Chocolate and hazelnut is definitely one of the best food combinations on the planet. I’ve tried it in Nutella, pralines, cakes, tarts and now… ice cream – and I absolutely love it. This ice cream invention of mine was first discovered by complete random. I was making a chocolate hazelnut tart to celebrate my friend visiting me before she left on her travels to Thailand for the month. I made the tart similarly to a raw cheesecake, and moved it into the freezer to speed up its setting time. After leaving it for a couple of hours, I removed it from the freezer, took a taste and instantly realised how perfect it would be as an ice cream! It was definitely one of my favourite foodie discoveries I’ve had all year.
When all of the chocolate tart had been eaten, I read over my recipe notes and decided to transform it into an ice-cream. I simplified down the ingredients, changed some of the quantities and began experimenting. The final recipe is actually really simple. All it requires is some dates, water, rice milk, salt, hazelnut butter and cocoa powder. Then, you just need to blend them all together until smooth, pour the mixture into a container and wait patiently for it to set – and there’s no churning or ice cream maker necessary!!! Hooray!
The only struggle I had when making this was waiting for it to set. I did find myself going in and out of the freezer, taking mini spoonfuls of the mixture and trying it before it was firm.. Oops. It’s creamy ‘Nutella’ flavour is something I really can’t resist, so I ended up continuously going back to the tub for more. For the hazelnut taste, I recommend using a smooth Hazelnut butter like Biona’s, or one you’ve made at home. I always use Biona’s as I love their brand, and their butter has a really smooth and creamy taste.
Also – when I make this recipe, I tend to do it in the evening and leave it overnight to set. But, if you’re making it in the day I suggest you leave it for at least a good 5 hours. Then, when it’s set I like to leave it for a few minutes outside of the freezer to soften up before serving. This makes it easier to scoop – and it’s great if you like the taste of slightly melted/softer ice-cream like I do.
Even though this recipe is no churn and made so differently to regular ice cream, it’s surprising just how similar it is to a traditional version! I really hope you enjoy it!
chocolate hazelnut ice cream
serves about 5-6
2/3 cup (130g) pitted dates
1 cup (250ml) rice milk
2/3 cup (160ml) boiling water
1/3 cup (40g) cocoa powder
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (145g) hazelnut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1. Firstly, add the dates, rice milk and water into a blender and blend together until smooth. Then, add in the cocoa powder, hazelnut butter and salt and blend again until completely smooth.
2. When this is done, pour the mixture into a tupperware dish or loaf tin – I just used a standard long plastic lunchbox. Move the ice-cream into the freezer to set for at least 5 hours/overnight. Then, remove it from the freezer, leave for a couple of minutes to soften, scoop and serve.
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