If I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, without a doubt, it would be ice cream.
I think anyone who has ever met me can vouch for my affinity for ice cream. As a matter of fact, I cannot recall a time when I have ever passed up the opportunity to get ice cream with someone. My only qualm with purchasing already-made ice cream is it never includes enough toppings or mix-ins. I once bought extra candy to put in my Ben & Jerry’s “Everything But The…” flavor… Not my finest moment. But homemade ice cream on the other hand, ah, homemade ice cream… I can put as many toppings and mix-ins as my little heart desires!
I have made a lot of homemade ice cream in my day. Whether it is in a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker or in 10th grade Chemistry with my best friend, Jenna… (Although, I am saddened to say, learning about the freezing point depression and “mole,” are about the only things I took away from the class). But I am here to say, all homemade ice creams are not created equal. I have definitely had more ice cream “flops” than ice cream sundaes. But after many trial and errors, I have created my Ice Cream Recipe Criteria. (Note: These are completely subjective observations).
- Use egg yolks to make a thick, rich, custard base
- Use alcohol to guarantee soft ice cream (Tip by David Lebovitz)
- Make sure to chill the ice cream mixture completely before churning it.
- After you churn your ice cream, store it in to an airtight container to allow it to freeze and harden for a few more hours.
- Have patience, you cannot rush a freezing process.
With my Ice Cream Recipe Criteria in mind, I set off to find the perfect ice cream recipe, and I had gelato on my mind. Since it was my first time making gelato, I went straight to the pros and found a recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato by Giada de Laurentiis.
The result was a soft, thick, and creamy gelato. The addition of Nutella made the gelato delectably rich and sweet. I was even satisfied with a small serving– and I am positive if, and when, I enter an ice-cream contest I will pass with flying colors and my picture will be posted on the wall for all to see… But until then…
First, combine whole milk, heavy cream, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat, until sugar dissolves.
Meanwhile, whip egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow.
After you have blended the egg mixture for about 4 minutes, add 1/2 cup of the warm milk, cream, and sugar mixture to eggs and stir.
Add this mixture back into the saucepan and stir constantly over very low heat, about 7-10 minutes.
Place a mesh strainer over a medium-sized bowl and pour custard mixture through strainer. Stir in vanilla and Nutella until well combined.
Cover and refrigerate custard mixture until completely chilled. Once chilled, pour custard mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze.
Store gelato in the freezer to harden completely for 1-2 hours.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato recipe by Giada de Laurentiis:
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (Here’s your alcohol content!)
1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 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.
Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze. To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts.
Makes 10 Servings
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Fat: 15.8 g (Saturated 8.6 g)
Cholesterol: 120 mg
Carbohydrate: 28 g
Sodium: 35 mg
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 3.9 g
**Note: I calculated nutritional facts using a feature on Daily Burn.