These super indulgent Baci biscuits are a great after dinner treat with coffee, or simply if you have an urge to stuff your face with chocolate. Baci di Andora take ‘chocolatey’ to the next level. Unlike the original Baci di Dama variety, they consist of two chocolate brownie-like biscuits, sandwiching a dark chocolate ganache middle. They’re also made with hazelnuts as opposed to normal flour and are therefore gluten free.
We first introcuced these Baci to our British friends on our wedding day….
“Bacio! Bacio!”, “Kiss! Kiss!”
It’s the typical chant you’d here at an Italian wedding demanding ‘action’ from the top couple.
In 2013 my wife and I got married here in the UK. For our wedding favours we decided to give guests little sachets of these treats, aptly named ‘Baci di Andora’ – Kisses from Andora – the town where I grew up. In itself not hugely newsworthy. What does make it impressive, however, is my Dad flying over the day before the wedding just to ensure we’d have freshly baked Baci on the big day.
He picked 10kg up from our local bakery, packed them in his suitcase sacrificing any clothes, and flew them over just in time for festivities. What a guy! Mum on the other hand was slightly less impressed about having to spend the weekend with Dad and no fresh clothes.
All in all, the super-indulgent nature of these treats, combined with the mandatory commentary of them being freshly flown-in from Andora, made for some pretty awesome favours, and happy chocolate-stuffed guests.
So in good old Great British Bake-off style, get your piping bag at the ready and bring out those ganache skills (actually pretty simple). You’ll want to eat these whilst they’re still soft and brownie like, so get ready to share them with friends or make sure you scoff them within a week.
Makes 40 Baci. Prep time 25mins. Cook time 15mins.
For the biscuits:
200g ground hazelnuts
160g golden caster sugar
15g acacia honey
25g raw cocoa powder
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
For the ganache filling:
50ml double cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped
In a mixing bowl add all the dry biscuit ingredients and toss around to distribute evenly.
In a mixer add the egg whites and a pinch of salt (helps to firm up the mixture) and beat until you have soft white peaks.
Pre-heat oven to 150C.
Carefully fold the hazelnut mix into the egg whites trying not to knock out all the air.
Place the mixture into a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Pipe 1 inch wide rosettes onto a lined baking tray. You should get around 40 rosettes. Place in the oven and bake for 10 mins. Take out and allow to cool.
Whilst the biscuits are baking, bring the cream to a gentle simmer in a small pan. Add the chocolate and take off the heat. Set aside to melt for 5 mins. Stir vigourorlsy until you have an even, glossy chocolatey mix. Cover and set aside to cool.
Once the ganache has set to a firm but spreadable consistency, take half of the biscuits and spread or pipe with ~1 tsp of ganache. Sandwich with the other half and set aside.
The baci are ready once the filling has set to a chocolate truffle-like consistency.
What are your piping skills like? Have you every eaten an entire bowl of slightly wrong ganache so it wouldnt go to waste? I did after attempt 1 went awry. Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!