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Chocolate Tree 40% Hazelnut Gianduja Chocolate Review

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Piedmontese hazelnut gianduja is one of life's greatest creations. The chocolate spread blend typically contains around 30% hazelnut paste and was created by Turin chocolatier Michele Prochet as a means to ease the strain caused by cocoa supply import restrictions imposed by Napoleon in 1806. Necessity is the mother of all invention, and this frugal concoction now stands as a gold standard in the chocolate world.

Gianduja was the precursor to Nutella, which traces its roots back to Alba in Piedmont, Italy as recently as 1946. Originally named Pasta Gianduja, Nutella received its iconic name in 1963 along with a recipe reformulation to make it creamier.

Gianduja takes many forms, with thicker formulations ideal for enrobing while thinner varieties are perfect for spreading atop lightly toasted crusty bread. When it's crafted with the minimum of ingredients, the result can become a chocolate bar in its own right, as the team at Chocolate Tree has done with this pack.


Packaging

This 80g pack is clad in a lovely green and brown hazelnut design, that draws the eye. True to style, gold-foiled print adds a creative flair that makes this box design pop.

Chocolate Tree 40% Hazelnut Gianduja Chocolate Review
Colourful green and brown hazelnut inspired artwork

On the reverse, the box briefly explains what hazelnut gianduja actually is, together with what makes Chocolate Tree's creations so special.

The ingredients list and nutritional information are presented in English, Swedish and Dutch, hinting at the popular markets for this bar.

Chocolate Tree 40% Hazelnut Gianduja Chocolate Bar ingredients:
Hazelnuts (30%), cacao beans, can sugar, cocoa butter. Cocoa solids: 40% minimum.

This is a vegan-friendly chocolate bar thanks to its dairy-free recipe. The chocolate is produced in a kitchen that handles dairy products though.


Chocolate Tree 40% Hazelnut Gianduja Chocolate Review

What I love most about the 80g packs from Chocolate Tree is that they contain two 40g individually wrapped chocolate bars. That means you can devour one now and hold onto the other for a later date without worrying about the flavour diminishing (or temptation kicking in to polish off an opened bar).

Chocolate Tree 40% Hazelnut Gianduja Chocolate Bar
One of two 40g bars in this box

The designs of my two bars differed, with one featuring a geometric pattern of doves and the other featuring a pattern of unicorns. It was a playful and whimsical touch. Both bars exhibited a glossy sheen and a rich brown colour.

Opening one of the film wrappers, I expected to find the aroma of toasted hazelnut. Instead, it was the Peruvian cocoa that confidently sat at the forefront. The cocoa, from Piura in northern Peru, yielded earthy, almost metallic notes. There was a touch of leather and woodiness in there for good measure. The hazelnut notes were nowhere to be seen, which was surprising given it makes up a third of the recipe.

There was a relatively soft snap befitting of a pliable bar, and it was very quick to melt on the tongue. As it did, it released sweet and creamy notes initially, with hints of vanilla and coconut.

Mid-way, the flavour of roasted hazelnuts emerged and shone gloriously. The flavour proudly sat front and centre by the end, but it was careful not to overexert its presence.

The smooth and creamy melt was mirrored in the aftertaste, with a rich and satisfying cocoa flavour spiked by just a hint of hazelnut.

Chocolate Tree 40% Hazelnut Gianduja Chocolate Bar Close-Up
A closer look at this vegan chocolate bar

If you are expecting a bar that tastes just like Nutella but in solid form, this is not it. Instead, this bar is a demonstration of the magic that can happen when a bean-to-bar chocolate maker looks at hazelnut gianduja and puts a gourmet spin on it.

This is a seriously luxurious version of hazelnut gianduja, and is perhaps one of the finest examples out there. If you love the combination of hazelnuts and chocolate in all forms, this bar is definitely for you.

Chocolate Tree 40% Hazelnut Gianduja Chocolate Review

RRP: £5.95 | Chocolate Tree | Shop now

Superbly balanced, this chocolate bar fuses together premium Peruivian cocoa with Piedmontese hazelnuts to create a sublime result. You'll dip into this bar little but often, and leave satisfied each and every time. This is perhaps one of the finest examples of hazelnut gianduja out there.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 5

Where to Buy Online

You can buy this bar directly from Chocolate Tree here. It's also available at Leaf and Bean Trading Company (£5.95) and Cocoa Runners (£5.95).

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What's your favourite example of hazelnut gianduja? Let me know your go-to brands in the comments below.

Disclosure: I purchased a 80g bar of Hazelnut Gianduja from Chocolate Tree for £2.97. I was not asked for a review. My opinions are my own.

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