chocolate hazelnut gelato

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.

Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato | Tutti Dolci
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.

Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato | Tutti Dolci

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Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato

  • Yield: 4 cups


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Adapted from Epicurious


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 300


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  1. Where do you buy black cocoa powder? Do you order online or is it available at Whole Foods, etc?

    I think I need to make one more batch of homemade ice cream this summer!

    1. Hi Rachelle, the black cocoa is from King Arthur Flour. Hershey’s also makes a Special Dark Cocoa that would work too – it just adds a little bit more intensity to the chocolate. But if you can’t find either, substitute unsweetened cocoa :).

  2. Wow. Laura, this just look incredible. INCREDIBLE! I love hazelnuts (actually they are tomorrows post!) and chocolate and that makes this perfect!

  3. I imagine this outstanding gelato has a much richer hazelnut flavor than store bought Nutella! Which is a very good thing for those of us who adore the pairing of chocolate and hazelnuts. An inspired recipe Laura!

  4. I love your ice cream posts. We are about to travel through 10 different European countries by ship and road and I am going to eat ice cream in every single country to see what differences there are between them.