Phew, what a week! Here are more doggie pics and nutella-like treat as promised!!
About a week or so before my parents came to visit, my dad casually mentioned that someone he works with had given their son an ice cream maker for christmas. When they went to visit him, he had made two kinds of ice cream for them. I took this as a hint :) I knew I wanted it to be a tad richer than my first ventures, and when I saw Elra's Hazelnut Praline Gelato I knew just what I was going to make for my parents.
I tried to make my own hazelnut praline, as I already had some hazelnuts in my freezer. If you can find roasted, peeled hazelnuts, buy them. Whatever they cost. I think this is my least favorite thing to do in the kitchen. Seriously, I've done it twice now and find it so frustrating, not even half of them peel nicely.
Back to the candy. I think my patience was lacking when I tried this step, but my sugar never really completely melted. I went ahead anyways, and ended up with some nuts that had some hardened sugar around it. When I went to grind this in my food processor, the furthest I could get it was a very fine powder. Hmmm. How to make it a paste?? I thought about adding a bit of oil, but then it hit me--melt some chocolate and mix that with the ground hazelnuts!!! (I'd be lying if I said this came quickly, I think it took a few hours, but I was doing this in steps, ahead of time) I took a small handful of bittersweet chocolate chips, melted them in the microwave, then added it to the hazelnuts to make a lovely chocolate hazelnut spread. And then I almost ate it all before it went into the ice cream. :)
Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato
Luckily I saved most of it from immediate consumption, and weighed it at 6-8oz if i remember correctly. I had 3c of milk, so used that and scaled back the cornstarch a bit. The link above has the method for actually making the ice cream. Oooh yeah, it came out fantastic, tasted just like nutella to me!! Mom thought it almost had the consistency of ice milk, which I've never tried. I thought it was nice and creamy-- awesome since it didn't have the egg yolks and heavy cream that find their way into regular ice cream. And I used fat free Lactaid milk with this, as that's what I always have on hand. (Although that may change, as I recently tried Smart Balance Lactose-free Skim milk and it might win out!)
If I did this again, I'd skip the whole candy-making step, maybe even using almond flour (which I can get pretty cheaply at trader joe's) and melted chocolate instead of the praline paste and jumping right into ice cream making!! Luckily I have one scoopful left! Who's ready for summer? :)