Gianduja Budino and a Chocolate Pass in Turin

Gianduja Budino


I went for the wine and found chocolate.  My trip to the Piedmont region of Italy was mainly to sip as much Barolo wine as possible.  In addition to the wine, I  found Eataly and CHOCOLATE!  


Giadiuotti Chocolates


Turin has been making chocolate since 1600 and is most famous for its gianduja, the combination of milk chocolate and hazelnuts.  After Piedmont was conquered by Napoleon and the supply of cocoa became scarce, chocolatiers started adding ground hazelnuts (hazelnut trees grow throughout the region) to the chocolate, and gianduja was born.  Gianduja cream, made internationally famous by Nutella, is another product in abundunce in the region.  To showcase the many chocolatiers, chocolate pastry shops and gelaterie of Turin, they offer visitors a Chocolate Pass.  For 12 euros, you get 22 tastings of the unique chocolate specialties of the city.




Take the 3 days the pass gives to complete the chocolate tastings.  Even I, a self-proclaimed chocoholic, overdosed on chocolate after all those tastings.  Along with a pass you get a brochure that leads you, in a well-organized manner, through Turin’s “streets of chocolate.”  It’s also a great way to see the city’s sights (the guide points them out) while searching for some of the best and oldest sweet shops in Turin.



Confetteria Roma Gia Talmone


Gianduiotto, the triangular shaped bars of gianduja, are a big part of the tasting, but you also get to try little cakes and pastries, bicerin (the coffe and hot chocolate of Turin) and gelato.  Along with the tastings, my brochure gave a little history of chocolate making and of the shops. The tastings are just small samples of what each shop creates, but it’s a great introduction to the chocolate world of Turin.  Of course you can buy more along the way, and I did.


Gianduja Budino


I made this budino with some of the gianduja I purchased while in Turin.  A budino is basically an Italian pudding and similar to the French pot de creme.  This elegant dessert is lusciously rich and extremely easy to make.  


Gianduja Budino


Gianduja Budino

Makes eight 6-ounce or twelve 4-ounce servings



2 cups (500 ml) whole milk

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream

3/4 cup (140 grams) granulated sugar

12 egg yolks

4 sheets (12 grams) gelatin

12 ounces (340 grams) gianduja chocolate*, finely chopped

2 teaspoons vanilla extract



About 1 cup lightly-sweetened whipped cream, optional

About 1/2 cup chopped and toasted hazelnuts, optional




Scald the milk, cream, and half of the sugar in a saucepan.  Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining half of the sugar and the egg yolks until the mixture lightens in color.  Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.



Once you have scalded the milk mixture, temper the yolk mixture by adding  a little of the milk mixture at a time and whisking together until both mixtures are combined.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook on medium heat stirring slowly and constantly. Heat the mixture to 175° F, or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.



Ring all of the excess water out of the gelatin and immediately add to the heated mixture.  Stir until it is incorporated.  Strain half the heated mixture over the finely chopped chocolate and slowly whisk together until the mixture combines.  Strain the remaining half of the heated mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk together.  Add the vanilla extract and combine.



Pour into serving dishes.  Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.  Serve with optional whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts, if desired.  Buon Appetitio!


*You can get gianduja at most gourmet food stores.


UPDATE:  If you are unable to find gelatin sheets, you can substitute 1 package (a scant 1 tablespoon) of the powdered gelatine.  Follow the manufacturers directions for “blooming” the gelatine in water, then add to the heated mixture before straining over the gianduja. 



 Gianduja Budino





For more information on the chocolate pass and other culinary tours in Turin, you can go to their tourist information website here. (Best times to purchase the pass are weekdays.  Avoid Sundays, holidays, and the month of August when most/many of the shops are closed.)


CioccolaTo, Turin’s next chocolate festival is scheduled for March, 2010.  The festival is a 10-day chocolate celebration with exhibitions, demonstrations, chefs, chocolate makers, and of course, chocolate tastings. 


Caffe Torino


Here is a list of some of the most notworthy negozi (shops) on my Chocolate Pass tour:


Baratti & Milano, Piazza Castello 27 (One of the oldest pasticceria of the city it sits on the corner of the biggest piazza in Turin.)

