Tag Archives: gelato

Hazelnut and truffle gelato (aka Ferrero Rocher ice cream)

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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

100g hazelnuts

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

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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.

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Torrone (nougat) ice cream

IMG_2345 I found this recipe, hidden amongst various others in the Guardian last week. (Scroll down, it’s the fifth one: frozen nougat, torrone = nougat.)

The great news is that you don’t need an ice cream maker to do it as this recipe doesn’t call for one. Rejoice! I’d long wanted to make torrone ice cream as I love ice creams with bits in it. I think this is in large part because my mother once made ice cream with lots of bits in it when I was a child, and it remains a taste I chase. (You can read more about it here in this piece I wrote for the Economist’s Intelligent Life.)

It is not the easiest ice cream to make. But I made it whilst in sole charge of a buoyant four year old and it was fine. I did move my mixer next to the stove, as I wouldn’t want to be carrying boiling sugar and honey across the kitchen.

A few notes about the recipe: I used flaked almonds (which is what David Lebovitz, whose recipe this is, probably meant by sliced almonds). Toast them first, if they’re not already. I did mine in a dry frying pan for a few minutes.IMG_2332The praline bit takes hardly any time at all: be warned.  And you can easily make this in way in advance.

I blitzed half the praline in a food processor and chopped the other half by hand. Experiment to see what you prefer.

Don’t be temped to leave out any of the ingredients, please. Each is carefully considered to compliment the others: this is a highly accomplished recipe. IMG_2339Follow the recipe carefully for the same reason. Make sure you whisk the meringue until quite, quite cold, for example, before folding the cream in.

I found it hard to fold the whipped cream into the Italian meringue (Italian meringue is when you pour a very hot sugar solution into whipped egg whites whilst simultaneously whisking) so I did my best then whisked the whole lot together gently, it didn’t suffer.

This ice cream only uses egg whites. Hurrah! Another use for all those egg whites that I accumulate.

I can’t impress upon you how good this ice cream is. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I wouldn’t, personally, have it in a cone. You really need to serve it in the plainest of dishes so that nothing distracts from the taste which is complex, sophisticated and high-pitched-singing- inducing delicious.