Hazelnut and dark chocolate gelato recipe
A divine gelato recipe that comes from the combination of the strong taste of toasted hazelnut and the tasty flavor of dark chocolate.
- Weight the milk in a tube using the scale; reset and add the cream;
- weight the sugar in another bowl then add to milk and cream in the tube;
- reset the scale and add hazelnut paste; before adding mix carefully the paste with a spoon or a blender because fats tend to separate;
- mix with the immersion blender till all the sugar is completely dissolved;
- if milk and cream are already pasteurized, you needn't to pasteurize the mix; otherwise rise temperature up to 82 °C (180 °F) under stirring (slowly, using a whisk) and check frequently the temperature with a kitchen thermometer; when the pasteurization temperature is reached take off from fire and low quickly the temperature placing the pot in a cold water or ice bath;
- let the mixture rest in the fridge for 6-8 hours; because there isn't any emulsifier in this recipe, fats will be on top of the mixture so stir again for a while; if you want just hazelnut gelato, without dark chocolate, you can go straight to step 9;
- melt the dark chocolate in a metal bowl placed on a pan of hot water (bain marie), stirring occasionally with the spatula; be sure that the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pan; you can also melt using microwave oven for few seconds ad medium power (be careful not to burn the chocolate);
- pour the melted chocolate into the mixture under stirring; being the mixture cold, the chocolate solidifies immediately in small pieces;
- pour the mixture in your gelato or ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions; you may find useful my Guide on gelato and ice cream makers if you do not have a gelato maker yet;
- leave the gelato in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before consuming it.
You can find more details on preparation steps in my article The home-made gelato preparation steps.
Tips & insights
Hazelnut is an healthy food rich in proteins, vegetable unsaturated fats, E vitamin and other essential nutrients.
Italy is the second largest producer in the world (the first is Turkey) with different cultivars from region to region.
In Langhe area of Piedmont (a region of north Italy) a variety called Tonda Gentile Trilobata is grown.
This one, considered the best hazelnut in the world thanks to its excellent organoleptic qualities, is the variety I prefer for my gelato.
Like for pistachio or almond paste, I suggest to use only products made with just one ingredient: nuts. If sugars and other kind of fat are added, choose another one.
The one I use for this recipe is Altalanga organic hazelnut paste but you can use also other products like this one on amazon or this paste on ebay.
You can also prepare your own paste from raw nuts, but you need a good food processor. In this case, be careful not to overheat it during production.
If nuts are fresh, first af all you need to roast and peel them:
- place on an oven tray in a single layer;
- preheat the oven at 180°C (350°F) and place the tray in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes;
- low the temperature at 100°C (210°F) and leave for 10 more minutes;
- pour nuts in a large kitchen towel, close and shake energetically so the skin will come off in small flakes.
Changing cooking time you can have a lighter or deeper roasting, depending on your tastes.
Now your nuts are ready to use or you can store when cooled in an airtight jar for few months.
To get the crunchy feeling, you can also add whole or chopped hazelnut when the gelato is ready.
I suggest eating the gelato after production, but if you store in the freezer for a long time, leave at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving so it will reach the right texture.