A search in the New York Times brought about a recipe that just screamed "yes" to me. This recipe comes from the Calliope Restaurant in New York City. Are you ready for this? Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream.
I made a few adjustments to make it easy on myself, and a fantastic ice cream developed in my kitchen.
Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream
adapted from Calliope, NYC
3/4 cup hazelnuts (I toasted the hazelnuts for 10 minutes and then rubbed off the brown skins)
6 ounces gianduja (chocolate hazelnut paste-about 3/4 cup) I substituted Nutella..6 ounces or about 3/4 cup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
6 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees and spread hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes and rub the nuts in a dish towel to remove most of the skins.
In a medium bowl, melt the Nutella and butter. (Either Microwave or over hot water.) Keep mixture warm.
In a medium saucepan bring the half and half, sugar and vanilla bean to a simmer until the sugar melts, taking care not to boil. Stir occasionally.
Place the egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot half and half mixture, whisking constantly and carefully so as not to scramble the yolks. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the remaining half and half, whisking constantly. Heat the custard through, but do not simmer. If you see curdled clumps, pass through a fine strainer. Remove the vanilla bean.
While whisking constantly, slowly pour the warm custard into the warm melted chocolate. Once the chocolate custard is thoroughly combined and smooth, whisk in heavy cream. Cover the custard and transfer to refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
Pour chocolate hazelnut custard into an ice cream machine and chill for approximately 25-30 minutes. Fold hazelnuts into ice cream. Freeze to harden.
Believe me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this ice cream. It is absolutely delicious, creamy, smooth and so perfectly chocolate. This will become a favorite. I hope you will try it.