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Gianduja, or hazelnut-chocolate ice cream

Hazelnut and chocolate remains one of my favorite food combinations. So both in ice cream, often found in Europe, forms the perfect summer treat. Gianduja is a bar or spread made of ground hazelnuts, chocolate, sugar, and milk — you can find bars or discs of them online or in stores that specialize in baking or European goodies. Callebaut and Valrhona produce gianduja in blocks for cooking.

gianduja ice cream

The recipe is adapted from Alice Medrich’s milk chocolate lover’s hazelnut ice cream, from Seriously Bitter Sweet (2013).


  • 1 1/4 + 2 tablespoons cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 + 2 tablespoons cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces chopped gianduja (hazelnut milk chocolate)


  1. In a large glass jug, melt the gianduja in the microwave. I heated it at 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after every zap. How long depends on the power of your microwave; mine took about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside, at room temperature.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a small jug.
  3. In a sauce pan, combine the cream, milk, both sugars, and salt. Stir over medium heat until simmering.
  4. Temper the egg yolks by slowly whisking in a few ladlefuls of the cream mixture into the small jug. Whisk the yolk-cream back into the saucepan. Stir until the custard becomes silky-thick. An instant-read thermometer is great for testing this, because the texture typically occurs around 170º to 175ºF degrees.
  5. Pour the custard through a fine-meshed strainer into the large jug with melted gianduja — to remove any curdled bits, or chunks of vanilla bean from the sugar. Gently whisk until the hazelnut-chocolate has been smoothly mixed into the custard.
  6. Cover and chill thoroughly, preferably for at least 24 hours, as this high-fat custard benefits from a long chill to ensure a smoother ice cream upon churning.
  7. Churn and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions — e.g., about 35 to 40 minutes in our Cuisinart maker.

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