Monday, October 28, 2013

Nutella Cappuccino Ice Cream with Roasted Hazelnuts

I'm pretty sure that this ice cream is served by the bowl-full in heaven.  

No, I'm serious.

On a recent trip to TN, I came across some farm-fresh milk (You know, the non-homogenized kind with the cream on top).  I had never been lucky enough to try milk that fresh, so I bought it and started dreaming of recipes to use it up. 

My first thought - ice cream!

I know we're a little past peak ice cream season, but come on...some things are so amazing that they need to be - no, they MUST be - enjoyed all year long.   Anything less would be tragic.  This particular flavor was inspired by our trip to Italy.  We had the most amazing Nutella Cappuccinos while visiting Rome, in a little cafe near the Coliseum.  It was bliss, and I wanted to try and re-create those unforgettable flavors.  After all, nutella and coffee are a match made in heaven.

The real stars of this ice cream are the roasted hazelnuts.  It just wouldn't be quite as marvelous without them.  I took whole hazelnuts and roasted them to toasty, fragrant perfection, then chopped them up and added them right to the ice cream base as it was being whirled around in the ice cream machine.  A generous portion of nutella is also added during the freezing process, so that you end up with wonderful little nuggets of nutella throughout.

"Nuggets of nutella"...Doesn't that sound just delightful? :)

By the way, the farm fresh milk was the best milk I've ever had in my life, and it made a big difference in this ice cream.  If using farm fresh milk, just use 4 cups of milk, instead of the milk and cream quantities listed below. 

Bon Appetit, my friends!

Nutella Cappucino Ice Cream with Roasted Hazelnuts
Ice cream base adapted from:  Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Coffee Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup nutella
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts

Combine the cream, milk, sugar, and coffee in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

 Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, to the hot cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.

 Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

While the ice cream base is chilling in the fridge, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the pre-heated oven.  Roast for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant.  Transfer the hazelnuts to a cutting board and chop.  Let cool completely. 

Remove ice cream base from the refrigerator and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.  About half-way through the freezing process, begin adding the nutella.  Do this by dropping very small bits of nutella into the ice cream as it churns, until it is all gone.  With this method, you will end up with small chunks of nutella throughout the ice cream.  If you see any large chunks of nutella, break them up with a spoon the best you can.  Once all of the nutella is incorporated, add the chopped hazelnuts and continue to freeze until done. 

After the ice cream is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve. 

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