Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chocolates with hazelnuts

Since the first time they were prepared in the twenties these chocolates have been considered a symbol of love. Well this wouldn't have happened if they would have continued to call them "cazzotto (the italian word for punch)", which was the name that their inventor, Perugina co-founder Luisa Spagnoli, had given them because of their similarity to the knuckle of the hand. Fortunately, thanks to the cooperation with other experts, the name was changed into "Baci" which is the italian word for kisses, and also, they started to wrap them in a love note.
Soon Baci became a favourite among lovers, and still today all lovers exchange Baci (kisses) on St. Valentine's Day...(they share real kisses as well!)
And today's recipe is entirely inspired by these chocolates, because making them with your own hands at home is fun and even more romantic!

Ingredients for about 30 chocolates:

Nutella 100 g (3,53 oz) (or 150 g (5,29 oz) of milk chocolate)
100 g (3,53 oz) shelled, toasted and peeled hazelnuts
50 g (1,76 oz) of chopped hazelnuts
5 tablespoons of fresh cream
70 g (2,47 oz) of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
30 g (1,06 oz) of cocoa powder

For the topping
About 30 whole toasted hazelnuts (one for each chocolate)
200 g (7,05 oz) of dark chocolate
Place the peeled hazelnuts in a blender (1) and mince them thinly (2), activating the blender at times to prevent hazelnuts oil to come out and create a sort of paste. Pour them into a large bowl and add Nutella chocolate, icing sugar and cocoa powder sifted together (3), and cream (4).
 Mix well and add the chopped hazelnuts (5-6), mix everything and shape into little balls (slightly smaller than a walnut) (7-8).
Lay them on a layer covered with baking paper (parchment paper) and place on top of each ball a whole hazelnut (8). Put in the refrigerator for half an hour. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (make sure that the double container doesn't touch the water) (9).
 Take the chocolate balls from the refrigerator and dip the base of each one in the melted chocolate (10), place them back on the tray covered with baking paper and let sit 10 more minutes in the refrigerator. When the base became harder, take  out of the refrigerator and take one chocolate at the time with a palette knife (11) and cover with chocolate by using a pastry brush.
Refrigerate and allow to harden (12).