Giada De Laurentiis’ Chocolate Dessert Calzones Use Store-Bought Pizza Dough but Some Fans Went With This Dough Instead

Food Network host Giada De Laurentiis shows home cooks how to turn pizza dough into a sweet-tooth-satisfying dessert with her recipe for chocolate-hazelnut calzones.

Reviewers praised the dessert’s ricotta and hazelnut filling. Many, however, kicked the pizza dough to the curb in favor of another, just as easy-to-use, calzone “shell.”

Food Network host Giada De Laurentiis wears a short-sleeved white blouse in 2015.
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis | Robin Marchant/Getty Images

De Laurentiis’ sweet calzone recipe calls for chocolate hazelnut spread

Typically filled with melted mozzarella cheese and other toppings found on a pizza pie, calzones in Italian restaurants are basically a smaller-sized pizza folded over, sealed, and baked into a hand-held turnover of sorts.

“Most of us have had a calzone from our local pizzeria,” De Laurentiis says in the Food Network video for the recipe. “But have you ever had a dessert calzone?”

The Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef describes her dessert as “a sweet-filled pastry that uses store-bought pizza dough.”

Get the full recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

A pretty strawberry sauce tops Giada De Laurentiis’ dessert

In making these calzones, De Laurentiis rolls the pre-made dough into “individual pockets and fills them with a sweet cheese mixture and chocolate cream.”

Blend ricotta and mascarpone cheeses in a food processor (“They’re so mild that you can use them in something sweet”). Powdered sugar and one egg yolk are added, “just to have it hold together.”

The Everyday Italian star adds that the mixture should be blended only long enough to work out any lumps from the sugar or egg. Also, factor in 30 minutes of chilling time in the fridge for the cheese filling.

In the meantime, the dessert’s accompanying strawberry sauce can be made. Thawed frozen strawberries are processed with a hint of sugar (“In just seconds, you’ve got a great strawberry sauce; it’s so, so easy”).

The chocolate cream filling is also quickly prepared by mixing heavy cream with chocolate hazelnut spread that De Laurentiis says should be at room temperature so it stirs easily.

Now it’s time to make the calzones: Roll out two ounces of pizza dough to “about seven inches in diameter.” One tablespoon of the cheese mixture is placed in the center of each section of rolled-out dough. That’s followed by an equal amount of the chocolate-hazelnut filling, “right on top.”

Brush egg wash on the outer edges of the dough, and then gently pull the top edge of dough, De Laurentiis says, “over the filling.” Press the edges to ensure the calzone stays closed.

The chef bakes the calzones on a sheet pan in a preheated 450-degree F oven for 10 minutes.

Another delicious chocolate-hazelnut dessert from chef Giada De Laurentiis

Some reviewers parted company with De Laurentiis when it came to using pizza dough

Many fans loved the concept of De Laurentiis’ dessert and prepared it successfully with the pizza dough, saying, “These calzones were absolutely delicious. A huge hit with my whole family” and “They were soooo good and easy to make.”

Other home cooks weren’t ga-ga over the dough, noting that it made the end product “tough” and “too chewy.” One reviewer commented, “Using pizza dough just tasted off, it needs to be made with a sweeter dough; a pie dough is what I’m trying next.”

Following that suggestion, many other bakers gave pie dough a try with happy results: “Decided to go with puff pastry, awesome idea,” and “Used ready made pie crusts and it was delicious.”

Still other home cooks tried making the dessert with both kinds of the dough and had no complaints. One said, ” I used both pizza dough and pie crust and, as everyone else said, it was a different taste/texture but both wonderful.”

Give De Laurentiis’ easy-to-make chocolate hazelnut calzones (don’t forget the strawberry sauce!) a try for an extra-special dessert.

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