Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato to die for!

I’ve posted a couple of gelato recipes in the last year.  I hope you’re not tired of them because I recently made this for a catering and it was so good I had to share.  I used the same method I’ve used before of creating a custard base.  I then looked at a variety of recipes before creating my own flavor version.  I doubt if you will find a better recipe.

Why it’s so good:  This fabulous gelato gets a triple hit of chocolate from cocoa powder, melted dark chocolate, and chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella). It also gets a triple dose of hazelnut from the Nutella, chopped hazelnuts, and hazelnut liqueur such as Frangelico if you choose to use it (if not you can substitute vanilla). And I’ve given it a touch more salt than most recipes which I think really kicks up the flavor.

About the process:  As with with my previous gelato recipes you want to make the custard base in advance and let it ‘fully’ cool before freezing it in you ice cream maker. I suggest making it in the morning, or even a day ahead.

To make the custard you mix egg yolks with some of the sugar until it becomes a pale yellow color and and thick enough to fall in ribbons from the beaters.

For this recipe you next stir in some cocoa powder.  Mine got a bit clumpy so in the future I will use a sifter to sift the cocoa powder into the custard.

Meanwhile, you heat your milk, cream and remaining sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Heat to 175 F, stirring often to dissolve the sugar.

Once the milk mixture reaches 175 F, turn the heat to low.  Then temper the egg mixture by slowly whisking 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into egg mixture to thin it and raise it’s temperature gradually. Then slowly whisk the egg mixture into the milk mixture.

Next, keeping the heat on low, heat the custard, stirring constantly, until a temperature of 180 degrees is reached. The custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

While the custard was heating, I melted my chocolate on low in the microwave and stirred into the custard.

When 180 F is reached, turn off heat and whisk in hazelnut liqueur (or vanilla).
If you see any chunks of curdled egg, pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or container.  If you tempered the egg mixture properly you may not need to do this (I did not).

At this point you want to place the bowl into a larger bowl of ice water, whisking occasionally, to bring the custard to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until the custard is 40 F or lower. This can take 4-8 hours

About the Hazelnuts:  

If you bought un-toasted (or roasted) hazelnuts, you’ll want to do that yourself.  If you’ve never done it there are many info sources online. I found skinned and roasted hazelnuts at Trader Joe’s. I then chopped them roughly in my food processor.

The Final Step:  Freezing the Gelato

When properly chilled, stir together the custard and hazelnuts.

Blend in your ice cream or gelato maker. You can eat immediately or freeze for a couple of hours or longer.  In most cases the latter makes more sense.  But ideally gelato is served slightly warmer than ice cream, so I pull it out and let it sit 10-20 minutes prior to serving.

Buon appetito!

Recipes following.

If you’d prefer recipes in PDF format click PDF link below 

Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato PDF

Buona sera.  May God bless your table abundantly with joy, laughter, and his amazing love!

Frankie