Saturday, September 24, 2011

Giada's chocolate hazelnut gelato



If you asked me what my favorite dessert was, I would have a hard time picking, but ice cream and other frozen treats like gelato and frozen yogurt are certainly in the top 3. As I've gotten older, I've realized that store-bought brands of ice cream just aren't quite as good as the real homemade stuff. Sure, the packaged brands are convenient, but they contain way too much air and don't have that dense, velvety texture that I crave.

One Christmas I asked for an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and received it (thanks, Mom Lu)!  I couldn't wait to try making some ice cream at home for the first time.  It was much easier than I expected, and now I've been making my own ice cream throughout the summer.

Giada's chocolate hazelnut gelato is a favorite in our household, and I'm glad it's the first ice cream recipe I tried making.  The texture is nice and creamy - the way gelato should be.  We'll be making this recipe time and time again.

Ingredients


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed, for garnish (optional - I did not use)

Directions


In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze. To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts if using.
    Source: Giada De Laurentiis, via the Food Network

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