Friday, December 31, 2010

Fun with Ice Cream (Chocolate Hazelnut/Mint and Cookies)

I know I already posted one ice cream recipe, but I just got a lovely new ice cream maker and I had to try it right away.

My previous ice cream recipe was very easy and light, but this time I decided to try a couple of more traditional custard-type ice creams, so they are a bit more complicated and much heavier . However, they are absolutely delicious, with flavors that are much stronger and richer than store bought ice cream.

The first recipe, the chocolate hazelnut, comes from Williams Sonoma's Ice Cream Book. 
The mint and cookies recipe is from the recipe booklet that came with my ice cream maker.

Note that when you take ice cream out of the the ice cream maker, it will come out soft. In order for it to reach proper ice cream consistency you need to freeze it for a few hours longer in a freezer-safe container.

Also - later I will post a recipe for something delicious you can make with all the leftover egg whites from these recipes.

Fun with Ice Cream

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream (about 1 Quart)

First, make a Hazelnut Paste: 
- 3/4 cup (105 grams) hazelnuts 
- 1 tbsp canola oil or hazelnut oil 
- 1 tbsp sugar 
- pinch of salt 

Place the hazelnuts on a roasting pan in a single layer. Preheat an oven to 350 F/180 C. Place the pan in the oven and toast for about 10-15 minutes (you can occasionally shake the pan to shift their position) until the nuts are golden throughout.  Wrap the nuts in a warm kitchen towel and allow them to cool completely. When they are cool, rub the nuts in the towel to remove most of the loose skins (don't worry if a little skin remains). 

Put the nuts and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and blend for about two minutes, until you get a thick hazelnut paste. (You can also use store bought hazelnut paste for this recipe, if you prefer. You need about 1/3 cup of it). 

Now for the ice cream:   

- 3 cups of milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 1/2 ounces (140 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped 


1. In a medium pot or saucepan combine the milk and hazelnut paste. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil! 

2. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, cream, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve. 
3. Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture  back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil! 

 4. Put the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl and pour the hot custard over it. Stir until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir occasionally until cool.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24. 

5. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Fresh Mint with Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (Makes about 6 cups)


- 2 cups of milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar, divided into two half cups
- pinch of salt
- 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 cup crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 8 cookies - you can use oreos or any other cookie of this kind. I used Glutino cookies)


1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, whisk together the milk, cream, half of the  sugar, salt and vanilla. Bring the mixture just to a boil. Remove from heat and add the mint leaves. Let steep for about 30 minutes, then blend the mint into the mixture using an immersion blender (if you want a milder mint taste you can just take the mint out instead, but I highly recommend blending it in). Return the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat.

2. While the milk/cream mixture is reheating, combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk, beat until the mixture is pale and thick.

3. Once the milk/cream mixture has come to a slight boil, whisk about 1/3 of the hot mixture into the yolk/sugar mixture. Add another 1/3 of the hot mixture, then returned the combined mixture to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly over low heat until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.   Make sure it doesn't boil!

4. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Bring the ice cream base to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or overnight).

5. Prepare in your ice cream maker according to instructions. When the ice cream is almost fully churned, add the chocolate cookies and keep mixing until the ice cream is churned. Then move to a freezer-safe container and freeze for a few more hours, until firm.



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