Layered Hazelnut Truffles look fancy, but are really quite easy to make. Dark chocolate hazelnut ganache and milk chocolate cinnamon ganache come together for a sophisticated and luxurious treat.
You may have seen layered truffles like these in a high end chocolate shop and never imagined that you could make these at home. Well, you can and you should.
Pastry shops and chocolate shops use a specialty product called “gianduja” to make these fancy treats.
What is gianduja? Ahhhh, gianduja is a luxurious mixture of ground hazelnuts and chocolate. An Italian invention, gianduja was created as a way to stretch the supply of expensive chocolate with widely available hazelnuts.
This same flavor profile is found in Nutella (try this super-easy Homemade Nutella recipe for a real treat) and those fabulous Ferrero Rocher chocolates in the gold wrapper.
But you don’t need commercial gianduja to make these truffles. You can make your own version of gianduja. Then, with just a few additional ingredients, you can make these show-offy candies in no time.
How to make Layered Hazelnut Truffles:
- Two different chocolates create the layers. Use semi-sweet chocolate in the hazelnut layer and milk chocolate in the cinnamon layer for a nice contrast in color and flavor.
- Use high quality chocolate. Chocolate “coatings” and chocolate chips have added ingredients and stabilizers that will compromise the velvety texture of the candy. The final truffles will only be as good as the chocolate used to make them.
- Use whole hazelnuts if you can find them. The baking section of my local market only carries little bags of chopped hazelnuts. The skins from the chopped nuts can leave a gritty texture. It’s easier to remove the skins from whole hazelnuts, and they are often already skinned. I found whole hazelnuts in the bulk section of my local market.
- Make perfect ganache. At it’s most simple, this recipe is just two different ganaches layered in a pan. The ganaches are firm enough that you can cut the candies and pick them up.
- Use two complimentary flavors or just one flavor. The flavor combination of hazelnut and cinnamon is very traditional for these candies. If you really want to highlight the hazelnut flavor, you can leave the cinnamon out of the top layer.
- Layer in a cake pan. There is no need for specialty candy making equipment for this recipe. An 8″ square cake pan is the perfect size for making these layered truffles.
- Chill each layer as you work. Chill the hazelnut layer while you make the cinnamon ganache. By the time the cinnamon ganache is mixed you’ll be ready for the second layer. Chill the assembled truffles until completely firm.
- Cut the truffles into perfect 1″ squares. Use a long serrated knife to cut the chilled ganache. Wipe the blade with a warm, wet cloth between cuts for clean edges.
- Serve the truffles lined up on a pretty platter or….
- Give layered hazelnut truffles as a gift. These candies are the perfect “gift from the kitchen”. Set the truffles into little petite four cups and arrange them in a candy box.
Watch the recipe video to see exactly how to make Layered Hazelnut Truffles with Cinnamon.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
- 3 oz (84g) hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup (2 oz, 56g) confectioner's sugar
- 12 oz (336g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
- 12 oz (336g) milk chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup (3 oz, 90 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
- 2 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Line the bottom of an 8" square cake pan with parchment paper.
- Toast the hazelnuts in the oven until golden brown and fragrant. If the hazelnuts have skins, fold the warm nuts in a kitchen towel and rub back and forth to remove as much skin as possible.
- Place the warm nuts in a food processor. Process for 4-5 minutes. At first it will look like a powder, then it will look like wet sand and eventually it will form a paste that looks like peanut butter. Stop the processor and scrap down the bowl whenever the mixture builds up on the sides.
- Add the sugar to the hazelnut paste and process until smooth. Stop the processor and scrap down the bowl whenever the mixture builds up on the sides.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until the chocolate is melted. Add the hazelnut paste to the chocolate.
- Combine the cream and brandy in a microwave proof bowl. Heat for 20-30 seconds until scalding hot (be careful it doesn't boil over). Pour the cream all at once into the chocolate and stir until smooth.
- Spread the mixture in to the prepared pan and refrigerate while you make the next layer.
- Place the milk chocolate in a microwave proof bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until the mixture is melted. Set the chocolate aside.
- In another bowl, combine the cream, brandy, corn syrup and cinnamon. Microwave in 10 second increments until the cream is scalding hot (be careful it doesn't boil over). Pour the cream into the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy.
- Spread the cinnamon layer over the hazelnut layer. Refrigerate until both layers are completely set.
- Line a sheet pan with clean parchment paper. Run a paring knife to scrape around the sides of the chocolate to separate it from the pan. Flip the slab of chocolate over and peel off the parchment paper. Flip slab right side up.
- Use a sharp knife the cut the candies into 1" by 1" squares. Wipe the knife between cuts.
- The candies can be set into paper petite four cups then arranged in a box for gift giving or arrange the candies on a tray for serving.
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