Homemade Baci, Italian chocolate hazelnut kisses, are so easy to make you won’t believe it. Just grab yourself these four ingredients: hazelnuts, cacao, muscovado sugar and good quality dark chocolate. Within an hour you’ll have an irresistable treat ready for gifting. Present them with some words of love, as found in each Baci from Perugina, and make someone’s heart glow.
Baci – Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Kisses
No time for reading? Scroll down for the recipe.
Baci are the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat in Italy, but any day is good for saying ‘I Love You.’ A box of Baci from Perugina brings a smile to anyone’s face, but even more, they warm the heart. As though a whole hazelnut half-submerged in a chocolate-hazelnut truffle which has been lovingly coated in dark chocolate isn’t heaven enough, in 1924 the Art Director of Perugina had an illuminated idea. Each and every chocolate should contain a message of love.
History was made. From that year, the silver foil stamped with it’s blue logo and stars has been eagerly opened and the phrase read out loud by lovers and well wishing friends. They’re part of the Italian identity and tradition, recognisable the world over. Baci are more than just a chocolate which ignite the tastebuds: they’re an experience which touch the emotions, stimulate conversation and make everyone smile and go, ‘Ah….’.
Baci – it’s Italian for ‘Kisses’
If you receive a message from an Italian that end’s with the words ‘Baci e Abbracci’, then you are loved. It means ‘Kisses and Hugs’. The ‘ci’ is hard in Italian, like the English ‘ch’, so Baci is pronounced ‘Ba-chi’, and Abbracci, ‘A-bra-chi’.
Homemade Baci – 4 Ingredients to Choc Hazelnut Bliss
The recipe for Homemade Baci here is simple. No complicated ingredients like cacao nibs that you need to search for in speciality stores, no expensive vanilla – though if you want to add them, then by all means, go the distance. We find that hazelnuts, cacao, muscovado sugar and good quality dark chocolate is more than enough to send little waves of dopamine coursing throughout our systems. I use melted Lindt chocolate for the coating – both 70% and 85% are wonderful – it depends on what you can find.
Remember that cacao is a starch, so it’s best to simmer it gently for a minute so that the starches are released and it thickens. This serves also to dissolve the muscovado sugar.
Take a little time to form the balls, making sure the hazelnuts are nestled in nicely. Flatten the bottoms a little so that they like a Byzantine dome. Coating them with the melted dark chocolate requires a little dexterity – two toothpicks are the best tools, I find. Chill them in the fridge so the chocolate sets hard.
Choose your message, write it out, pack them beautifully. Let these little wonders sing out your declaration of love.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
On the Side
Paleo Bounty Balls, Full of Good Fat and Fun – More chocolate coated goodness. Hard to believe these treats are good for us.
Paleo Cut Out Cookies – Hearts, Farmyard Animals, Christmas Stars – another great way to bring out the smiles on any occasion.
Chestnut, Choc Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies – That magical combination of chocolate and hazelnut, and here the addition of chestnut creates a most beautiful crumb.
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Best Wishes to You, Good Health and Great Lovin’.
- 3 tablespoons cacao
- 3 tablespoons muscovado sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup toasted hazelnuts + 15 more
- 60 grams dark chocolate
- Line a small tray or chopping board with parchment paper.
- Place the cacao, muscovado sugar and water into a small saucepan or frypan and heat slowly. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until the cacao releases it's starch and the mixture becomes thick. Turn off the heat and allow to cool a little.
- Setting 15 whole hazelnuts aside, place the rest into a food processor. Process to a crumb-like consistency, Avoid reducing it to a super-smooth butter. A little texture is desirable.
- Add the cacao paste and process again until thoroughly combined.
- Form 15 rough balls. Press a whole hazelnut into the top of each ball, then take a little time to fit the dough around each nut so it is half submerged, and flatten the bottom slightly.
- Melt the dark chocolate by placing it in a ceramic bowl set over a saucepan with 2cm / 1 inch of water. Bring the water to the boil, then simmer, making sure no moisture enters the bowl. Turn off the heat, but leave the bowl over the saucepan so the chocolate remains liquid.
- Working with one baci at a time, roll it in the dark chocolate until coated. Pierce it with a toothpick to remove it, allow excess chocolate to drip away, then place it carefully on the parchment paper lined tray. Repeat with each baci.
- Allow to cool - the chocolate will set faster if placed in the fridge.