Chocolate Torrone (without Nutella)

My version of Chocolate Torrone with hazelnuts is pure dessert bliss. This torrone recipe is vegan and made from scratch without Nutella, but equally delicious. A festive vegan and gluten-free dessert with simple ingredients.

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To make my version of vegan chocolate torrone, you will need a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes to mix everything. This is a simple recipe, but it looks impressive and melts in the mouth.

This chocolate torrone fudge is a vegan version made with dark chocolate, coconut oil, and hazelnuts and inspired by a traditional Italian Christmas torrone. Slicing through torrone will reveal a beautiful mosaic of hazelnuts.

This torrone is creamy (almost like a fudge) but with a bite and an irresistible chocolate flavor.

WHAT IS TURRóN

A typical Spanish Christmas dessert is turrón, a century-old dessert recipe. There are a lot of different turrón recipes, and leading up to Christmas, you can’t miss this treat in a Spanish supermarket.

Some turrón recipes contain eggs, honey or sugar, almonds (or hazelnuts), and others are made with ground almond paste. But you can also find turrón with chocolate, raisins with rum, truffles, or fruit. This is a popular recipe and a must in a Spanish household for Christmas. It comes as no surprise that the delicious chocolate turrón is one of the most popular options.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TURRON AND TORRONE?

This recipe is not a traditional turrón recipe; it’s my take on a vegan version of a torrone recipe. But what is torrone?

The difference between turrón and torrone is that torrone is Italian and turrón Spanish. The main difference is the amount of nuts in the recipe. Spanish turrón contains at least 60-70% almonds. Italian torrone recipes usually require fewer nuts.

Italian torrone is a century-old traditional nougat recipe (older than Roman times). It is served around Christmas time, and it is a delicious holiday treat. These fudgy chocolate slices with nuts are heaven for a choc-a-holic.

a hand holding a slice of torrone bar showing the chopped hazelnuts inside.

INGREDIENTS CHOCOLATE TORRONE

This recipe is inspired by the Italian recipes for torrone. You will only need a few simple ingredients, such as dark chocolate, coconut oil, and hazelnuts. It’s fully vegan and gluten-free.

This recipe is made from scratch and doesn’t require store-bought Nutella, so you skip the unnecessary ingredients usually added to Nutella.

the ingredients for chocolate torrone on a round marble cutting board in small bowls and with the name of the ingredients next to it.


Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the main ingredients, and the quality will determine the flavor of your torrone. I recommend 75% dark chocolate or higher for this recipe.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the perfect oil for this recipe. It doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor (like olive oil); it pairs well with chocolate and sets beautifully in the fridge.

Hazelnuts
Nuts are a delicious addition to torrone. Slightly roasted hazelnuts with most of the skin removed to make a delicious treat.

Maple syrup
To slightly sweeten this recipe, use a liquid sweetener. Maple syrup gives this recipe the perfect sweetness.

Vanilla
To further enhance the sweetness of the maple syrup, a little bit of vanilla is the perfect addition.

Salt
All flavors will be enhanced with a tiny bit of salt.

a small blue bowl with hazelnuts on a marble cutting board and a large blue bowl with chocolate chunks in the back.

Equipment
You don’t need special equipment or techniques for this recipe, but the end result is impressive. A good sharp knife helps to cut the nuts and chocolate into clean slices. You can use a baking pan lined with baking paper for this recipe, but I recommend using a silicone mold to help the squares set perfectly.

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHOCOLATE TORRONE (step-by-step with photos)

This recipe is as simple as combing all ingredients in a bowl and letting it set in the fridge before serving it. But I highly recommend roasting and removing most of the hazelnuts’ skin for the best chocolate torrone experience.

Make sure to scroll down to read the recipe and notes in the recipe card.

Step 1.
Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C). Every 5 minutes, shake the baking sheet so the hazelnuts can reposition themselves and evenly roast.

Step 2.
Place the roasted hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub off the skins with the kitchen towel. Most of the hazelnuts should have no skin anymore after doing this.

Step 3.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot with boiling water (Au Bain Marie). Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a microwave. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.

Step 4.
Add the hazelnuts, coconut oil salt, vanilla, and maple syrup to the melted chocolate. Stir to combine.

Step 5.
Pour the mixture into a rectangular loaf pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mold.

Step 6.
Let it rest in the fridge for a few hours to set.

Step 7.
Cut in slices and serve.

four brown colored torrone slices with hazelnuts chunks showing on the inside of the slices.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS

While this recipe is straightforward, there are quite a few substitutions possible.

Chocolate
To make this recipe vegan and as close as possible to authentic chocolate hazelnut torrone, I recommend dark chocolate (75% or higher) but feel free to replace it with any other chocolate you like. It is a fun way to experiment with the flavors of this torrone recipe. If you want, you could use white chocolate or a combination.

Coconut oil
I don’t recommend skipping or replacing the coconut oil for this recipe. Any other oil (even neutral oils) will give this recipe a different and less pleasant flavor. This might be a personal preference, though. Avoid extra virgin olive oil, as this will not be a pleasant oil for this recipe.

