Probably one of Italy’s most famous chocolate candies is called Baci, meaning kisses.
When I toured the Perugina factory in Perugia, they said that the original name was actually going to be cazzotti- meaning little fists or punches. Baci is a much nicer name for something so sweet.
Italy has a history of adding hazelnuts to their chocolates in pieces and in paste form. Probably one of the most famous is creating a spread called Nutella, which is a hazelnut chocolate spread, loved by Italian kids both big . It is best on a slice of yeasty country-style bread.
Gianduia is milk chocolate with a hazelnut paste. There is a chocolate candy called Giandiotti, which shaped into small pyramids, so very soft, they easily melt in your mouth. They are a specialty in Torino made with the hazelnuts from Le Langhe and are one of my favorites.
The Baci are made of a milk chocolate ganache with the hazelnut paste and added chopped hazelnuts. They formed into a round truffle and topped with a whole toasted hazelnut then dipped in chocolate, it is then wrapped in it’s signature silver foil with a love poem on the inside.
But I like my chocolate bittersweet and with more of an adult sort of kick to it.
For Valentine’s Day this year I have created homemade Baci- but heated it up with some chili powder!
Enjoy my Hot Italian Kisses.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tbs butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp powdered chili, I used chili from Calabria, but the French Esplette is nice too
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- Cocoa powder or chopped hazelnuts
- Heat the heavy cream without letting it come to a boil.
- Turn off the heat under the pan.
- Add the softened butter.
- Add the chopped bittersweet chocolate.
- Let sit until it melts and stir to be sure it is all melted and incorporated.
- Stir in chili powder and the chopped hazelnuts.
- Place in a bowl and let cool.
- Cover with saran wrap and let sit if the refrigerator over night to firm up.
- Make tiny balls and roll in either chopped hazelnuts or cocoa powder.
- You can keep them in the refrigerator and remove about 10 minutes before serving.
Try to eat only one!!!
Be more Italian- celebrate your loved one everyday!