I came up with this as a spin on gianduja (and its cousin Nutella) that would forgo the ubiquitous hazelnut to give under-appreciated pistachios a chance to shine. Dark chocolate couldn’t help but steal the show, but white chocolate’s mild flavor drops back to let pistachios take center stage.
Those with nut allergies can swap out pistachios for pumpkin seeds for a nutty but nut free take and those overwhelmed at my sacrilege can take refuge with a straight up recipe for homemade Nutella instead.
This is one of the most versatile recipes I have. It can be used as a sauce or spread to jazz up anything from brownies to ice cream. Chilled, it can be scooped into tiny balls to use as a garnish for cheesecake or cut into pieces to be enjoyed all on its own.
White Chocolate Pistachio Gianduja
3 ½ ounces water
7 ounces sugar
3 ounces corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
5 ounces pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped, melted and cool
½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
2 ½ ounces pistachio oil
optional: green food coloring
Lightly grease a sheet pan with pan spray, or use a silicon mat, and set aside.
Combine water, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean scrapings in a small pot over medium heat. Stir gently with a heat resistant spatula, taking care not to splash, until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture starts to bubble, stop stirring and let it carry on, undisturbed until it takes on a nice golden color. Aim for a light golden color if you want just a hint of caramel flavor or a darker gold for some deep caramel notes.
Shut off the heat, add in the toasted pistachios and stir to coat. Pour the mixture onto the sheet pan, spreading into an even layer. Set aside to cool.
When the brittle has cooled completely, break into chunks and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture has reduced to a powder. With the processor running, add in salt, melted white chocolate and pistachio oil. Continue processing until homogenous. If desired, add in a few drops of liquid food coloring or a small amount of gel paste to tint the mixture to a pistachio green. Obviously, this is just cosmetic but if you use a darker caramel for the brittle, it will have a dull, army green color you may want to counteract.
Store in a jar at room temperature to use as a sauce or a spread.
For scooping, refrigerated the mixture in a shallow, airtight container. Use a melon baller to scoop. Store the scoops, refrigerated. Alternately, the chilled mixture can be molded like Play-Doh into ropes or other shapes.
If you’d like to make candies for dipping in chocolate, transfer the mixture to an 8” square cake pan lined with wax paper. Spread into an even layer and refrigerate until solid. Lift the candy out, peel off the wax paper and cut into squares or diamonds. You’ll need about 16 ounces of chocolate for dipping.
The pistachio gianduja will keep for a week at room temperature or a month in the fridge.
Recipe Courtesy: Brave Tart