Friday, May 4, 2012

Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato

I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but I was lucky enough to take a fabulous trip to Venice.  It was truly the vacation of a lifetime.  The history, the architecture, the art--it was all amazing. 


But the food...oh the food.  I don't even think I have the words in my vocabulary to describe all the truly incredible things we ate.  The melt-in-your-mouth pasta, the most perfect grilled vegetables, the freshest seafood imaginable, and the gelato.  Oh my goodness, the gelato.  I had gelato every afternoon.  By about day four of the trip, I decided I needed to start going for the double scoop if I was going to come anywhere near trying all the flavors I wanted to taste.  This picture is my last cone in Venice--a scoop of rich, dark chocolate on the bottom topped with a scoop of amarena, a sweet cream base with ribbons of sour cherry throughout.  Perfection.


Needless to say, I've been going through withdrawals ever since I came home.  About two weeks after I returned, I went to a popular gelato place here in town.  I loved the gelato there before my trip, but knew I wouldn't be able to view it in the same way once I'd had the real deal.  As I feared, it didn't even come close.  This homemade chocolate-hazelnut gelato wasn't the same either, but it was certainly fun to try.  It was very good and it had the softer texture I loved about Italian gelato.  I'll definitely make it again.  I can eat it and dream about the day I'll return to Venice.   


Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato
from Giada DeLaurentiis via Food Network

Ingredients:
2 c. whole milk
1 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. cup sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. chocolate-hazelnut spread such as Nutella
1/2 c. toasted hazelnuts, crushed, for garnish

Directions:
1.  In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 c. sugar over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.


2.  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 7-10 minutes.


3.  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, then follow manufacturer's instructions.  Place in airtight container in freezer at least four hours before serving.  To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts.  Serves 6-8.

7 comments :

Rebecca said...

I feel like all of my fav bloggers are posting recipes for fro yo, gelato, sorbet or ice cream... I think I need to invest in an ice cream maker soon!! P.S. Isn't Venice just the best?!

Angela said...

SO jealous - Jon and I are dying to get to Italy, but we'll have to save up for a while first! For the time being, though, this gelato looks like a great project for our new ice cream maker!

Krissy said...

Oh gelato, how I love thee! I ate it daily when I studied abroad, now we are going back this summer. I can't wait to sample it again, this may hold me over until then.

That Girl said...

I want to visit Italy JUST for the food!

Heather Hands said...

I have had this out of control craving for gelato for the past week. I have eaten it everyday. I just bought a tub of hazelnut gelato last night. Talenti is the brand. It's the closet thing to the Italian gelato that I have tasted. Happy gelatoing.

Jessica said...

Don't you hate it when having "the real stuff" ruins what you thought was good before?! Well, maybe I don't actually hate it THAT much. ;)

There was a gelato restaurant around the corner from my place in San Diego, and my favorite thing was to get a scoop of the salted caramel and a scoop of the chocolate hazelnut. Mmmmmm! Now I need to find a place to buy an ice cream maker here in China so I can make this!

ErinsFoodFiles said...

This sounds DIVINE right now! Even if it didn't live up to the Italy experience. :)