Caffe Torino, Piazza San Carlo 204 (rich and creamy petite sweets elegantly made and displayed in this old-world caffe)

Caffetteria Roma Gia Talmone, Piazza Carlo Felice  (Outsdanding morning pastries and some of the best gelato in the city. Owned by Gatsby’s on via Soleri and another sister location Mokita in Piazza San Carlo)

Pasticceria Pfatisch, Via Sacchi (One of the oldest chocolatiers in Turin)


Caffe Al Bicerin, Piazza della Consolata 5 (The Bicerin – a hot drink of coffee, chocolate and milk popular throughout the city originated here)


Pepino, Piazza Carignano 8 (In 1935 the first gelato di passegio, literally meaning strolling gelato aka the eskimo pie, was created.)


Gianduja Budino

Related Posts:

Italy in Chocolate at Turin’s CioccolaTo Festival 

Scenes from CioccolaTo – Chocolate Festival in Turin

Seven Sensational Gelaterie in Turin – After 100 Scoops

History of Chocolate in Turin – Gianduja and Much More

Nutella Love Cake – Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake with Nutella Ganache for World Nutella Day 2011

Everyone Should Eataly (Turin)

Gianduja Nutella Cheesecake to Celebrate World Nutella Day

Caramel Gelato and Favorite Gelato Spots in Rome



  1. Jill Silverman Hough
    November 25th

    The first time I ever heard the word “gianduja” was at Julia’s Kitchen at COPIA in Napa – simply assuming we didn’t know what it was, the waiter took great pains to somewhat remedially explain it. Little did he know that I was dining with the food editor of Bon Appetit magazine who certainly could’ve schooled him in all that and more! She graciously nodded her appreciation of his explanation, and I not-very-graciously felt smug about being in her presence.

  2. Jozee Pizzurro
    November 25th

    In the recipe it calls for “four sheets (12 grams) of gelatin. Is there any place where I can purchase “four sheets”? The only type of gelatin I know of is the Jello brand granules.
    The dessert is one that I could devour and enjoy.

  3. Angela@spinachtiger
    November 26th

    Great enticing post. I want to make this dessert. Today I’m doing flourless chocolate cake, but next chocolate dessert this will be it. Welcome to cooking italy. You’ll be getting an email for the google group. December’s schedule is light, just two things, but feel free to make anything we’ve already done.

  4. These look great! When I lived in Italy for my junior year I had some good chocolates but at least at our university the focus was on fruit as a dessert. Of course that was years ago and perhaps chocolate is a bigger of Italian cuisine now.

  5. Tsz
    November 27th

    Just discovered Gianduja last week (I got mine from ICAM’s blue rose line, so good!) and can’t wait to try out your budino recipe.

  6. Food Lover Kathy
    November 27th

    Josie: You can substitute 1 package of the powdered gelatine (which equals a scant 1 tablespoon) for 4 gelatin sheets. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for “blooming” the gelatine in water, then add to the heated milk/egg mixture prior to straining over the gianduja.

  7. Antoinette Baranov
    November 28th

    I’m amazed at the quantity of egg yolks and if so why the gelatin, between egg-yolk and cream should have delicate texture. Not sure would try, will keep in mind. Thanks antoinette Baranov

  8. Food Lover Kathy
    November 28th

    Antioinette: That’s a good question, Thanks!Yes, there are a lot of egg yolks. The cream/egg yolk mixture is only brought to 175 degrees F (82C), below the point (85C) where the yolks curdle and become scrambled. The cream mixture is thickened with the yolks and cooking but not enough to be solid like a pudding. It’s actually a creme anglaise sauce prior to adding the gelatin.
    You could probably reduce the amount of yolks by 2, 3 or even 4 (you might need to add more gelatin), but I didn’t because with the yolks you get a silkier and richer texture than you would by adding more gelatin and less yolks. With the leftoer egg whites, you can make many things including French macaron or torrone (Italian nougat). I’ll be posting a recipe for torrone soon.

  9. Wow! That looks amazing! So rich and so satisfying! Love your choice of chocolate!

  10. invierta proyectos
    February 11th

    looks delicious!!!

  11. Claudia
    April 23rd

    Beautiful, I love gianduja.
    Just to remind that you can drop the gelatine and the cream, or the milk instead if one prefer, if you add the 12 egg whites whipped to hard picks and the very end…
    Remember that the whites come with some good protein by the way… That’s how I do it and they work beautifully, but you must not be afraid of raw eggs

  12. Andrea
    May 19th

    hhhmmm…Even if I’m not that rich but I will surely try this one…

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