Decadent Italian Chocolate Desserts

This holiday season, surprise your friends and family with decadent Italian chocolate desserts. Viola Buitoni, legacy and third generation of the famed pasta and chocolate family, has created several original recipes for the holiday season made with Italy’s beloved Baci Perugina confections. Baci means “kisses” in Italian and each chocolate contains a special message of love that hugs the individual confection. Baci feature a silky, dark chocolate exterior that envelopes gianduia, a sensuous whipped chocolate filling blended with finely chopped hazelnuts, then topped with a whole hazelnut.

Trained at Perugina’s legendary La Scuola del Cioccolato, Viola currently teaches at the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Consulate in San Francisco. Viola’s deep passion for the culinary arts began during her childhood in Perugia, Italy, where she spent endless hours at The Perugina chocolate factory. Her passion for sharing her heritage inspired her to create contemporary recipes that incorporate traditional Italian ingredients.

Baci Perugina, the legendary Italian Chocolatier, is America’s #1 authentic Italian chocolate brand. So impress your guests this holiday season by trying one of these irresistible chocolate desserts created by Viola. For more holiday dessert ideas, visit


Delirio di Baci alla Luisa

Baci and Luisa chocolate tart

 for a 10” tart mold

for the crust:

3 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

1 stick softened butter

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 pound flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

for the filling:

1 bar Perugina Luisa Dark (51%) chocolate

8 Baci

1 and 1/2 cup cream

2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs


  1. Combine the sugar, salt, butter, yolk and vanilla in the mixer bowl and start on medium.
  2. In the meantime, sift the flour and cocoa together. Pour the flour and cocoa into the mixer bowl. Turn up the speed and let it come together into big crumbs. Press into a ball, wrap tightly and let rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  3. Roughly chop the chocolate bar and the Baci and melt them in a double boiler. Heat the cream until almost boiling and pour over the melted chocolate.
  4. Stir until the color is uniform and mix in the sugar while it is still hot so that it dissolves completely. Let cool slightly.
  5. Lightly beat the eggs and set aside. In the meantime, line the tart mold with parchment paper.
  6. Preheat the oven at 350°F. Roll out the crust to about 1/2” thick and unroll onto the mold. Press it down gently and eliminate the overhanging pieces.
  7. Quickly whisk the beaten eggs into the chocolate cream and pour the filling into the chocolate shell. The filling will appear quite liquid.
  8. Use the crust cuttings to make a decoration along the border of the tart. Place the tart on a sheet pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until soft but set and not jiggly.



Pere ripiene di Baci e amaretti in crosta  

Baci and amaretti filled pears wrapped in pastry crust

by Viola Buitoni

 for each 2 juicy and very ripe small to medium pears:

3 Baci

3 amaretti cookies

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 dose pastry crust (see recipes below)

1 egg

1/2 Perugina Luisa Dark (51%) chocolate bar

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or almonds


  1. Finely chop the Baci and crumble the amaretti cookies. Mix the 2 together and toss with the Amaretto and sugar.
  2. Peel the pears and cut them in half. Using a melon baller, carefully scoop out the core to make a small hollow on each half. Fill the hollows with the chocolates and cookies mixture and recompose each pear by reuniting two halves.
  3. Roll the pastry crust to about 1/2” and carefully wrap each pear with it. If you are inclined to do so, you can make some decorations resembling leaves and a stem.
  4. Beat the egg and brush the pastry crust with it. Carefully place the wrapped pears on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely before serving.
  6. When ready to serve, melt the Perugina Luisa in a double boiler and finely chop the nuts. Place each pear on a plate, top with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the nuts. Serve right away before the chocolate hardens.



Amaretti al Bacio

Baci amaretti

adapted by Viola Buitoni from Laura Rangoni’s 300 Ricette con i Baci

 for 18 to 20 cookies:

1 cup peeled almonds

1 vanilla bean

1/2 cup of sugar

5 Baci

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 egg whites


  1. Toast the almonds until dark beige and let cool.
  2. Score the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds out. Mix them with the sugar.
  3. Roughly chop the Baci.
  4. Combine the sugar, vanilla and almond extract in the food processor bowl. Start it and add the almonds while it is turning. Process until quite fine.
  5. Add the egg whites one at a time. When they are completely mixed in, add the Baci. Process into a thick paste.
  6. Wet your hands and shape them into small ovals with your hands. Arrange them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a 325°F pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

They will be quite soft. Let cool completely and store in an air tight jar for up to 2 weeks.



Tortino di yogurt ai Baci

Yogurt and Baci loaf cake

by Viola Buitoni

 Note: use the yogurt container as a measuring unit

for 1 small loaf pan

6 to 8 Baci

3 container all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 container brown raw sugar

pinch of salt

grated zest of an orange

3 eggs

1 six-ounce container plain full fat yogurt

1/2 container extra-virgin olive oil

powdered sugar

  1. Chop the Baci. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and zest.
  3. Work in the eggs, then the yogurt and, lastly, the olive oil.
  4. Mix the chopped chocolate into the batter and pour it into the lined loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 375F for about 45 to 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Unmold and let cool on a rack. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.


NOTE: The Baci in this recipes can be substituted with equal amounts of any of the

chocolate bars in the Perugina assortment.

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