Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

This last weekend we celebrated a long Memorial Day weekend and with it, the beginning of summer. It was a near perfect weekend, filled with time spent enjoying the outdoors and sunshine, grilling, summer cocktails, the return of Arrested Development, and even a few glorious naps.

Untitled Grilled pizzas + margaritas. #whatsfordinner #ilovesummer
You can't have an Arrested Development watch party without frozen bananas. Saturdays are the best. #howweweekend

What made the weekend even better, was a batch of homemade ice cream. And not just any ice cream, but one of my all-time favorites, chocolate hazelnut. This recipe has been on my blog for a few years now buried among bad photographs and confusing instructions, and was in desperate need of an update.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Chocolate and hazelnut are such a classic flavor combination, and one you see a lot of here. I’ve got brownies, cookies, fudge sauce, and ice cream. Give me a few more years and I’ll likely give you as many new chocolate hazelnut recipes. I just can’t get enough.

This ice cream is creamy and intensely rich. The chocolate surprisingly takes a backseat to the hazelnut and the ice cream is all the better for it. It’s sure to become a favorite of yours, just as it is a favorite of mine.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Ice Cream Machines

If you don’t already own and ice cream machine but have wanted one, now is the perfect time to buy to enjoy homemade ice cream all summer long. Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert in the kitchen, ice cream is an easy treat anyone can master.

I love my Cuisinart machine, which is a lot of bang for your buck. You can also get a more expensive model or even an ice cream attachment for your stand mixer. Not ready to make a purchase? See my tips on making ice cream without a machine.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream
A classic pairing of chocolate and hazelnut, in an intensely creamy ice cream.
Yield: Approximately 1 quart
  • 1½ cups (185 grams) hazelnuts
  • 1 cup (237 ml, 8 fl oz) whole milk
  • 2 cups (375 ml, 16 fl oz) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (230 grams) milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, put 4 ounces of the milk chocolate pieces in a large bowl. 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.
  4. Pour the hazelnut-infused milk through a strainer into a separate bowl, squeezing the nuts to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the hazelnuts*. Return hazelnut-infused milk to the saucepan and set over medium low heat.
  5. In the bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. When the hazelnut mixture is warm, slowly add it to 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 a strainer into the bowl with the chilled chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until combined.
  6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for several hours, or 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.
  7. Let the ice cream firm up in the freezer for a few hours before serving.
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop.

*Use the leftover hazelnuts to make Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies.

Recipe originally posted June 2011. Photos and instructions have been updated.

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40 Responses to Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

  1. Jessica Foreman says:

    This sounds amazing! I LOVE chocolate and hazelnuts. If I ever finally get an ice cream maker, this will definitely be one of the first recipes I try.

  2. Jennifurla says:

    Oh dear, the weather is making me need this!

  3. Priya says:

    Seriously am drooling over that wonderful icecream,soo tempting!

  4. Cooking Creation says:

    Mmm! I haven't paired chocolate and hazelnut in my ice cream yet but that is about to change! It looks wonderful 🙂

  5. Alli at An Open Cookbook says:

    What a great Nutella flavor mixture in an ice cream!

  6. Holly says:

    This sounds absolutely scrumptious!!!:) Looks it too!

  7. Lori @ Girl Meets Oven says:

    This looks good enough to eat year round. Why enjoy ice cream that looks this good only in the summer? 🙂

  8. The Food Hunter says:

    I love the chocolate hazelnut combination. Will need to make this ice cream soon.

  9. We Are Not Martha says:

    Yes yes! I am in major ice cream making mode right now and this one looks amazing. I love the fresh hazelnuts in combo with the chocolate! Yum 🙂


  10. A. Verzello says:

    I'm dying over this ice cream. It looks that much more appealing to me because of the melty-ness. I think ice cream is so much tastier when it's soft.

  11. Robyn W says:

    I just made this and its wonderful! It seemed a bit fussy to make but when I actually started it really was easy and came together quickly. I’m sure I’ll make this again!

  12. Looks like you made the most of weekend! This ice cream looks absolutely divine- I love the serving dish you used!

  13. Believe it or not today was the first time I tried chocolate hazelnut ice-cream (such a coincidence!) and totally, absolutely, completely loved it! I can’t wait to make it myself, obviously following your recipe…thanks for the perfect timing 🙂

    xo, Elisa

  14. This looks seriously perfect! Yum!

  15. I love chocolate hazelnut treats, this ice cream looks wonderful!

  16. jen says:

    looks delicious and I am loving those summery photos! AD is killing it.

  17. The flavors sound great in this ice cream, and your photos are stunning!

  18. carrian says:

    gah!!! Such gorgeous props, styling and photos!!

  19. nessa says:

    This looks incredible!

  20. Kalyn says:

    Love the photos in this post. Gorgeous top shot of the ice cream, and great photos of the family too.

  21. Kankana says:

    Looks like we are on the same path here. Cheers to summer with ice cream 🙂

  22. Deborah says:

    This is definitely the best way to start the summer!

  23. Vanessa says:

    Sounds like the perfect weekend indeed! Now I’m fantasizing about watching the whole new season of Arrested Development while munching on this wonderful chocolate hazelnut ice cream. I love chocolate and hazelnuts so much.

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  25. I need to do more of this… bring the older recipes back, re-photograph and share again! This is gorgeous and yummy!

  26. completely dying right now.

  27. Stephanie says:

    Hazelnut is one of my mom’s favorite. I’ll be visiting her soon and will try and convince her that we need to make this!

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    • Winnie says:

      This is truly “completely delicious”… I made it just using by my stand mixer yesterday. I put my mixing bowls and flat beater to freezer 24+ hours prior making it. It turned out excellent ! Very rich and smooth. Thanks for your recipe.

  34. Julie says:

    This looks wonderful, but I’m confused by the step that says to discard hazelnuts, then to return the hazelnuts to the saucepan. Can you clarify? And, if you are supposed to dump the hazelnuts, would there be any harm in adding them back in with the chocolate in the last five minutes of churning? Thanks!

    • Annalise says:

      Hi Julie! My apologies for the confusion, there was a typo in the recipe that I have now fixed. After you strain out the hazelnuts, it is the hazelnut-infused milk that is returned to the saucepan. And you could certainly add the hazelnuts (or at least some of them) back into the ice cream during churning if you want! For this recipe I wanted a super smooth ice cream, so I chose to leave them out.

  35. Becca says:

    This looks divine! Just a quick question: am I supposed to chill the chocolate mixture, and if so, for how long? It says in step 5 to “pour the custard through a strainer into the bowl with the chilled chocolate mixture” but I don’t see where it says to chill the mixture. Maybe I missed something?

    Can’t wait to try it, the pics look beautiful and sooooo scrumptious!

  36. Sweet Lo says:

    Making this now and am very excited! Your pictures are lovely as well.

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