To go with my so-very-Italian entree, I wanted a so-very-Italian dessert. And what’s more Italian—and more suitable for summer in an un-air-conditioned apartment—than gelato? This particular gelato was dense, creamy, rich, and delicious. Read on.
For hazelnut paste:
3/4 c. hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (plus extra, coarsely chopped, for garnish, if desired)
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. sugar
pinch of salt
Prepare: To make the hazelnut paste, simply pulse nuts, oil, sugar and salt in food processor until combined into a paste—about 2 minutes. This yields about 1/3 cup.
For the gelato:
3 c. coconut milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 c. coconut cream
3/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
4-5 oz. of dark chocolate, chopped
Combine milk and hazelnut paste in medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges—about 5 minutes. Do not allow to boil.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, coconut cream, and salt. Whisk until smooth and sugar begins to dissolve.
Remove milk from heat and gradually whisk about 1/2 cup into egg mixture to temper the eggs. Next, pour the tempered egg mixture into saucepan with milk mixture, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Keep the custard at a low simmer until it thickens enough so that you can draw a line in it on the back of your spoon—around 5 minutes. Do not allow it to boil.
Next, in a heatproof bowl, pour custard over chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted.
Cover custard with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate 4-24 hours before freezing in an ice cream maker, according to the maker’s instructions (about 20-25 minutes for mine). Makes about 1 delicious quart.