I recently purchased an ice cream maker, and have been having fun with it all summer long. The first recipe I tried out using my new toy was Kiwi Sorbet. From there I was hooked! My roommate and I experimented with Cookies ‘n’ Cream, Butterfinger, Coconut Chocolate Chunk, and a few others. Our favorite however, by far, is Nutella Gelato.
Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. Yes, you’ll want to eat the entire batch yourself. No, you don’t want to know the caloric content of one scoop. Just savor the flavor and make time for an extra round at the gym. It’s worth it, trust me.
• 4 cups whole milk
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup sugar, plus ½ cup
• 8 egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup Nutella
• ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed, for garnish
In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whip the egg yolks with the remaining (½ cup) sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1 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. It’ll look something like this:
Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard through the strainer.
Stir in the vanilla and Nutella until it dissolves (I use a whisk to speed up this step).
You’ll have a hot, frothy, heavenly-smelling pot of nutty chocolate-y goodness on your hands. Please resist the urge to drink it straight from the ladle. It smells like hot chocolate made by angels. Seriously…if heaven has hot chocolate, this is what it will be like.
But no! Don’t taste it just yet! It’s NOT hot chocolate – it’s 8 egg yolks and cream and milk and sugar and Nutella, remember? Drinking it straight from the ladle is wrong! Wrong and bad! Wait ‘til it’s frozen and topped with more sugar before you eat it. You’ll feel a lot less guilty about it. Not that I speak from experience or anything. I’m just sayin’.
Chill completely. (I stick it on the counter to cool for a bit before transferring to the fridge).
Pour into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze.
To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts.
• I was out of vanilla extract, and didn’t realize it until I had frothy custard bubbling on the stove. I scanned my cupboards for an alternative and, in a bit of a panic, settled on what proved to be the best idea I’ve had in a long time: ½ tsp coconut extract, and ½ tsp almond extract. Oh man, culinary breakthrough! Clouds parting, angels singing overhead, party-in-your-mouth flavor ecstasy. Sure, using the vanilla is good, and you’ll still love the taste, but the coconut-almond is GREAT. I triple-dog-dare you to try it yourself.
• I got just a little distracted and let the eggs whip for a bit longer than I should’ve. No matter! It just made the gelato that much fluffier. Mmm. Fluffy gelato.
• Please note that I made a double batch this time around, which makes roughly 2 quarts. You can halve the recipe and still end up with a fair amount of gelato.
• I recommend taking the liquid off the stove and letting it cool on the counter for about 30-45 minutes, then transferring to the fridge to cool for at least 3 hours (preferably 5-6 hours or overnight) before pouring into the ice cream maker.
• Most ice cream makers will not freeze your mixture to a hard consistency. Rather, it’ll be more like a smoothie, ever after sitting in the maker for a good 30-40 minutes. So, it’s generally a good idea to allow for another 2-4 hours to let it firm up in the freezer.
• Last time I made up a batch, I caramelized some chopped hazelnuts and sprinkled them over the top. I felt it took away from the awesomeness of the gelato. Your mileage may vary.
• A better suggestion for toppings (in my opinion) is any combination of strawberries, crushed graham crackers, and chocolate syrup. And, if you want to get really adventurous, mini marshmallows. My preference is lots of berries, a bit of graham, and the tiniest drizzle of syrup. Mmm!