gianduja gelato

Making his first batch of gelato. (pretentious ice cream)

This was my cousin's facebook status the day after he received an ice cream maker for Christmas. I disagree but I still thought it was funny. Poor gelato, I think it has an identity problem because it's Italian, it just sounds high maintenance.

To me ice cream is the DIVA at the Oscars, hair and make-up done to perfection, dripping in Harry Winston diamonds. Polished, air brushed, photoshopped into a high glossiness. All puffed up.There is a lot going on all of it good in tiny bits but sometimes it can get to be a little much.

Now gelato on the other hand... Naturally sexy, not too much make-up, casual, someone who makes jeans and a t-shirt look like couture. Someone you want to hang out with. Preferably on the beach at sunset with a cocktail in your hand.

Why is that? Gelato is different from ice cream because it normally contains less butterfat and sugar content than ice cream. Gelato is made in smaller batches unlike commercial ice cream that is made in big batch freezes which incorporate more air into the ice cream. So with gelato you get a dense, more true flavor because there is less butterfat and sugar. How is that pretentious?

Gianduja is an Italian chocolate made with chocolate and hazelnuts, you probably know it as Nutella. But this is as far from Nutella family tree as you can get. Think of it as it's more refined but not pretentious third cousin by marriage cousin. Ok this is where I have a hard time describing the flavor but go with me here... Remember eating Coco Puffs as a kid and the best part was the chocolaty milk at the bottom of the bowl? It tastes kind of like that. Sweet, chocolaty, a hint of nuttiness (I detect a little nuttiness alright).

gianduja gelato: the perfect scoop by david lebovitz

makes about 1 quart

1-1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp coarse salt
4 oz. milk chocolate (at least 30% cacao solids), chopped
5 large egg yolks
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

To toast hazelnuts-place hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes. Stir once while roasting. Remove from oven.

Rub the toasted hazelnuts in a kitchen towel after roasting to remove as much of the papery skin as possible. Discard the skins. Chop the hazelnuts in a food processor or blender until finely chopped.

Warm the milk with 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Once warm, remove from heat and add the chopped toasted hazelnuts. Cover and let steep for 1-1/2 hours.

Put the milk chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 cup of cream in a medium saucepan until it begins to boil. Pour the cream over the milk chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set a mesh strainer over the top of the bowl.

Pour the hazelnut-infused milk through a strainer into a medium saucepan. Squeeze the nuts with your hands to etract as much of the flavorful liquid as possible. (that's what she said) Discard the hazelnuts.

Rewarm the halzenut-infused mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. If you don’t have a rubber bottomed bowl, place it on a rubber glove or moistened kitchen towel for the next step. Slowly pour the warm hazelnut mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constanly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constanly over medium heat with a wooden or heatproof plastic spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the straner and stir it into the melted milk chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Melissa said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that second photo. It makes this girl who "doesn't like ice cream" want to eat the WHOLE THING. Seriously seriously appetizing.

Rebecca said...

I need this now. Seriously. Now. This means I have to get bundled up and drive somewhere for hazelnuts. Sigh. Alright. Back later.

Eva said...

oh my god i so want. now i wish i had stopped at the grocery store on my way home and gotten some ice cream. I think I would swirl some nutella in there. And probably roll the ice cream cone in toasted chopped hazelnuts. oh god i want this now! thank you for ruining my night. i got home and was all happy because i left work early and could come home and relax but now all i can think about is this ice cream!

Anonymous said...

Being in a fairly important position in a nationally recognized Gelato company, I have to say that your description of the difference between gelato and ice-cream is the best I've ever heard.
- Bravisimo!

Melissa said...


Mandy said...

Mmmm! My husband and I went to Italy on our honeymoon and I ate gelato twice a day (after lunch and after dinner.) I love the stuff and this is a great post!