Sugar Free, Keto & Vegan Baci Perugina Chocolates. Almost ZERO net carbs each. NO DAIRY.
Before Ferrero Rocher became the world’s favourite chocolates, Baci Perugina reigned supreme. They’re still very much around, but not so well known outside of Italy. The similarities are obvious: chocolate and hazelnuts being the main ingredients. But Baci Perugina are made with dark chocolate, and there is no wafer.
If you’ve been dreaming of Baci Perugina containing zero sugar and healthy ingredients, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll get to make your own, ketofied to perfection, in just 10 minutes, with just a few ingredients.
And if you’ve never tasted these gorgeous Italian confections, I urge you to make my copycats. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Baci Perugina – the history.
It all began in 1907 in the historic Italian city of Perugia. Annibale Spagnoli married Luisa Sargentini and together they bought a grocery store and started producing sugar almonds (Italian confetti). Subsequently, together with Leone Ascoli and Francesco Buitoni, they founded the Perugina company in the heart of Perugia. With the advent of the First World War, only Spagnoli remained with the company, along with two of her three children. During this period the business expanded, and chocolate production commenced.
In 1923 Annibale Spagnoli decided to retire from the company. His wife joined the board of directors. She began to spend most of her time in the factory, bringing numerous improvements and innovations to the business. She also embarked on a secret love affair with Giovanni Buitoni, 14 years her junior and son of her partner Francesco.
Luisa was fascinated with the work of her master chocolatiers and was keen to try and create something of her own. One day, in a completely casual way, with the intention of recycling hazelnut crumbs and other production leftovers, she made something extraordinary. It was made of gianduja, hazelnut crumbs and whole hazelnut, all wrapped in a thick layer of dark chocolate. The squashed and irregular shape with the protruding hazelnut that emerged resembled the knuckle of a closed fist.
As a result, Luisa baptised it “Cazzotto” (Italian for ‘punch’).
However, her lover Giovanni was far from impressed by his lady’s choice of name. How would a customer feel having to ask: “Could you give me a punch?. So he suggested the name “Bacio” (Italian for ‘kiss’) as a more suitable name. He imagined that young people would be more likely to say (cheekily): “Excuse me, I would like a Kiss”.
Luisa had to concede that it sounded much more appealing. A bit mischievous, different, certainly unique. And so Bacio was born.
In 1924, Federico Seneca, artistic director of Perugina, created the branding identity for Bacio. He opted for a silver-colored wrapping with blue stars and writing. For the outer packaging he took inspiration from ‘The Kiss’ by Francesco Hayez.
It was the same Giovanni who had the brilliant idea of inserting a love message inside each chocolate.
However, despite the brilliant marketing of this luxury confection, Perugina’s Bacio was not an overnight success. At the time, people didn’t have enough money to spare on luxury food items. It took a log time, but then the economic boom arrived. Italians began to spend more, eat more, and embrace celebrations. By the sixties, dreamy, starry, romantic Bacio Perugina had become synonymous with two important annual events: Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Over the following decades, the chocolate with hazelnut heart has remained a familiar and much-loved product In Italy and overseas. It continues to be appreciated by all generations, not only for the taste, but also (and above all) for the secret message enclosed inside the silver wrapper. Today, Perugina produces and sells over 300 million Baci annually.
To sum up, Ferrero Rochers may have become a world-wide sensation and the best-selling chocolates of all time. But Baci Perugina will always remain the finer, romantic choice for true chocolate connoisseurs.
How to Make Sugar Free, Keto & Vegan Baci Perugina Chocolates
A handful of ingredients and 10 spare minutes is all you need. That is, providing you have all ingredients to hand. Add a bit more time if you need to make QK Nutella, or you only have whole, un-roasted nuts to prepare. I actually buy my hazelnuts, both whole and crumbed, from Tesco’s, as they seem the lowest in carbohydrates. The links in the recipe take you to Amazon alternatives which have a few extra carbs.
OK, so I omitted the dark chocolate outer layer. And my shape is different. Well, I just wanted to simplify the recipe as much as possible. Trust me, they taste identical to original Baci.
And if you want to be a true romantic, write love messages and wrap them with each chocolate in silver foil for that iconic and inimitable Perugina look.
- Yield: 15
- Serving: 1
- Calories: 70
- Fat: 5.4g
- Net Carbs: 0.3
- Protein: 1g
- 40g stevia sweetened chocolate chips or unsweetened 100% chocolate buttons (U.S. option HERE)
- 20g cacao butter drops (U.S. option HERE)
- 10g icing ‘sugar’ (U.S. alternative HERE) or Make your Own (not necessary if using stevia sweetened chocolate chips)
- ⅛ tsp sunflower lecithin (U.S. option HERE) - same amount if using a liquid lecithin
- 25g QK nutella or try THIS (U.S. option HERE)
- 25g crumbed roasted hazelnuts
- 15 whole roasted hazelnuts (U.S. option HERE)
- place chocolate chips or buttons (or chopped chocolate if using a block), cocoa butter drops (chopped if using chunks), sunflower lecithin and icing ‘sugar’ in a bain marie over gently simmering water, and stir until completely melted.
- remove bowl and incorporate nutella and crumbed hazelnuts.
- fill 15 chocolate mould holes half way, place a whole hazelnut in each and top with remaining mixture.
- freeze until set, unfold and serve.
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