I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but I was lucky enough to take a fabulous trip to Venice. It was truly the vacation of a lifetime. The history, the architecture, the art–it was all amazing.
But the food…oh the food. I don’t even think I have the words in my vocabulary to describe all the truly incredible things we ate. The melt-in-your-mouth pasta, the most perfect grilled vegetables, the freshest seafood imaginable, and the gelato. Oh my goodness, the gelato. I had gelato every afternoon. By about day four of the trip, I decided I needed to start going for the double scoop if I was going to come anywhere near trying all the flavors I wanted to taste. This picture is my last cone in Venice–a scoop of rich, dark chocolate on the bottom topped with a scoop of amarena, a sweet cream base with ribbons of sour cherry throughout. Perfection.
Needless to say, I’ve been going through withdrawals ever since I came home. About two weeks after I returned, I went to a popular gelato place here in town. I loved the gelato there before my trip, but knew I wouldn’t be able to view it in the same way once I’d had the real deal. As I feared, it didn’t even come close. This homemade chocolate-hazelnut gelato wasn’t the same either, but it was certainly fun to try. It was very good and it had the softer texture I loved about Italian gelato. I’ll definitely make it again. I can eat it and dream about the day I’ll return to Venice.
from Giada DeLaurentiis via Food Network
2 c. whole milk
1 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. cup sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. chocolate-hazelnut spread such as Nutella
1/2 c. toasted hazelnuts, crushed, for garnish
1. In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 c. sugar over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining
sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale
yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture
into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes
thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7-10 minutes.
3. Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard
mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread
until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice
cream maker, then follow manufacturer’s instructions. Place in airtight container in freezer at least four hours before serving. To serve,
scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts. Serves 6-8.