Recipes: Gianduja (Italian Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread)
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Makes 4 x 8-ounce mason jars
2 cups (heaping) hazelnuts, preferably skinned (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
1 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 x 8-ounce mason or glass jars with lids, cleaned thoroughly
Grind hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor until a fairly smooth, buttery paste forms, like peanut butter. This may take 10-15 minutes. Occasionally stop the processing and scrape down the sides to make sure everything gets processed well.
Place chocolate in a medium glass bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water. (The heat will melt the chocolate.) Stir the mixture often until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan. Add the butter and whisk until completely incorporated. Whisk in cream and salt, then hazelnut paste. Stir well to thoroughly incorporate.
Pour the Gianduja into jars, dividing equally. Let it cool. The Gianduja will thicken and become soft and peanut butter-like as it cools. Screw on lids.
Gianduja can be made up to 4 weeks ahead; keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 4 hours to soften. Can stand at room temperature up to 4 days.