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an overhead shot of a scoop of hazelnut ice cream in a cone. a piece of hazelnut praline is sticking out of the top and more pieces of hazelnut praline lie on the table below the ice cream.

hazelnut praline ice cream

Rebecca
A toasted hazelnut ice cream base with crunchy chunks of buttery, caramelized homemade hazelnut praline.
Pro-tip: Save some shards of hazelnut praline and stick them in the top of your scoops of ice cream so you can feel real fancy as you lick your fingers clean.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Combined Resting Time 16 hrs
Total Time 17 hrs 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 quart

Ingredients
  

Hazelnut Ice Cream

  • 125 grams hazelnuts (toasted and peeled)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 150 grams sugar (¾ cup)
  • 2 egg yolks (large)
  • 1 egg (large)

Hazelnut Praline Pieces

  • 125 grams hazelnuts (toasted and peeled)
  • 200 g sugar (1 cup)
  • 50 g water (3 TBSP)
  • 15 g unsalted butter (1 TBSP)

Instructions

  • Prep your ice cream maker according to instructions. Depending on your ice cream maker, you may need to chill the bowl up to 18 hours in advance of when you plan on churning it.

Toast hazelnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the topmost position.
  • Place all 9 ounces of hazelnuts on a sheet pan and toast for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning.
    You may need to pull them out after 15 mins if they're looking dark or leave them in another 5-10 minutes if the skins don't come off easily in the next step.
  • Transfer toasted hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel and shake, rub, and roll them around to remove the skins. It's okay if some of them still have a little skin on them, but try to get most of the skins off.
    Set aside.

Hazelnut Ice Cream Base

  • Place half of your toasted hazelnuts in a mini food processor and pulse a few times until well chopped. Combine with heavy cream in a sauce pot and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg and egg yolks until pale and well combined, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in sugar until fully combined, then whisk an additional 30-60 seconds more.
  • Add cold milk to the bowl and whisk well. Then, slowly and gradually add in the heavy cream mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Once about half of it has been added slowly you can add the rest more quickly.
    Whisk well, transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours to chill.
  • The next day, strain the mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer to remove the hazelnut pieces.
  • Churn immediately according to your ice cream maker's instructions. The ice cream will likely still be quite soft once it's done churning.
    Transfer back to the container, press a sheet of plastic wrap flat over the surface of the ice cream to prevent freezer burn, and chill for at least 1-2 hours before stirring in the hazelnut praline pieces.

Hazelnut Praline Pieces

  • Arrange the remaining half of the toasted and peeled hazelnuts on a silicone mat or parchment paper lined sheet pan. Group them as close together as you can.
  • In a medium skillet, combine sugar, butter, and water over medium heat. Swirl to combine.
  • Cook the sugar mixture until it melts and becomes very bubbly. This is the liquid boiling away. Stir occasionally and swirl the pan to keep the bubbles from coming up too high.
    Don't walk away — the sugar can burn quite easily!
  • When the sugar mixture starts to brown, continue swirling until it becomes a rich, golden amber color. Immediately remove from the heat and pour over the hazelnuts. Have a spatula ready to go because the sugar will cool quickly.
    Push any hazelnuts that weren't coated into the sugar mixture. Scoop any sugar mixture that has pooled away from the hazelnuts onto the hazelnuts. Its ok if they aren't fully or evenly coated, just do your best to get them covered.
  • Once the hazelnut praline has cooled completely, transfer it to a cutting board. Use a very sharp knife to chop into small, bite-sized pieces.
    Place in a container in the freezer for at least 1 hour before stirring into the ice cream.
  • Press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream, then cover and freeze for at least another 2-3 hours before scooping and serving.

Video

Notes

  • It is so important that the chopped hazelnut praline pieces get at least an hour in the freezer before you stir it into the ice cream. The pieces are large and quite heavy and if they aren't fully chilled they will melt the softened ice cream and sink to the bottom. By making sure they are chilled completely and that the churned ice cream has had at least 1-2 hours in the freezer to firm up before stirring them in, they'll be evenly suspended in the ice cream and won't sink to the bottom. 
  • prep time = making the ice cream base including toasting hazelnuts, cook time = making the praline, resting time = overnight rest and post-churn chill before adding mix-ins
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