Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

My love for ice cream is no secret to regular readers of this site. I could churn a new ice cream flavor everyday and be happy, if it weren’t for the fact that I couldn’t keep up with eating them all. However, as much as I like trying to make some oddball flavors, sometimes you need to return to some simpler classics. And when a pregnant wife asks for chcoclate, you give her chocolate! So today: chocolate hazelnut ice cream.

This ice cream was any chocolate lover’s dream. I debated calling it a gelato on account of the thick texture and richness of flavor. Speaking of flavor, this was so intensely chocolate and very distinctly hazelnut (I’m a sucker for hazelnut anything). This isn’t an ice cream to load your bowl up with–one small, perfect scoop will do you just right. Save the overindulging for the boring storebought chcolate ice creams.

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1.5 cups praline paste
    • 1 cup hazelnuts
    • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ~6 oz bitter/semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 5 egg yolks

Steep the praline paste in cream

Begin by making the praline paste. You will probably have some leftover, but I sincerely doubt you’ll have trouble finding a place to use it. I’ll have another recipe posted (one of these days) to do just that in case you’re really hard-pressed. Toast the (shelled) hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Then rub the hell out of them to shed as much papery coating off as you can. In a saucepan, melt the sugar down into caramel (figure 10 minutes of medium-high heat) without stirring. Once totally caramel in color, drop the heat to low and add the hazelnuts in and give things a stir so all the nuts get coated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and carefully pour the contents of the pan out onto the paper so that its spread out a bit. Give this some time to cool down, as right now, you’d get a very nice burn touching that. Once cool, grind this down into a powder in your food processor and store in an airtight container. Don’t refrigerate the leftovers.

Cook the custard and prepare the chocolate

In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of cream, milk, praline paste, salt, and sugar. Scald this mixture over medium heat and then cover and remove from heat, Leave it to steep for at least an hour so the hazelnut oils are released into the cream. When time is up, strain this mixture, squeezing every last drop of liquid out and discarding the solids. Sample the liquid–it is gooooooood.

In another pot, heat the remaining 1 cup of cream. Whisk in the cocoa powder and raise to a boil. Set the chcoolate chunks in a big bowl and pour the hot cream over them. Let sit for a minute and then whisk until silky smooth. Work the vanilla extract in while you’re at it.

Now, rewarm the hazelnut infused milk. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until lightened in color and then temper them with a bit of the hot cream. Transfer the yolks into the hot cream and stir constantly over medium heat, cooking for 5-10 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Prepare the chocolate base

Set a strainer over the bowl of chocolate cream and pour the cooked custard in. Whisk this all together well.

Finally, cool this all down in an ice bath for 2 minutes or so (if you did this earlier, you would have made it very difficult to work with the chocolate), stirring somewhat regularly. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for a few hours. Churn in your ice cream maker for 20 minutes and let firm up in the freezer over night.

Enjoy (as if I need to tell you to do that)!

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35 Responses to “Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream”

  1. Meeta Says:

    Oh Mike this is an ice cream dream. Love the idea of hazelnut praline crisp. Simply gorgeous!

  2. linda Says:

    This pregnant woman would like to have some too 😉
    I don’t like regular chocolate ice cream but paired with hazelnuts it must be heaven! Homemade Nutella ice cream!

  3. Dee Says:

    Sigh. I made a batch of Nutella ice cream way too long ago. I must say yours sounds way better than mine – it’s that amazing praline paste. What a great idea!
    Happy new year, Mike :)

  4. Bunny Says:

    Is this a man thing?? Seriously, my husband eats ice cream every night. He starts jonesing if he doesn’t have it! And the really irratating part, he NEVER gains weight! It looks good Mike, very , very good!

  5. Jude Says:

    That is NICE. Completely from-scratch Nutella Ice Cream.
    Plus I could also use that Praline Paste for a bunch of other things, too.

  6. Nicisme Says:

    OMG, I’m in love with this ice cream!!
    Happy New Year and all the best for 2009!

  7. Bret Bannon Says:

    Came across your wonderful site via Zoe’s. Love the ice cream recipe and happen to have hazelnut praline in the frig. Was wondering what to do with them. Here’s my answer. Thanks so much.

  8. nithya at hungry desi Says:

    yummm…i didn’t think it was possible to crave ice cream in the middle of winter. chocolate hazelnut gelatto was my favorite when we visited Italy – thanks. Looking forward to the leftover praline paste recipe!

  9. clumbsycookie Says:

    This is one of my favourite flavours of all time!

  10. ruhama Says:

    Man, my hubby is allergic to hazelnuts! I’ll have to save this for a time when others can help me eat it up… and after I make coconut ice cream.

  11. Peter Says:

    Hazelnuts are fitting for winter and despite the blanket of snow out there, I willing to have a scoop, sugar cone…make that 2 scoops.

  12. pam Says:

    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating…your wife is the luckiest woman in the world!

  13. Jan Says:

    Ooooh Yum and hazelnuts equals double yum!

  14. grace Says:

    just one scoop? if you say so, mike, i guess i’ll believe you. but i should state for the record that i’ve never eaten just one small scoop of ice cream. :)

  15. Heather Says:

    this post just made me feel like i was standing in rome at giolittis eating some gelato. it looks lovely, mike :)

  16. Ben Says:

    Even though it is only 25 degrees here, I could really use a big bowl of that ice cream. Oh delicious ice cream!

  17. joanne at frutto della passione Says:

    Not pregnant, but a craving is a craving! Looks great and I love having ice cream in winter!

  18. jonathan Says:


  19. Joy the Baker Says:

    Aw! Great hubby making your wife this ice cream! It looks like a pregnant woman’s absolute dream!

  20. Carolyn Jung Says:

    Normally, I’d say it’s way too cold right now for ice cream. But for THIS? I would definitely make an exception. 😉

  21. Pepy Says:

    Hi Mike,

    Just found out your blog link through the winner of Art of Food Photography class giveaway on White on Rice Couple. Congratulation!

    Anyway, the ice cream looks great.

  22. Miri Says:

    That ice cream looks so yummy and gorgeous! I WILL try this at home :) Thanks for sharing!

  23. deeba Says:

    Welcome back Mr Ice-cream Man…I’ve missed you so! Great flavours here Mike…mmmmmmmmmmm!

  24. mikky Says:

    that is just soooooooo perfect…. what a treat…. :)

  25. Dragon Says:

    Definitely a chocolate lover’s dream. Yum!

  26. Aparna Says:

    You’re at it again, Mike and I love the colour and flavours in this.
    Your wife is a very lucky lady. :)

  27. lisa (dandysugar) Says:

    This looks delectable. The combination of chocolate and hazlenut are one of my favorites. I’m really enjoying your blog too!

  28. The Duo Dishes Says:

    Amazinggg! The praline paste sounds to die for.

  29. Susan Says:

    This recipe has an absurd amount of sugar. I haven’t churned it yet, but the custard is way, way too sweet for my taste. Love the method, but cut the sugar in half!!

  30. Thea Says:

    Wow! I am so glad I found this recipe. The ice cream is so scrumptious; I’m making it into an ice cream cake with a simple base of chocolate crumbs, the leftover praline paste, some butter and agave. In a few hours I expect we’ll enjoy a delectable cake.

    ps Mike – I perked up reading this when you commented that your pregnant wife was asking for chocolate. I’m pregnant now and think it will hit the spot perfectly – thanks for an awesome recipe!

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