Imagine a jar of Nutella whipped into mousse, then frozen to creamy perfection. That’s essentially what this gelato tastes like – chocolate hazelnut heaven, with nary a spoonful of the spread in sight.
Briefly steeping toasted hazelnuts in half-and-half gives the gelato rich flavor; a splash of Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) adds one more dimension and creates a satiny texture that I didn’t know was possible to achieve outside the gelateria. Top scoops with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate for an absolutely sublime experience.
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 Tbsp black (or dark) cocoa
- 2 Tbsp Frangelico
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350°F and toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet for 5 minutes. While the hazelnuts are still warm, wrap in a clean kitchen towel and gently rub off skins (don't worry about removing every bit of skin; the mixture will be strained). Place peeled hazelnuts and 3/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse until finely ground.
- Combine half-and-half with cocoas in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisking to dissolve cocoa. Add hazelnut-sugar mixture; bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
- Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing firmly on hazelnut solids. Discard hazelnut solids and reserve 1/4 cup half-and-half mixture; return remaining mixture to clean saucepan. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, Frangelico, and salt.
- Whisk cornstarch into reserved 1/4 cup half-and-half mixture to form a slurry; add to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until mixture resembles a thick milk shake. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, then cover and chill for 6 hours in the refrigerator.
- Pour chilled gelato mixture into frozen cylinder of ice cream maker; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon mixture into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer until firm.