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Ice cream season has officially started. At least in my house. And I am celebrating it with one of my all time favourite flavours: gianduia (gianduja). Gianduia is a paste that is made from hazelnuts, cocoa, and sugar. It was invented in Turin, Italy. Some people think it is the same as Nutella, but it is not. It’s way better. You can find gianduia confectionaries, gianduia chocolate, gianduia spread, and of course gianduia ice cream or gelato. In Germany gianduia is quite popular.
If you want to buy it here, you might get confused though, as we call it nougat in German. That’s probably why, as I recently learned, gianduia is sometimes also called German nougat. Or Viennese nougat. (Vienna is quite popular for its sweets, isn’t it?) Anyway, many people here are quite fond of it. And since gianduia is a much better, more quality version of the famous spread I mentioned above, it sometimes even is vegan. I buy vegan gianduia chocolate on a regular basis.
Gianduia is not hard to make, I sometimes make my own, if I want a very decadent treat like these fancy gianduia chocolate rings. (Ok, mostly I use it to put it in cookies.) And it’s even easier to make gianduia ice cream or gelato. (If you have an ice cream maker.) I know technically you can neither call this ice cream nor gelato. There is no cows milk in it and no cream, but you know how these vegans are. Stealing all the words. At least, as far as I know, gelato is made without eggs.
This version is so simple and requires only four ingredients: Soy milk, sugar, chocolate, and hazelnut butter. Please remember to put the churning bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer the night before. If you do not have an ice cream maker, place the the gelato mixture in a container and freeze. After 45 minutes, remove from freezer and stir or whisk it. Repeat that every 30 minutes until the ice cream is frozen. Or: Simply make ice pops. Because of the high fat content in this recipe, they’ll turn out creamy enough.
This is a technique David Lebovitz has come up with and I have had good results with it. (Read his post for detailed instructions.) Please note that I haven’t tried the method for this recipe. I recommend to get an ice cream maker as it is affordable and you can use it a lot. In my town there is not one single place where you can good vegan ice cream. (Yeah, you can get sorbet. But that gets old pretty fast.) I have had my ice cream maker for years and it really has served me well.
I called this recipe a gelato mostly because of its texture. It is so rich and creamy. The ice cream tastes exactly like German nougat and, in my opinion, way better than the famous Nutella spread. It is so full of flavour, so luscious and has a perfect, smooth texture. Not one of those wannabe watery vegan ice creams, I swear. There’s no grittiness and very importantly: there is no banana and no coconut milk involved here. Which means that your flavour buds can concentrate fully on the dreamy combination of chocolate and hazelnuts. This is honestly the best and easiest ice cream recipe I have ever made.
150 g dark chocolate
300 ml plant milk (I used soy)
150 g sugar
150 g hazelnut butter
Chop the chocolate and place it in a small, waterproof bowl.
Fill a larger pot with boiling water.
Place the chocolate bowl in there.
Make sure there is no contact between the chocolate and the hot water or your chocolate will seize.
Carefully melt the chocolate. (The water should not be boiling anymore!)
Place soy milk, sugar, and hazelnut butter in a blender.
Blend until smooth. Add melted chocolate and blend again.
Place in the fridge and let cool for about two hours.
Assemble your ice cream maker and freeze the ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions.
Enjoy immediately or transfer to a freezer-stable container with a lid and freeze.
Thaw for about 15 minutes before serving.