Picture of a bowl of hazelnut stracciatella gelato

Delicious and creamy hazelnut gelato is the perfect treat

Do you like hazelnuts and chocolate? Well you must try this out! Why? Because this delicious and creamy hazelnut gelato is the perfect treat for hot summer days.

The correct name for this summertime treat is Gianduja Gelato and the recipe is from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. It’s rich, hazel-nutty and oh so creamy (did I already mention that?). And if you opt to make Stracciatella it ends up laced with crunchy fine shards of chocolate. It’s insanely delicious and the perfect treat for any occasion.

What makes this gelato so special?

So you might have guessed I love hazelnuts, especially in ice-cream and this gelato is bliss. It’s made with milk and cream infused with toasted, ground hazelnuts, before being strained to make a rich egg custard. The egg custard is then strained over more warmed cream that’s been poured over a good lot of milk chocolate to melt it. Now add to that smooth creaminess some gentle crunchy chocolatey shards. I guarantee you’ll have trouble stopping at one bowl.

The version of The Perfect Scoop I have is the original from 2007, but has since been revised & updated. Mine was a gift from my daughter and I’m happy with that.

Make it into stracciatella

If you think the gelato on its own is great, you can elevate it to another level with the addition of fine shards of chocolate. This turns it into stracciatella and adds a gentle crunch throughout the creaminess of the ice-cream. To do this, melt some good quality chocolate and pour a fine stream into the ice-cream at the end of the churning process.

If you have a domestic churner like mine (a Cuisinart compressor model), you’ll find it doesn’t have enough grunt to really break the fine stream up into shards. I ended up pouring the fine stream in with the lid off, stopping the machine now and then to break it up and stir through.

Pouring melted chocolate into ice-cream to make stracciatella

The image at left is a still from a video taken during the churning process, adding the chocolate to make even more yum happen.

According to David Lebovitz, you can also just do this when you’re transferring to the freezer container, but be mindful if you’re doing this in hot weather as it’ll melt faster than you can get that chocolate in.

Whichever method you use, the addition of chocolate adds extra flavour and texture like you just won’t believe!

Now my friends, without further ado, let’s get to the recipe.

Decadent and delicious hazelnut gelato - the perfect treat

Decadent and delicious hazelnut gelato – the perfect treat

Recipe by Marti Cuatt

Creamy and delicious, this wonderful gelato hits all the right notes

Course: Ice-cream, DessertCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium skill level
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time


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You will need

  • 200 g (1.5 cups) hazelnuts

  • 250 ml (1 cup) full cream milk

  • 500 ml (2 cups) pure cream

  • 125 grams white sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 125 grams (4 oz) milk chocolate, finely chopped

  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here’s what to do

  • Toast the hazelnuts in the oven until light brown, then place into a tea towel and rub them to remove as much of the papery skins as possible. Finely chop them or blitz in a food processor. Set aside.
  • Warm the milk with 1/2 the cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan, just so it reaches below simmering point. Remove from heat and add the chopped hazelnuts. Cover and let it steep for 1-1.5 hours.
  • Place the milk chocolate pieces into a large bowl. Heat the remaining cream in a medium saucepan until it just reaches simmering point, then pour it over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  • Pour the hazelnut-infused milk through a fine mesh strainer into the saucepan you warmed the cream in, pressing the hazelnuts to get as much flavour out of them as you can. Discard the hazelnuts.
  • Rewarm the hazelnut-infused milk & cream mixture.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl), whisk the egg yolks until they’re all combined. Slowly pour the warmed hazelnut mixture into the egg yolks a little at a time, whisking constantly.
  • When all mixed through, pour the egg yolks back into the pan over medium-low heat.
  • Warm the custard, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula the whole time, keeping the mixture at the bottom of the pan moving.
  • Don’t cook it too quickly or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs on the bottom of the pan, but cook gently until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a spoon.
  • When done (usually around 75C if you have a thermometer), strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into the cream/chocolate mixture. Stir well so it’s well mixed and smooth. Place the bowl over an ice bath to cool quickly.
  • When cooled, cover the top with plastic film so it touches the whole surface. This will prevent a film from forming on top.
  • Chill thoroughly in the fridge, then freeze in your ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Tips and tricks

  • When making custard, try to not overcook the eggs – that’s when you get an eggy taste. To avoid that, use a thermometer and remove from heat when the custard reaches 70-75C / 158-167F.
  • For the ice-cream and shards, use the best quality chocolate you can afford and try to avoid the cheap compound chocolates often sold by home brands as ‘cooking chocolate’. You won’t get a nice result.
  • Make sure you always temper your eggs so you don’t end up with scrambled mess and have to start again. This simply means to warm the eggs gently by pouring the hot cream into whisked yolks while stirring to raise the temperature so they don’t just hit hot liquid and start cooking.

Here’s another ice-cream recipe to try

Vanilla maple ice-cream recipe image

Perfectly gorgeous vanilla bean and maple syrup ice-cream.
It will delight anyone who loves maple syrup and vanilla as much as I do!

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