Chocolate Ice-cream with Hazelnuts
I think most people love a scoop of icecream. It can literally be called happiness in a scoop and when chocolate meets hazelnut it just makes things better.
Growing up in Calcutta the only ice-cream I knew about was Kwality's ice-cream . I am not talking of the brand , Kwality Wall's which is also very popular in India but a very old restaurant in Kolkata which served these slices of ice-cream. This was of course the era pre internet and before I developed a keen interest in trying out new recipes.
I remember the first time I read up about ice-cream over the internet. What amazed me, was that in India ice-cream is typically a vegetarian dessert made sans the eggs whereas most traditional recipes use eggs. I instinctively knew that the addition of eggs, especially egg yolks would render the ice-cream richer, silkier and smoother. I still remember how delighted I was when I made my first batch. Of course I was disappointed because I over-froze it and there were these tiny bits of ice-crystals , a complete disaster for ice-creams.
While I was living for a year in South Africa I realized that making ice-cream automatically means addition of eggs to people from South Africa . To be fair the best ice-cream I have had was from one of my favourite bakeries ever in a tiny town called Stellenbosch. Schoon de Companje not only has some amazing croissants and sourdough loaves to offer to their customers but they have a section for fresh homemade icecream and that was the best ice-cream ever. They definitely win hands down over any mass produced brand be it Movenpick or Haagen Dazs the only other brands I am familiar with which use eggs.
Anyway my first tryst with making ice-cream was a good 8 years ago and over the years thanks to cookbooks and many many many recipes that are there on the internet I tried my hands at several recipes and while I am assuming I might just try a new technique in the future for now this recipe works beautifully for me.
In India we dont get fresh cream with a fat percentage over 25% and for desserts frankly one does need a much higher fat percentage so working with the easily available cream is our biggest challenge but with a bit of time management etc you can just about have ice crystal free icecream. Working with chocolate ice-cream is much more easy since there is the additional fat from cocoa butter which helps take care of ice crystals.
So here goes the recipe - Serves 4 to 6
Egg yolks from 3 large eggs
80gram caster sugar ( One can increase it to 100gm)
Around 200ml to 300ml fresh dairy cream
Frankly the last time I made this icecream I didnt measure the amount of chocolate but why dont you try adding it bit by bit and see what works for you. ( I think I had used approximately about 80gm to 100gm chocolate)
In case you dont have access to proper cooking chocolate (not the compound shit which has vegetable fat instead of the real cocoa butter ) I would suggest using some cocoa butter + cacao powder - about 40gm cocoa butter and say 3 tbsp to 4 tbsp cocoa powder
Milk as per requirement only if using cocoa butter + cocoa powder
Start by whipping the egg yolks and sugar over a double boiler till it reaches the ribbon stage. Its essential that it reaches the ribbon stage. ( Be careful when using the egg yolk and sugar mixture over double boiler so that it doesnt scramble. I usually put it on the double for 1 minute while whisking and then take it off and keep whisking)
Whip the cream as much as possible , it wouldnt reach stiff peaks because we are using cream which has 25% fat but thats ok.
In case you are using cooking chocolate melt it over the double boiler. Now carefully fold in the melted chocolate with the egg yolk sugar mixture which has been whisked to reach the ribbon stage and then carefully fold in the whipped cream. Do not whisk just fold.
In case you are using cocoa butter + cocoa powder . Dissolve the cocoa powder in a little bit of milk , melt the cocoa butter over a double boiler and whisk in the cocoa powder dissolved in milk with the melted cocoa butter and follow the same process as mentioned above.
Now for the freezing. Here is the deal , the only successful way in which I have avoided ice-crystals is by serving the ice-cream immediately once it freezes over before it can form ice-crystals. Now the time taken to freeze the ice-cream will totally depend on the condition of your freezer, meaning the amount of stuff it already has.
For me it took about 8 hours.
Once frozen serve scoops of the rich silky chocolaty delight with roasted and chopped hazelnuts . Alternatively you can roast the hazelnuts and chop them up before you fold in everything and use it in the mixture pre freezing.