Is the scorching summer heat getting to you? This delicious chocolate hazelnut gelato will delight your taste buds and cool you off in a hurry!
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my passion for ice cream before. I love it. It’s one of the few desserts that I really cannot pass up. Ever.
It’s actually a bit of a problem. In fact, while photographing the chocolate hazelnut gelato in this post, I was sneaking bites. And it was 11am in the morning. 😉
I love ice cream and gelato even in the winter, but summer is obviously the best time to be eating it. I mean, is there a more delicious way to cool off? (Oh wait, there’s watermelon mojitos, too!)
But alcohol not withstanding, it’s hard to beat a delicious bowl or cone of sweet, creamy ice cream on a hot summer day. And we’ve had a lot of them this summer!
This recipe uses the classic Italian mix of hazelnuts and chocolate. Hazelnuts are a delicious combination with chocolate and give the gelato a richer flavor profile. This is one of my favorite gelato flavors whenever we go out, and one I tried many times over when I was in Italy! It’s imperative to know the best one, right?!
After blending the egg base with the cream and milk, you stir in some chocolate-hazelnut paste (I used Nutella but you could also make your own). Then you add it to your ice cream maker, and 20 minutes later, your chocolate hazelnut gelato is ready!
You can either serve it softer style right out of the machine, or freeze it for a few hours or overnight for a firmer texture.
But beware, when scooping the soft, sweet and creamy goodness out of the machine and into your freezer container, there’s always some left in the bucket and it’s practically impossible not to partake!
If you’ve always wanted to make ice cream or have considered getting a machine and haven’t done it, I encourage you to get one. I was saving ice cream recipes for years but only finally purchased my Cuisinart a few years ago and I’m so glad I did!
We use it frequently all summer and it’s been worth every penny. There’s nothing quite like homemade ice cream or gelato!
It’s filled with heat-conductive liquid in the handle which helps the natural warmth of your hand to facilitate smooth scooping. Which is essential because homemade ice cream freezes harder than store-bought. After that first day you’ll find it’s much firmer so you need a good scoop!
I’ve adapted this recipe and reduced the sugar slightly. To me, the Nutella is pretty sweet so we liked it better with slightly less added sugar, but you can always add more if you prefer it sweeter.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 TBSP. divided
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (I used Nutella)
- 1/2 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts for topping
- Optional toppings: chocolate sauce and/or chocolate chips
- In saucepan, combine the milk, cream and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves completely, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip the egg yolks with the 2 TBSP. sugar using an electric mixer until the egg mixture becomes thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes.
- Slowly pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture with mixer running on low. (This prevents the warm milk from scrambling the egg mixture).
- Then add this mixture back to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, about 8-10 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
- Whisk in vanilla and hazelnut spread until dissolved.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. (I use this Cuisinart).
- Serve immediately as soft serve or transfer the gelato to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours, before serving. For longer chilling times, let ice cream soften on counter for 10 minutes or so before serving.
- Garnish each serving with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate syrup, if desired.
For the chocolate-hazelnut spread you can use homemade or any store-bought brand. I've used a more "natural" version from Whole Foods, but I found it made the gelato grainier so I prefer Nutella for this as it ends up being creamier.
*Chopped hazelnuts are a must on this, but chocolate chips and/or chocolate sauce really take it over the top!
And of course, I topped it with more chopped hazelnuts and a drizzle of chocolate syrup because, why not?
It’s summer! 😉
Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Essentials
*please note affiliate links have been added for your convenience*
Here’s to more sweet and delicious summer days!
*adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis via Food Network
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Frozen Mini Key Lime Pies // Life Is Better At Home
Frozen S’mores Bars // My Sweet Savannah
Best Ever Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato // Maison De Cinq
If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out some of my other favorite desserts below: