the mixture into sterilised jars and steam in an oven for 3 minutes to ensure pasteurisation and seal. Chill immediately and clean, label and store in the pantry for up to three months. Once a jar has been opened then store in the fridge.

 

7

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

For step A… add the pectin powder to the 100 g of caster sugar and then mix well, add into a tall cylindrical jug and pour over the water. Use a hand held blender to blend until smooth. Set aside.

* Pectin is a natural gelling agent used to help thicken jams syrups in fruits that are low in natural pectin. It’s found in many places these days including health food stores, specialised food ingredient stores, online and even supermarkets now stock this item. It’s natural, vegan and gluten free. If you are having trouble finding this then you can use jam setting sugar as a substitute for the pectin. This can be found at the supermarket, and you will need 500 g jam setting sugar to make this recipe. Just follow the recipe as stated using the jam setting sugar in place of the caster sugar.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

For step B… place the cream, salt, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla paste and the pectin solution (from step A) into a large saucepan and heat to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

For step C… heat a large oversized saucepan to hot and use the direct method to caramelise the sugar. Do this by adding in a quarter of the sugar to the hot dry pan and use a heat proof spatula to stir the sugar. Stir and melt the sugar until you have a lump free dark amber caramel. Once this is achieved add another quarter of the sugar to the pan and stir to melt again. Continue this process another two times by adding in a quarter of the sugar at a time and stir until you have a lump free dark amber caramel. Be careful as this is hot. Deglaze the hot caramel with half of the hot mixture from step B. Be extremely CAREFUL at this point as the mixture will expand furiously and the resulting steam is extremely hot and can burn you. Once the mixture has tempered add in the remaining cream mixture.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

To cook the mixture… continue to cook over a medium to high heat and stir regularly with a heat proof spatula. Reduce the mixture by two thirds until you have a thick caramelised base.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

For step D… Remove the pan from the heat and pour a quarter of the mixture on top of the chocolate and gianduja. Leave to sit for 20 seconds before blending to a smooth emulsion using a hand held blender. Mix this with the remaining caramel cream and stir to a smooth and homogeneous mass.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

To store… pour the mixture into sterilised jars and steam in an oven for 3 minutes to ensure pasteurisation and seal. Chill immediately and clean, label and store in the pantry for up to three months. Once a jar has been opened then store in the fridge.

7
0 hours 0 minutes