Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream
This decadent hazelnut nut ice cream recipe is made with homemade hazelnut butter and flecked with dark chocolate for the ultimate frozen treat!
This post is brought to you by Safest Choice eggs.
The end of August is approaching quickly (how? why?!) and I’m only just bringing you a brand new ice cream recipe. Forgive me! I’ve made up for it, I hope, by making it extra special. Hazelnut chocolate chip ice cream!
Emphasis on the hazelnut, because this ice cream is packed with them. There is no skimping of hazelnuts in this ice cream. I wouldn’t do such a thing! Nothing irks me more than the idea of vanilla ice cream, flecked with the occasional chopped hazelnut, being masqueraded as true hazelnut ice cream.
So, how are we going to make said hazelnut ice cream? We’re going to swirl homemade hazelnut butter into the creamiest of creamiest ice cream custard bases. Go big or go home. My favorite motto (as evidenced these homemade ice cream drumsticks) as far as ice cream is concerned…
Yes! We’re going to make our very own homemade hazelnut butter! This stuff is pure gold, and might easily become the best thing that you’ve ever made in your food processor.
Ok, so here’s the deal. This part of the recipe is a teensy bit high-maintenance, but sometimes the best recipes take a little bit more work. You feel me? Let me elaborate.
Hazelnuts are nine times out of ten sold in whole form with the skins on. This is actually a good thing, because it means that we’re getting quality hazelnuts with better flavor, but this comes with a downside too.
Hazelnut skin is fairly bitter in flavor, so it is best to remove all or as much of that skin as possible. Guys, I’m not going to sugar coat this. It’s a bit of a pain in the butt. I’ve talked about this before, in detail, on the blog.
This hazelnut ice cream recipe uses the old-fashioned method. Whole, skin-on hazelnuts are toasted in the oven, placed between clean kitchen towels, and rubbed back and forth to create friction and rub off the hazelnut skin.
I’m not going to lie. It is a process that takes time, arm muscle, and patience. You might curse me (repeatedly) halfway through it, but ultimately it is worth the effort! Really, promise.
If you’re looking for an easier method, Rosy Levanbaum’s method of blanching hazelnuts (check the recipe notes one these hazelnut cookies for detailed instructions) also works, but I find that it changes the texture of the hazelnuts and produces a less optimal hazelnut butter.
The good news? Once you have prepared and made the hazelnut butter for this recipe, the rest of the ice cream comes together so quickly and effortlessly! The chocolate is drizzled into the ice cream just as it is finishing churning, creating flecks of semisweet chocolate that melt in your mouth with each spoonful.
My favorite ice cream custard bases are made with eggs (you can’t beat the flavor and creaminess they offer). This one, inspired by Serious Eats, requires no tempering or additional hassle. Whenever I’m working with raw egg applications, I always turn to my favorite Davidson’s Safest Choice pasteurized eggs.
I’m able to taste and adjust flavors as much as I want in the cooking process (yes, even while the ice cream base is uncooked) with total peace of mind. This is wonderful for me, as a recipe tester, but even better for you. It gives you the ability to make little tweaks to raw egg recipes along the way, and adjust flavors to your liking much more easily.
Not only are Davidson’s Safest Choice pasteurized eggs are hormone and antibiotic free – and have earned the Seal of Approval from the American Culinary Federation –but they also undergo an all-natural egg pasteurization process that eliminates the risk of salmonella in the eggs before they even enter your kitchen.
Obviously, this ice cream is perfect for these last few hot days of summer (I mean, isn’t all ice cream?), but the flavors are totally appropriate any day of the year!
Yes, even those dreaded winter months.
Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream
Homemade Hazelnut Butter
- 1 cup (roughly 5¼ oz) raw hazelnuts, skin-on
Ice Cream Base
- 6 Safest Choice pasteurized egg yolks
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1½ cups (360 mL) whole milk
- 1½ cups (360 mL) heavy cream 350 mL heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- small pinch of kosher salt
- batch of homemade hazelnut butter see recipe above
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate broken into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter
- Prepare the Homemade Hazelnut Butter: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place the raw hazelnuts on the pan, and toast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fragrant and the skins are just beginning to crack.
- Transfer the hot hazelnuts to the center of clean, large kitchen towel. Grab ends of towel to close and allow hazelnuts to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Use your hands to roll and rub hazelnuts within the towel to remove their skins. If necessary, toast any stubborn hazelnuts in the oven for an additional 3 to 5 minutes to help loosen their skins.
- Transfer the hazelnuts to bowl of large food processor. Process for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with spatula every few minutes, or until a very creamy and smooth butter forms. It will be dry, thick, and crumbly in the first few minutes of processing. As oil from the hazelnuts is released, it will transform into a loose nut butter. Set aside as you prepare the ice cream base.
- Prepare the Ice Cream Base: Whisk together egg yolks and granulated sugar in medium mixing bowl until thick and pale yellow in color. Whisk in the whole milk and heavy cream. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with wooden spoon and adjusting the heat as necessary, until mixture has thickened. The mixture is ready when it coats the back of the spoon and holds when swiped with a finger. Immediately transfer the ice cream mixture to large mixing bowl. Add vanilla extract, salt, and hazelnut butter and whisk until well combined. Allow to cool to room temperature. Strain mixture through fine-meshed sieve into a large, refrigerator-safe container. Cover and refrigerate until very chilled, ideally 12 hours.
- Churn the ice cream mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the ice cream has almost finished churning, combine the chocolate and butter in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each one, until the chocolate and butter have melted completely and the mixture is smooth. Scrape the chocolate into small plastic bag and seal, squeezing out any excess air. The chocolate should be warm (if necessary, place the closed bag in a bowl of warm water as the ice cream finishes churning) throughout this process.
- In the last minutes of churning, snip a very small hole from the bottom corner of the plastic bag and drizzle the chocolate in thin stream into ice cream as it is churning. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and cover the surface of ice cream with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Freeze ice cream for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours, or until firm enough to scoop.
Tips for Success:
- For additional texture in every bite, feel free to reserve a few whole, skinned hazelnuts. Finely chop and add them to the ice cream in the last few minutes of churning!
This post was created in partnership with Safest Choice eggs. I am a proud member of Safest Choice Eggs’ Darling Dozen. Thank you for your continued support!
25 Comments on “Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream”
I am making it now hardly restraining myself from eating the yummy custard in making , and the haz. butter. What I don’t understand is: you say it should be strained through a dine mash before freezing. Does it mean that I freeze and use only the liquid I get after the straining? Or, I discard the liquid and freeze what’s left in the strainer? Other similar recipes use only the milky liquid for the ice cream and ask to discard the soaked hazelnuts? Thanks
Yes, freeze only the strained liquid (not what is left in the strainer – this is to remove any hazelnut skin/fibrous texture).
Hi there! I plan on marking this tonight but I was wondering is it absolutely necessary to refrigerate the ice cream base for twelve hours before churning? My ice cream container has been in the freezer for a few days so I was wondering if i could skip the 12 hours!
As long as the base is cold, you can start churning. Ideally, everything is as cold as possible, because the colder the base and cold the ice cream container, the faster it will churn, and the creamier your ice cream will be. Hope this helps!
Despite my novice ice cream making status, the result was perfection! SO delicious! I am serving this to guests after dinner tonight with a little espresso and chocolate covered espresso beans on top, for an affograto. Can’t wait.
So glad to hear that!! Love that you’re making affogatos too – yum!
I finally figured out that holds when swiped means the spoon! DUH…..HAHA I was trying to swipe the entire mixture in the pot! 😮
I just made this ice cream, and it did not come out at all like yours. The custard was so thick that the ice cream machine stopped spinning, and the texture is not smooth.
