You Voted: Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato

by moderndomestic on May 20, 2010

Hazlenut Gelato

Milk chocolate hazelnut gelato. Like, I can't stop eating it.

I guess chocolate really does always win the popularity contest. The one chocolate flavor was the winner in my ice cream poll, where I asked readers to choose which ice cream flavor I should make. Chocolate hazelnut was the clear winner with 32.5% of the vote, with olive oil coming in second at 26.3%, and strawberry the distant third with 12%.

From an abundance of egg yolks left over from the All Souls cupcake making extravaganza comes this gloriously silky, nutty and smooth chocolate hazelnut gelato, from David Lebovitz’ The Perfect Scoop. Someone suggested that I make the Lebovitz’ recipe, and now I have no idea who it was – please know that I fully intended to do a shout out!

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream and according to Lebovitz’s book, can refer to any frozen churned custard dessert made with milk or cream. Of course, in Italy they have special machines that spin gelato with less air than American-style ice cream machines, so this gelato isn’t exactly what you’ll get from an Italian-style gelateria. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious.

The recipe is for giandujua gelato – named after a confection sweet from Torino, made with local hazelnuts and milk chocolate. It’s relatively simple – you let roasted ground hazelnuts steep in a warm mixtuere of milk, cream and sugar; strain and temper in your egg yolks; and mix with milk chocolate that’s been melted with more cream. But the end product is like eating a frozen, creamy hazelnut truffle. I used Lindt milk chocolate, which worked perfectly with the hazelnuts – I highly suggest using the best quality milk chocolate you can find, or afford. The roasted, slightly bitter flavor of the hazelnuts is offset by the sweetness and caramel flavors of the milk chocolate. The ice cream is incredibly creamy, with a luscious mouthfeel and silky texture.

So, readers, you chose well. Like, really, really well. And I still have some egg yolks left over. Maybe it’s time for olive oil ice cream?

Hazlenut Gelato 2

This would be really excellent with some hot fudge sauce and more roasted nuts.

Gianduja Gelato
From The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp coarse salt
4 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
5 large egg yolks
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread your hazlenuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 10 minutes, until toasted and brown. Rub hazelnuts in a towel to remove the skins, then grind in a blender or food processor.

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar, salt. Heat over medium heat until warm. Remove from heat and add the hazelnuts. Cover and let steep for 1 hour.

Place milk chocolate in a large bowl. Heat remaining 1 cup of cream over medium heat until it just begins to boil, then pour over the milk chocolate. Stir until smooth and the chocolate is melted. Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl.

Place the egg yolks in a small bowl. Strain the hazelnut mixture into a medium saucepan – squeeze nuts with your hands or press through with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Heat hazelnut mixture until almost simmering, and then pour a small amount of it into the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the hazelnut mixture and whisk to fully combine.

Heat custard over medium heat until thickened – the liquid should coat the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the milk chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and whisk to combine. Let cool in an ice bath before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Ice Cream Queen (and a WaPo Express Quote) | ModernDomestic
July 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean Kellogg May 20, 2010 at 9:01 am

I believe Strawberry would have won if you had employed a more fair and just voting system like IRV. Just because Chocolate demanded a plurality does not mean it reflects the will of the people.

Stupid chocolate ice cream…


Bri May 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

I didn’t vote, but I certainly would have voted for Chocolate Hazelnut…whenever I get gelato I always go in intending to try a new flavor, but end up ordering either Chocolate Hazelnut or Pistachio over and over.


Megan May 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I made this too! It was so, so good. I took Lebovitz’s suggestion and actually made gianduja straciatella gelato — basically adding streaks of chocolate into the gelato. Loved it.


Alice May 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

@Sean HA HA HA HA, really? 5 years later, you’re still all about IRV? On food blog polls? Kudos for consistency.


Joellen May 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Go for it! Make the olive oil ice cream – and then bring it to book club!


Sean Kellogg May 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm

For whatever it’s worth, I was never a fan of IRV back in the day… that was all one Karl Smith. But, I know a voting system that would benefit my pro-strawberry stance when I see one.


moderndomestic May 21, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I still think the chocolate would have won. The chocolate chip recipe in the presidential cookie bake-off always wins. There’s a clear voting preference towards chocolate.


Val Lumby May 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

Wow! This was deeelishiss!!! Although Iwas forced to use black walnuts, due to a local filbert shortage, this was definitely one for the “keeper” file! Thanks for the recipe, Jenna!


K May 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Looks super delicious- thanks for sharing the recipe!


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