A few weeks ago, we were all up and needing to watch something suitable for all the family that wouldn’t be too scary or sexual or violent. We stumbled upon a food channel and there was a woman on there doing the top ten Italian favourites in this country. Or some such.
Anyway. I’d never seen her before – she was called Michela Chiappa. And she was so sweet and happy and we all ended up completely entranced by the programme, and her. And later on, I made much of what was on her show, too.
One of the things she made was this Baci and hazelnut gelato. Baci by Perugina are very famous Italian chocolates, not easy to find here. They are a hazelnut, a-top some praline and then coated in plain chocolate. I love them and whenever I go to Italy I buy some and bring them back. You can get them here (do a search) if you really want to use them, but they tend to be quite pricey when you do, so you can, as you’ll see in a minute, use alternatives.
Anyway, Michela made this baci and hazelnut ice cream, the recipe for which is here. It’s egg free and you don’t need an ice cream maker. Double joy if you can’t eat the former and don’t have the latter.
It isn’t how I usually make ice cream. As you can see if you go to the sub-groups over on the right and search for the Ice Cream section, almost all the ice cream I make has totally fresh ingredients in, like fresh eggs, cream, milk etc. This gelato of Michela’s uses condensed milk, which is a processed product.
But you do need to make this ice cream at least once because it is amazing. Like frozen chocolate mousse. I didn’t use Baci I used Ferrero Rocher, which were lovely but messy to chop up and put in. You can see from the comments below the original recipe that lots of people have also had the idea of substituting Ferrero Rocher (and I thought I was being so clever). But I have also since made it (because, ahem, this has become a bit of a favourite ice cream in this house and one that everyone loves) with these Monty Bojangle Roasted Hazelnut Truffles. And the result was amazing and the chocolates are much easier to chop up than Ferreros. Whatever you do use, however, I would recommend it’s a soft chocolate, not anything hard which would affect the eating of this ice cream.
Be warned. I never usually gorge myself on ice cream but it’s too easy to do with this. So here, slightly adapted, is the recipe.
500ml double cream
A can of condensed milk (397g)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
50g cocoa powder (I use Green and Black’s)
100g hazelnut truffles, Baci, Ferrero Rocher etc, chopped up
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
Put the 100g hazelnuts and the icing sugar in a frying pan and constantly stir on a medium to high heat until the hazelnuts are brown and the sugar caramelised. This takes me about five mins. Watch it so the hazelnuts don’t burn. Chop the hazelnuts so that you get a few chunks and a few fine bits.
Put the condensed milk, double cream and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk. As it’s about to form into soft peaks, add the cocoa powder. The thing you have to watch is that you don’t whip the life out of the cream before you’ve added the cocoa.
Now all you do is add the caramelised hazelnuts and the chopped up chocolates, stirring through gently. I save some, as suggested in the original recipe, to sprinkle over the top of the ice cream before you put it in the freezer.
That’s it. Put in in the freezer for as long as you can bear before having some.