I think where I went wrong was overheating the custard. It would be helpful if you were clearer about how long to heat it. The mixture was actually coating the back of the spoon even before I put it over the heat so I was waiting for it to thicken, but probably waited too long. It’s not clear what “Until it holds when swiped with a finger” means.
By that, I mean, that the custard should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but not be so thin that if you swipe it with a finger, it will simply immediately pour down to fill the space. This is a very common descriptor for cooking ice cream custards. There isn’t a specific time that I can say (it will depend on your heat, stove, etc.), but it will probably take anywhere from 15-25 minutes.
I’m not sure how a custard could be so thick (unless it was scrambled) that it still wouldn’t churn…
Just made this, with a dairy free twist! I typically do a ratio of 2:1 canned coconut milk to oat milk, since the coconut milk is fatty and the oat milk helps reduce the flavor of the coconut. You might be able to use almond instead of oat, if you prefer, but I’ve never tried it.
I’m making the hazelnut butter WAS frustrating and time-consuming, but it was worth it. I would highly recommend using a mini food processor to make it, as I have only a 6-cup one and found it tedious to scrape the sides every 15-20 seconds towards the end. Eventually I gave up, and ours was a lil grainy because of it, but tasty nonetheless.
Thanks for a great ice cream!
Awesome notes Ashleigh! I love when people make recipes and make it their own, and then share tips. I haven’t made this dairy free, so these are great substitution ideas. I also agree that coconut milk is one of the best options you can use, but haven’t done a mixture of coconut/oat, that sounds delish (and would definitely help with the coconut flavor part in order to not mask the hazelnut flavor).
I like the mini food processors too, but they vary SO wildly in quality and I tend not to recommend them for nut butters, because they can get overheated if people don’t do it properly or follow their machine’s specific instructions, but glad it worked for you!!! Thanks again for coming back to leave a review/feedback!
Made this recipe and peeling thos hazelnuts WAS a pain in the butt but it was so worth it. You can’t find just plain ol’ hazelnut butter except for nutella or butters similar to nutella. I got too excited and used all of my nuts for fhe butter but I am going to make this again.
Wish you had a dairy free version so I can make it for a friend 😀
So happy to hear that, and I totally feel you on the hazelnut peeling. It just requires commitment (emotional commitment? Haha!). I’m thrilled to hear it was worth it though. I have a feeling this recipe might be able to be adjusted to be dairy free – coconut milk would probably be the best choice – but it would require a bunch of testing for me to share any guidance!
Where is the Hazelnut butter recipe. Anxious to try this, but can’t seem to the ‘see above’ ref to hazelnut butter.
Hi Alex! If you scroll up to the top of the recipe, I have a subsection of ingredients and instructions for the hazelnut butter. You need an entire batch for the ice cream recipe.
Hooray! Thank you. I’ll be making this ASAP, and will let you know how it turns out (if you’re interested). (;
Yes! I would absolutely love your feedback!
The link to the recipe no longer works. 🙁
Thank you for bringing this to my attention Felicia! It looks like the brand that I originally partnered with (several years ago) on this post is having issues with their website. I have just updated the post to include the full recipe. Hope you come back and check it out!
Whew, this sounds heavenly. Hazelnut butter…yum! I now have the motivation to dust off that ice cream maker in the garage and bring it back to life.
I can tell that this is 100% worth the effort of skinning those hazelnuts! I also hate when ice cream claims to be hazelnut (or pistachio) and it’s just a few sparse specks of nuts in a plain base. So disappointing!
Yummy! Looks fantastic!
Thank you so much!
HAZELNUT BUTTER?! Wow wow wow. Sounds so dreamy! You’re making me consider ice cream for dinner at this point in the day. Or maybe an extra helping for dessert 😉
Beautiful like always, Laura!
Thank you so much Erica! Really appreciate the kind words, as always! 🙂