Gianduja Cookie Dough

This evening Enrico shares one of his favourite recipes that he enjoys making (and eating) with his daughter.

It is a recipe that anyone, currently in lockdown, can replicate at home with their kids, using their favourite chocolate! In Enrico's case Turin's gianduja chocolate is the family favourite because it reminds him of his origins.

Gianduia paste was created in Turin in 1806 by local confectioners who were looking for a way to reduce the cocoa content in chocolates without affecting the flavour. This was due to the steep rise in cocoa prices, caused by a shortage after Napoleon Bonaparte banned imports of it from the United Kingdom and its colonies. The confectioners decided to mix what little cocoa powder they had with the paste obtained by grinding local hazelnuts (known as Tonda Gentile delle Langhe), growing in the area now mostly famous for its fine wines. The result was an intense and velvety paste – and an instant hit with the locals.

Serves : 6 

Preparation & Cooking Time : 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300gr self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 220gr soft unsalted butter
  • 170gr soft light brown sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 220gr finely chopped Gianduja chocolate
  • 100gr roasted crushed hazelnut

Preparation method

- Before beginning your cookie dough recipe, preheat your oven at 180°C/ gas mark 4 and have ready either a 30cm/12” skillet for a large family sharing cookie dough or six 8cm/3,5” round ceramic ramekins for individual portions.

- Measure the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, forking together to mix.

- On a separete bowls using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until you have a light and creamy mixture, then add the vanilla paste and the eggs, beating again to incorporate.

- Gently fold in the flour mixture, then, once it’s all mixed in, fold in the chocolate and the roasted crushed hazelnut.

- Divide the dough between six ramekins, you will need about six tablespoons of batter for each one. Using the back of a teaspoon, spread the mixture to cover the bottom of the ramekins, and smooth the tops. Or if you are using al large skillet spread the dough all over the pan surface and level this with the help of a spatula.

- Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 minutes. They will still be quite gooey inside, but the top will be set, and they should be golden brown at the edges and just beginning to come away from the sides of the ramekins. In case you are using a large skillet or an oven proof omelette pan, bake the dough for 18 minutes at the same temperature.

- Rest to cool for 5 minutes before serving the Gianduja cookie dough with your favourite gelato, roasted nuts and cocoa coulis. 

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