Hazelnuts
Roasted hazelnuts are a classic in a chocolate torrone, but pistachios, almonds, or puffed rice are also a great option. You are free to experiment with this. Try a version with peanuts or cashews, for example.

When roasting the hazelnuts, make a bigger batch and use the leftover hazelnuts as an oatmeal/salad topping or snack.

Sweetener
This recipe is best with a liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup. You can experiment with date syrup, but the flavor will be different as date syrup tends to have a bit more of a caramel-like flavor than maple syrup. If you prefer the taste of dark chocolate, you can reduce the sweeter or omit the sweetener for an intense chocolate flavor.

Want to use Nutella?
If you want to use Nutella like Marta Stewart does in this recipe and make this recipe more like Torrone dei Morti (a Neapolitan treat served at the beginning of November to celebrate All Souls’ Day), use half Nutella and half chocolate (this can be a combination of white and dark chocolate).

It might be tricky to make this version vegan as you will need to make or buy vegan Nutella and vegan white chocolate. In that case, you can skip this recipe’s sweetener, salt, and vanilla, as Nutella will be sweet and flavored already.

three brown colored chocolate torrone slices with hazelnuts chunks showing on the inside of the slices and a few hazelnuts next to it on a white marble cutting board.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Size loaf pan
The shape and size of your loaf pan will determine how big the torrone slices will be. A loaf pan too big will create relatively flat torrone slices. The slices should be somewhat chunky. So, the slices will be thinner if you use a longer rectangular loaf pan.
I recommend a 9-inch (24 x11x7cm) silicone mold for this recipe to create a good torrone block.

How long can I keep chocolate torrone?
The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it in advance. If you keep it covered in the fridge, it will last 2 weeks.

Can I freeze my torrone?
This recipe is perfect for freezing. It can be covered and wrapped in a freezer bag or a container with a lid; torrone can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Can I use salted and roasted nuts?
The best part about roasting your nuts at home is that removing the skin is easy. If the nuts are already roasted, you can roast them again at home. If you can, try to avoid salted nuts. The salty flavor will overpower the chocolate taste.

Some stored offer nuts (such as almonds) already unsalted and with the skin removed.

What is the best way to gift torrone?
Gifting someone a chocolate hazelnut torrone is a great idea. According to Italian tradition, when torrone is gifted, it is already sliced with paper between the slices.

Are you looking for more chocolate recipes?

If you are going to make this chocolate torrone, I would love to know! Let me know in the comment section what you think of my recipe. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @thegreencreator.

a row of chocolate torrone slices with hazelnuts chunks showing on the inside of the slices with the text chocolate torrone on top and no nutella & vegan in the bottom.
Print
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a row of brown colored chocolate slices with hazelnuts chunks showing on the inside of the slices.

Chocolate Torrone (no Nutella/vegan)

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 8 slices 1x
  • Category: dessert, sweet
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This chocolate torrone is a vegan version made with dark chocolate, coconut oil, and hazelnuts and inspired by a traditional Italian Christmas torrone.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes at 350 °F (180 °C). Every 5 minutes, shake the baking sheet so the hazelnuts can reposition themselves and evenly roast.

Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and let them cool slightly. Place the roasted hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub all the hazelnuts together to remove the skin. Most of the hazelnuts should have no skin anymore after doing this. Don’t worry if there are a few still with the skin. Discard the hazelnut skins.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot with boiling water (Au Bain Marie). Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a microwave. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.

Add hazelnuts, coconut oil salt, vanilla, and maple syrup to the melted chocolate. Stir to combine.

Pour the chocolate hazelnut mixture into a rectangular loaf pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mold.

Let it rest in the fridge for a few hours or until hardened.

Remove the hardened block from the silicone mold, or lift the torrone out of the loaf pan when using parchment paper.

Cut in slices (about an inch/2 cm thick) and serve.


Notes

Loaf pan
You can use a loaf pan for this recipe lined with parchment paper, but I highly recommend a silicone baking mold to create clean squares. A 9-inch (24 x11x7cm) silicone mold is perfect for this recipe.

Sweetener
Feel free to experiment with other liquid sweeteners. If you prefer the taste of dark chocolate, you can reduce the sweetener or omit the sweetener for an intense chocolate flavor.

Chocolate and hazelnuts
The chocolate you choose will have a significant impact on the final result. Feel free to experiment with both the chocolate and the nuts. Pistachios and almonds are great alternatives to hazelnuts.

To set the torrone
There are three methods to set this chocolate torrone. In the fridge, it will take a few hours to set; in the freezer, it will take about half an hour; on the counter at room temperature, it will take about 12 hours/overnight.
If your torrone comes out of the fridge or freezer and is still very firm, let it sit at room temperature to soften before slicing it.

Coconut oil
I don’t recommend skipping or replacing the coconut oil for this recipe. Any other oil (even neutral oils) will give this recipe a different and less pleasant flavor. This might be a personal preference, though. Avoid extra virgin olive oil, as this will not be a pleasant oil for this recipe.

Keywords: sweet, dessert, Italian, torrone