Chocolate and hazelnuts go together like…
burgers and fries,
me and my flip flops,
my dog and his frisbee,
like summer and ice cream.
It’s that time of year when all I want to do is eat bowl after bowl of cold ice cream.
This particular ice cream is among the best I have ever made myself at home.The flavors of chocolate and hazelnuts married together in one rich frozen treat cannot be beat. After I prepared the custard I put it in the fridge to chill overnight, but not before I considered slurping it all up with a straw. Thankfully, rationality prevailed.
The next day while the ice cream was churning I could not stop dipping my spoon into the semi-frozen mixture as it tumbled in the machine. But again, I tried (and mostly succeeded) to exercise a little self control, knowing the finished product would be worth the wait.
The ice cream survived my impatience only to then melt in my sweltering kitchen before I was done scooping, photographing and sampling (time to fix the swamp cooler!). Even only somewhat frozen, with the soupy puddle at the bottom of the cup growing larger by the second, it hit the spot.
Subtly chocolaty and intensely hazelnut-y, this ice cream made my summer a little more awesome.
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
5 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts in an even layer on a non-greased sheet pan. Bake the nuts for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once or twice so that they toast evenly. The nuts should be lightly golden brown. Let the nuts cool completely, then rub them in a kitchen towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. Finely chop the hazelnuts in a food processor.
Warm the milk with 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture starts steaming, and just before it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, put 4 ounces of the milk chocolate pieces in a large boil. Heat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set a mesh strainer over the top of the bowl.
Pour the hazelnut-infused milk through another strainer into a medium saucepan, squeezing the nuts to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the hazelnuts. Rewarm the hazelnut mixture over medium low heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. When the hazelnut mixture is warm, slowly pour it into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, while whisking constantly. Pour the custard through the strainer placed over the chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until combined.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for several hours, preferably overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate during the last 5 minutes of churning.
You may also like these recipes: