I know what you’re thinking – Michelle! It’s November! What are you doing posting a recipe for Gelato?! I know, I know, it’s a bit of a weird time to be posting an ice cream recipe, but I’m of the firm belief that it’s never too cold for ice cream. I bet even Steve Rogers wouldn’t have turned down a big bowl of this hazelnut gelato right after he got woken up after being frozen for 70 years! Is there anything I can’t bring back to Steve Rogers? That’s the real question here!
The Italians really do know what they’re doing when it comes to food, don’t they? Gelato is one of their brightest shining achievements in my opinion, it’s so creamy and delicious I can never turn it down. Hazelnut, or Nocciola, gelato is definitely my favourite flavour – and I think it’s most other people’s too since it always seems to be first to go in all the gelato places I’ve been to! So when I decided to make some I knew it was going to be hazelnut gelato.
Hazelnut is such a wonderful flavour, and while it does go beautifully with chocolate I really wanted the nut to shine in this gelato. I couldn’t resist the call of Nutella entirely of course, so it’s got a little swirled right into it. It adds a hit of richness, while still letting the hazelnut take centre stage.
I was a bit apprehensive about making gelato, since I knew it would be a lot harder than my super easy no churn pumpkin pie ice cream. And while this gelato does need an ice cream machine and a little more effort, it’s totally worth it! What makes gelato so much better than ice cream? Honestly, I couldn’t put my finger on one definitive reason why it is better, but I definitely prefer it. Gelato has a lower fat content than ice cream (which totally means it’s healthy, right?) and less air is whipped into it, so it’s somewhat denser. It’s also, therefore, best served at a warmer temperature than ice cream. Ideally it’s best stored at a warmer temperature too, but I don’t expect anybody to change their freezer settings to accommodate gelato (but I wouldn’t judge you if you did!), you will just want to leave it out on the side for at least 15 -20 minutes before scooping and serving – that way you’ll get that elastic, soft serve kind of texture that we all love about gelato. I didn’t leave mine out to thaw long enough before taking photos, I was fighting against the clock, so I apologise for that!
And if you’re still not sold on the idea of gelato in November, maybe it’s a little too cold for you, try a scoop in your coffee or hot chocolate – it’s amazing and will allow you to enjoy the yumminess of gelato while staying nice and toasty! In fact, I could go for that myself right now!
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- 100g hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 6 tbsp full fat milk
- 700ml full fat milk
- 240ml double cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 225g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp nutella
- Put the the hazelnuts in a food processor, and process until coarsely chopped. With the processor still going, gradually add the 6 tbsp of milk and continue to process until you have a creamy paste. Add a little extra milk if needed. Transfer the paste to a bowl and set aside
- Heat the 700ml milk and cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until hot, but do not bring to the boil. Take off the heat and set aside.
- Add the egg yolks, sugar and salt to a bowl and whisk until thick and combined. Slowly add about 50ml of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in another 50ml of the hot milk.
- Slowly whisk the egg mixture in to the rest of the milk mixture.
- Stir in the hazelnut paste and return to a medium heat.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring constantly, until you have a custard.
- Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to stop a skin forming.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, until cold.
- Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream machine for about 45 minutes or according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
- Once thickened, spoon the gelato into your chosen container and swirl through the nutella, cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
- Remove gelato from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving
- You can toast and skin the hazelnuts yourself by putting them on a baking sheet in a 180C/350F oven for about 10 minutes, until the skins start to crack. Then rub the skins off.
- To make the Nutella easier to swirl, warm it up first by either microwaving for 10 second intervals until smooth and runny. Or place the whole jar in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes.
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