For the longest time, I had been struggling with my cuisinart ice cream machine. It worked well when I was in US but since I brought it home, it has been giving me a multitude of problems. At home, we have quite a few american appliances and due to different voltage, we have a huge voltage transformer. My kitchenaid, and many other american appliances have worked great but the cuisinart was a different story. Sometimes, nothing would be wrong and I would churn out ice cream fine. Sometimes, it would run for 15 minutes and switch off by itself and not be able to turn on again. At other times, the same thing would happen for 10 minutes. One day, it decided to not turn on again, and I guess it was gone forever.
This time when I went back to Seattle, I decided to bid the voltage problems goodbye, and get the kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment. I must say that in terms of churning out good consistency ice cream, this attachment is really really awesome. I must say though, my only problem with it is pouring the mixture in. Due to all the stirring and cooling involved, I tend to place the mixture in wide mouth bowls and containers so that they would cool faster. It is actually quite hard to pour the mixture in while the machine is turned on (which is what you’re supposed to do) since the space available to pour the mixture in is very limited. Hence, it has been quite a feat so far with me holding the mixture and another person holding a funnel, positioning it strategically over the bowl but not touching the moving parts – sounds complicated, right! So, until I find a better way, I love my new ice cream maker attachment just about 99%.
David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop ice cream book is highly recommended for anyone who loves making ice cream. It is the only recipe book I have that’s dedicated to ice cream and it has served me very well so far. I like it that the book has a combination of very easy to make recipes when you feel like whipping something up in 10 minutes, Yet, the book also has complicated recipes if you’re looking for a challenge or for a recipe to impress.
When I first flipped open the book, the first recipe that caught my eye is the gianduja gelato! I always pick a hazelnut ice cream when I go to gelato shops and I just couldn’t wait to try making it myself.
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop
1 1/2 cups/185 g skinned hazelnuts, toasted
1 cup (250ml) whole milk (I used organic skim milk)
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1/4 tsp coarse salt
4 oz (115g) milk chocolate, finely chopped (I used bittersweet chocolate as I love chocolate with much higher percentages of cocoa)
5 large egg yolks
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1. Skin your hazelnuts by rubbing them in a kitchen towel to remove as much of the papery skin as possible. I find this a real chore and it takes a long time before all the papery skin comes out. I find it much easier to buy skinned hazelnuts.
2. Using a blender or food processor, finely chop the hazelnuts.
3. Warm the milk with 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Once warm, remove from heat and add in the chopped hazelnuts. Cover and let it steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
4. Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 cup (250ml) cream in a saucepan until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
5. Pour the hazelunt-infused milk through a strainer and into a saucepan. Spend some time to squeeze the nuts with your hands to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Discard the hazelnuts and rewarm the mixture. (Suggestion: I have not tried this but I will next time – I tasted the hazelnuts at this point and thought they were still so flavorful. Consider keeping about half of them and adding it while the mixture is churning to add a different texture to the gelato!)
6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks constantly and pour the warm hazelnut mixture into the egg yolks. While still whisking, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constant over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula to form a custard.
7. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla extract and stir until cool over an ice bath, or let cool at room temperature. (I usually find it troublesome to prepare an ice bath)
8. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge.
9. Freeze it in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Remember to add in hazelnut bits at the end if you choose to follow the suggestion above)