Sugar Free Nocciolini di Chivasso (Hazelnut Buttons). 1.3g net carbs per serving. 4g net carbs for the entire DAIRY-FREE batch (about 100 buttons – 75g).
Another week, another keto makeover of high-end Italian patissery. And it’s so very easy and so very simple, it’d be criminal for me not to share the recipe. 3 ingredients is all you need.
But what on earth are these things??? And how do you pronounce the name? I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of them. Nocciolini di Chivasso [nocho-leeny-dee-keevas-so] are a Northern Italy delicacy, especially popular in the Piedmont region, where they were born. The factory-produced originals are tiny, pale, ultra-sweet and ultra-light, almost dissolving in your mouth. The flavour is delicate, yet unmistakably nutty. They are incredibly delicious. And mostly made of sugar. At least 100g per 25g of nuts!
My recipe uses considerably less sweetener and is still remarkably sweet. The result isn’t as light, but the crunch and flavour are unbeatable.
How to Make Sugar Free Nocciolini di Chivasso (Hazelnut Buttons)
If you have an egg, some hazelnuts and some sweetener, you can make these minuscule beauties straight away. Whole, skinless hazelnuts are best. And they need to be ground to a powder first. If you use packaged ground hazelnuts (as I did for the batch in the photos), the Nocciolini will turn out quite dark, rather than pale (as they should be in order to mimic the original item). But it won’t affect the taste.
It goes without saying that, as with any natural produce, hazelnuts come in a variety of flavour intensity and natural sweetness. The best hazelnuts in the world are a Piedmontese variety called tonda gentile. Very expensive, even in Italy. And not so easy to find in the rest of the world. But they taste amazing, so if you can get them, don’t hesitate. If you can’t, not to worry, you’ll still make a great sweet fix that’s full of healthy goodness.
As for the sweetener, it needs to be powdered, whatever you choose to use. My home-made icing ‘sugar’ consists of erythritol and pure stevia powder, and tastes better than any pre-packaged options I’ve ever tried. You can find instructions HERE. The alternative is to buy a ready-made version. There are links in the recipe for on-line purchase.
Once you’ve weighed and mixed sweetener with hazelnuts, all you have to do is whisk the albumen until peaks form. You don’t want stiff, dry powder peaks, so mind that you don’t over-whip. Combine everything. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and drop tiny blobs onto a lined baking tray. Best to use parchment paper, rather than silicone, as it allows the Nocciolini to dry in a more uniform way.
The mixture will want to escape from the piping nozzle on its own. Working quickly with minimal pressure, drop 10mm blobs in lines, using the tip of a pointed knife to detach them from the nozzle and to round them a little.
Bake, turn oven off, open the door slightly for steam to escape, wait a while, then open oven door fully and leave inside until cold. Your deliciously crispy creation will be ready for you to enjoy or share. I make little cellophane parcels with pretty ties and they’re always a much-appreciated gift.
- Yield: 100 (±75g)
- Serving: ⅓ (25g)
- Calories: 122
- Fat: 11g
- Net Carbs: 1.3g
- Protein: 3.5g
- pre-heat oven to 150°C static.
- place non-stick parchment paper over an oven rack.
- stir hazelnuts and icing ‘sugar’ together.
- whip albumen until it forms peaks (not powdery stiff), then incorporate dry mix.
- transfer this loose mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 10mm round tip.
- with minimal pressure (if any at all - the mixture may well drop out of the nozzle by itself as it isn’t stiff), pipe 1cm blobs onto the lined rack - use the tip of a pointed knife to detach each blob from the piping tip; you should be able to create about 100 blobs no more than 10mm size.
- bake for 20 mins, then turn oven off and jam a wooden spoon between oven frame and door to keep it ajar; after 20 minutes, open oven door fully and leave the nocciolini inside until cooled and crisp.
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