Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gianduja (Chocolate-Hazelnut) Gelato

I've been planning to make this for two years, and having tasted it I wonder what the holdup was.  I think it's technically an ice cream instead of gelato, since someone once told me that gelato has less air beaten into it and needs to be made specifically in a gelato machine.  But who needs technicalities?

Scooping Gianduja Gelato

Gianduja is a chocolate containing hazelnut paste.  If you're a fan of Nutella or just the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, you need to try this.  The nuts also lend an almost sandy texture to the ice cream.  I like my ice cream smooth, so I might run it through some cheesecloth next time.  I'd also sub in some bittersweet chocolate for the milk chocolate for a deeper flavor.

Starting from top left: Toasted, chopped hazelnuts are steeped in warm milk and cream; hot cream melts some milk chocolate; after the hazelnuts are strained out, the milk takes on their color and is thick and aromatic; the mixture is beaten into egg yolks; that mixture is then combined with the chocolate and cream; the result is thicker and fluffier than other ice creams I've made.

Gianduja Gelato
From David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop
Makes about 1 quart

1½ cups (185 g) hazelnuts, toasted

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
4 ounces (115 g) milk chocolate, finely chopped
5 large egg yolks
⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract

Rub the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel to remove as much of the papery skins as possible, then finely chop them in a food processor or blender.
Warm the milk with 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Once warm, remove from the heat and add the chopped hazelnuts. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Put the milk chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) cream in a medium saucepan until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the milk chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
Pour the hazelnut-infused milk through a strainer into a medium saucepan, squeezing the nuts firmly with your hands to extract as much of the flavorful liquid as possible. Discard the hazelnuts.
Rewarm the hazelnut-infused mixture. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm hazelnut mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the milk chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


  1. This looks so creamy and delicious!! I should go buy hazelnuts!

  2. I am such a fan of Nutella, so I'm sure that this would make my stomach sing with joy! Looks fantastic!

  3. This looks great! I'm always down for anything that looks like chocolate, but I'm sad because I don't have an ice cream machine. :(

  4. I love gelato, especially Hazelnut, but I hasn't come out like I like at home, I should try again!


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