When it comes to a mass-produced chocolate treat, Baci Perugina have maintained consistent quality since the early 1900s. They are bite-sized, truffle-style, and include the gimmick of a love quotation with every chocolate. In this recipe, Littlebaking pays homage to the Baci by developing a bite-size treat which includes a hazelnut trifecta – raw hazelnuts (freshly toasted), ground hazelnut meal and dry roasted hazelnuts. We also want to re-define the Baci experience by lightening and softening the texture with the inclusion of cake crumbs.
This recipe includes three stages, so it takes a little time. While the recipe may have the drawback of being a little time consuming, it offers the benefit of simplicity. No oven is required for this recipe – only whitegoods. A microwave can be used to melt chocolate, and a fridge and freezer are used at critical stages to both dry and solidify the chocolate mix. These baci will keep well in the fridge for several weeks.
If they last that long, of course.
Ingredients – filling
2 cups chocolate cake crumbs
Half cup raw hazelnuts, toasted in oven, and then finely chopped
Half cup of condensed milk
Three quarters of cup ground hazelnut meal (almond meal could be substituted)
Tablespoon butter, melted
c. Quarter cup of melted dark chocolate (good quality)
Ingredients – final touches
Three quarters of a cup whole dry roasted hazelnuts (approx.)
c.1 cup melted dark chocolate for coating (approx.)
Put cake crumbs, hazelnut or almond meal and finely chopped freshly toasted hazelnuts into bowl. Melt dark chocolate with butter (in microwave, if you’re ‘new school’ or in a bowl over simmering water if you’re ‘old school’). Add melted ingredients and condensed milk to dry ingredients. Mix. Take teaspoons of the mix and roll into ball shape. Put into fridge, uncovered, to slightly dry mixture and to solidify ingredients (about 1 hour).
Remove from fridge. In the top of each chocolate ball place a whole dry-roasted hazelnut so that it resembles a nipple. (Yes, we said it, nipple). Place the prepared baci nipples back on the tray, cover with cling film (so they don’t absorb any additional moisture) and put into the freezer this time. Half an hour is usually long enough. They should be firm and cold so they will maintain their shape a little better when coated in hot melted chocolate.
Line a cake cooling rack with baking paper, as this will help to prevent some of the inevitable mess that comes with chocolate coating and draining! Melt dark chocolate (using old school or new school technique, whichever your prefer), but just ensure chocolate remains warm and melted during this next stage. Place a baci on a fork and hold over the bowl of melted chocolate. With a spoon drizzle melted chocolate over each baci, until completed coated. Drain each baci, and then slip with a sharp knife onto the baking paper covered cooling rack. Leave to set properly before moving.
Keep in fridge.