My Chocolate Hazelnut Torrone is an Italian confection that is pure chocolate hazelnut nirvana. It’s made with 3 simple ingredients, but nobody has to know how easy it was to throw together. (They’ll be too busy munching to care anyway.)
I based my torrone on a Martha Stewart recipe, but had to adjust it to get the right creamy consistency that makes this candy so appealing (sorry Martha.) I’m glad I persevered because I know this is a holiday tradition in the making. There’s something about the idea of slicing off slabs of fudgy chocolate and nuts that makes my choc-a-holic heart go all a-flutter.
A torrone (tor-ON-eh) is an Italian candy that’s been around since ancient times, and has become a traditional Christmas treat. It’s usually made with honey, sugar, egg whites, which cook up to a marshmallowy nougat, and then roasted nuts are folded in. Once it firms up it’s cut into slices that reveal a gorgeous mosaic of nuts. This chocolate hazelnut Torrone is a more recent variation made with chocolate, Nutella, and roasted hazelnuts. It has a creamy texture that’s a little like fudge, and when sliced it reveals a beautiful mosaic of nuts, just like the original.
This chocolate hazelnut torrone is great to serve or give during the holidays because the ingredients are almost universally loved. If you’re one of those people who can’t keep your spoon out of the Nutella jar, this is for you.
It all begins with toasted hazelnuts. That’s easy to do on a baking sheet in a 350F oven, it just takes 15 minutes. Then I gather the nuts up in a kitchen towel and rub off the skins. If there are any leftover they go into a mason jar on the counter for snacks, topping oatmeal, or salads.
You’ll customize the flavor of your torrone depending on the chocolate you choose. You can do milk, semi sweet, or dark, along with the Nutella. I chose semi sweet. You can use basic grocery store baking chocolate, or splurge on gourmet brands, it is the holidays, after all.
There is no special technique or special equipment for this recipe, so it’s a good one for cooks of all skill levels. There are really only a few basic things you absolutely need ~
- a loaf pan
- parchment paper to line your loaf pan (so you can lift out the torrone after it’s hardened, to slice it.)
- a large sharp knife to cut cleanly through the chocolate and nuts.
How long will this chocolate hazelnut torrone last?
- It will last 2 to 3 weeks, I like to keep it in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze my torrone?
- You can freeze the torrone for up to 6 months. Wrap it in plastic and then put in a freezer bag or freezer container.
How should I package my torrone for gifting?
- Slice it first, then layer it in a flat container, with sheets of waxed paper between the pieces.
An Italian chocolate and hazelnut fudge-like candy.
- 1 and 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
- 14 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped (you can use milk chocolate, and you can also use chocolate chips if you like the flavor)
- 1 and 1/2 cups (don't skimp!) Nutella
- Preheat oven to 350F Lightly spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper with long ends. The ends will allow you to lift out the torrone later for slicing.
- Put the nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, giving the pan a shake half way through to redistribute the nuts. Let the nuts cool on the pan.
- Working in 2 batches, wrap the nuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub them all together to remove the skins. Don't worry if some of the skins remain, just get most of them off. Discard the skins.
- Put the chopped chocolate, or chocolate chips, in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for a minute. Stir, and then microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir again until all of the chocolate is smooth and glossy. Let the residual heat of the bowl do the final melting. (If for any reason you still have lumps, put the bowl back in the microwave for 15 seconds, until smooth.)
- Fold in the Nutella until completely incorporated, and then the nuts. Turn the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. I give the pan a few sharp raps on the counter to settle all the chocolate. Let sit until completely hardened. I left mine overnight at room temperature, but you can also refrigerate it.
- Use the parchment paper to lift out the torrone. Slice it into slices, mine are just shy of an inch. (If you have refrigerated it and it seems very firm, you can let it sit at room temperature for a while before slicing.)