Going Nuts One More Time – Hazelnut Gelato – Hand and Homemade

Hazelnut Gelato Ingredients Close Up

Hazelnut Gelato Ingredients Close Up

Just because – a little Christmas special!
This is amazing. I never knew how easy it is to make homemade gelato (which translates to ice-cream). Having an ice cream maker at hand is not even necessary, even though the results get somewhat better, but not to the point where it becomes a major problem without one. Try your favourite flavours, it really is not that difficult. I put in some of the tricks into the description I learnt as well.

Recipe: Going Nuts One More Time – Hazelnut Gelato from scratch

Creamy, yummy, fresh ice cream from your home. It takes some waiting time, but not overwhelmingly much in terms of actual activity. If you use an ice-cream maker, the active time will be shorter, but you would use the machine according to the instructions of the supplier. In my case I need 24 h of pre-freezing. I have started off not using an ice cream maker so see whether the flavor is right and adjust my work-flow and it works pretty well without. And please remember, with a little creativity, you can adapt the basic ingredients to almost any flavour imaginable! Also keep in mind that the recipe actually looks longer than the ‘doing it’ part is!

Serves 4 (about 600 mL)

Preparation: 10 – 20 min
Cooking: 5 min
Inactivity: 4 – 24 hours

  • Mortar and pestle
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Small food processor (or upscale) (what I use)
    If you have neither, try getting the nuts as ground meal
  • Electric mixer with wire whisks and bowl (what I use)
  • Grill or pan
  • Pot for cooking (what I use)
  • Silicone spatula
  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • Freezer suitable storage containers, two 1 L size (glass is good, plastic works)
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Plastic or metal bowls, ice cubes and cold water
Hazelnut Gelato Ingredients

Hazelnut Gelato Ingredients


  • 250 mL cream
  • 250 mL milk
  • 100 g hazelnuts, roasted, ground
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 90 g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt


You need baking paper, a hammering tool and a pan for this optional step.

  • 50 g hazelnuts, roasted, chopped
  • 30 g sugar


Prepare early (up to 24 h)

  1. Set the freezer as cold as possible as early as you can. Best the day before.
  2. If you use an ice cream maker, prepare it according to instructions. Often this means putting a part into the freezer 24 h early. Any part pre-cooled reduces the time until you have your gelato.
  3. Put your freezer-containers in the freezer early, a minimum of 4 hours for glass. This speeds up the cooling process.
    On the day:
  4. Roast all the nuts at once (use grill, if you have one), be careful not to burn them and let them cool thoroughly. This lets the flavour come out stronger. If your nuts are already in powder form, be very careful as they burn quickly.
  5. If using the mortar, chop the nuts first.
  6. Transfer 100 g of the nuts to the mortar or food processor and process as fine as you like for the gelato. I personally like some nut-chunks.
  7. Put the cream in a bowl and whip thoroughly, but stop short before making butter. In the Kenwood Cooking Chef this takes about 3:30 min on speed 4 using the power whisk.
  8. Transfer the cream into a container and keep it in the fridge until use.
  9. Put the milk, sugar, salt and hazelnut meal into the pot to cook.
  10. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the content and the empty bean.
  11. Let the milk boil up very briefly, then let it cool thoroughly. For cooling, fill a bowl with cold water and ice-cubes and place a second bowl with the milk into it. Stir occasionally until very cool or cold.
  12. Take out the vanilla bean.
  13. Transfer the cooled hazelnut milk to one of the two pre-cooled containers in the freezer.
  14. If you choose the optional ingredients, chop the remaining hazelnuts (50 g) and lay down a sheet of baking paper on a heat-proof surface (e.g. baking tray).
  15. Distribute the nuts and sugar in a pan and stir while heating occasionally. The mix will be VERY hot! Do not get into contact!
  16. Mix until all nut pieces are covered in slightly browning sugar, then spread out as far as possible on the baking paper sheet.
  17. When cool (test it carefully, it takes time), fold over the side of the baking paper and use a hammering tool to smash the caramelized hazelnuts into small bits.

Without ice cream maker

If you do not have an ice cream maker, this part is the most important to keep the ice cream creamy.

  • Let the hazelnut milk cool in the freezer until very cold. The way to insure the hazelnut milk has cooled down thoroughly is simple, but takes time.
  • Leave the hazelnut milk in the freezer until a rim of frozen milk forms around the edges, this will take possibly 45 min depending on how cold it is to start with. Check it earlier.
  • Mix the rim into the hazelnut milk and let this rim form twice again, best if the mixture turns into a slush texture.
  • At the second rim forming, mix in the cold and whipped cream and caramelized hazelnuts (if using). Mixing in the whipped cream replaces to a degree what the ice cream maker can do in terms of avoiding ice crystal forming and incorporating air.
  • Depending on how cold the hazelnut milk was, this last step does not take long. Place the hazelnut ice cream back into the freezer until just the right texture or store in the freezer for later.
  • Switch the freezer back to normal.
  • Be aware that the creamyness requires a higher temperature than the freezer has (I think I read – 4°C instead of -25 °C, but am not sure). Take the gelato out and place it in the fridge about 15-30 min prior to serving to make it softer.
Hazelnut Gelato

Hazelnut Gelato

With Ice Cream Maker

  1. Mix the cooled whipped cream with the hazelnut milk until well mixed. Don’t worry about small lumps of whipped cream here.
  2. Let the ice cream maker do the rest, filling the semi-liquid hazelnut cream into the running ice cream maker. The whipping of the cream in advance does amazing things to the texture.
  3. Finish the ice cream according to the manufacturers instructions, adding the caramelized hazelnuts short before the end.
  4. Store the hazelnut ice cream in the freezer, if prepared for later.
  5. Switch the freezer back to normal.
  6. Be aware that the creamyness requires a higher temperature than the freezer has (I think I read – 4°C instead of -25 °C, but am not sure). Take the gelato out and place it in the fridge about 15-30 min prior to serving to make it softer.

This is another recipe allowing immense variation. I have made apple gelato (requiring some acid balancing using baking soda and/or baking potassium), almond, vanilla, stracciatella, pistachio and mint and chocolate chip. The trick is to make the milk part just that little bit sweeter than you would like to eat it as is, since the cream and freezing dampen down the sugar taste. I would like to make amarena cherry, berry, walnut, salty peanut, peanut and choc-chip, mascarpone, cream cheese and cookies, chocolate-hazelnut, burnt butter and possibly things like raffaelo later. It really is reasonably simple – get creative over the holidays!!!

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