This is the ice cream for grown-ups. I tried an ice cream recipe using that most wonderful of chocolate hazelnut spreads, but some of the flavors seemed to get lost in the process and I wanted a very chocolate-y, very hazelnutty taste. So here it is. I may tweak it a bit more to get exactly the right balance of flavors, but even as is, this ice cream was so rich and so wonderful.
It may look like a lot of steps, but really if you think of it as 3 basic parts – the chocolate custard, melted chocolate, and ground hazelnuts – it’s pretty simple. The only tricky part for me is not having a very powerful food processor or blender for grinding the nuts, so it is a lot of stopping and scraping the nut paste back down to the blender blades every few seconds. The rest is a breeze.
5 oz. quality bittersweet chocolate, such as Valrhona or Callebaut, chopped somewhat finely
3 cups hazelnuts (2 1/2 cups for grinding, 1/2 cup for stirring in at the end)
And for the custard base:
1/3 c. cocoa
3/4 c. sugar
6 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
Place 2 1/2 cups of hazelnuts in food processor or blender. Process on high speed. Nuts will go from chopped to a paste to liquid. When they reach the liquid stage, stop processing and set aside.
For the custard base:
1. In large mixing bowl, combine cocoa and sugar.
2. On med-high speed, add egg yolks one at a time until mixture is fluffy.
3. With mixer running, slowly add milk. Stop mixer and scrape down sides.
4. With mixer running, slowly pour in melted chocolate.
5. With mixer running, pour in hazelnut liquid. Stop, scrape sides and beat for one minute more.
6. Pour entire mixture to heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and cool.
Stir in cream.
Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, coarsely chopped.
(For a variation, add 1 t cinnamon.)
Freeze in ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions.