Friday, September 27, 2013

In need of ice cream

I’m back in Athens after several days of vacation in the very green and beautiful Greek island of Euboea (Εύβοια) where we had an amazing time. Those of you who follow me on instagram already got a glimpse of what it was like.

I plan to share more in the future, perhaps when I get back to the Netherlands, but for the time being and since it’s still very hot here in Athens, I thought I’d share with you a recipe for ice cream.

Not just any ice cream though, but a mascarpone and nutella ice cream with hazelnut praline. I know I don’t need to say much in order to tempt you to try it and I’m pretty sure you who are lovers of hazelnut praline are already on your way to making this, but let me just say that if you’re in the mood for a scoop of fresh, homemade, light and smooth ice cream, look no further.

The mascarpone gives a rich texture, the nutella its sweet and unique flavor and the hazelnut praline adds crunch as well as depth of flavor to the velvety ice cream.

Enjoy and see you soon!

Mascarpone and Nutella Ice Cream with Hazelnut Praline

If you don't have an ice cream maker, don't fret. Below, I'm including instructions on how to make the ice cream without it.

Yield: about 1 kg


for the ice cream
175 ml fresh whole milk
125 g mascarpone
150 g caster sugar
1 medium-sized egg
350 ml cream, full-fat (35%)
180 g Nutella
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

for the hazelnut praline
100 g caster sugar
80 g blanched unsalted hazelnuts
30 ml water

Special equipment: wire whisk, ice cream machine (optional), baking sheet, baking paper or silicone sheet, candy thermometer (optional), small food processor


for the ice cream
Heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to boil it. While the milk is getting warm, add the mascarpone, sugar and egg in a medium-sized bowl and beat with a wire whisk. Pour in the hot milk little-by-little, whisking non-stop and once you’ve poured it all in, return the mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat, whisking frequently, until you have a mixture that’s slightly thick and very smooth. Don’t allow the cream to boil. Remove the pan from the heat, empty the cream inside a clean bowl, cover with plastic warp and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the cream and whisk to a very soft peak. Add the nutella and vanilla extract and mix well. Add the cooled cream to the nutella mixture and mix well with the whisk. Empty the mixture to your ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Alternatively, if you don't have an ice cream maker, empty the chilled ice cream mixture into a container suitable for the freezer. Put mixture in the freezer, take it out after 40 minutes and whisk it very well. You can also beat it with a spatula vigorously (or you can use a blender, or even a stick blender).
Continue doing the same thing every half hour, until it's too thick and frozen to beat or whisk. The whole process will take 2-3 hours.

Serve the ice cream sprinkled with hazelnut praline.

You can keep the ice cream in your freezer for 1 month.

for the hazelnut praline
In a small skillet or sauté pan add the blanched hazelnuts and place over a medium heat. Toast the nuts, stirring often so they don’t get burned, until they become fragrant and brown lightly. Transfer them to a small bowl.

Line your baking sheet with baking paper or a silicone sheet.

In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the sugar and water and place over a medium heat. Stir with a heatproof spatula until the sugar dissolves in the water, turn heat up to medium-high and then allow the magic to happen. The sugar will start to boil, do not stir at all because it will crystallize and it will be ruined, but stay close and keep an eye on it because you don’t want your caramel to burn. It will take 7-10 minutes for the sugar to turn into a dark golden caramel. The smell of burnt sugar is an indication that it’s ready. If you have a candy thermometer it should read 187 degrees Celsius / 370 Fahrenheit. (See in this post photos of the process).

Take the pan off the heat immediately and add the toasted hazelnuts to the pan. Stir briefly with a heatproof spatula to coat them with the caramel and empty everything onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it quickly with the help of the spatula. Allow to cool completely. It will take 25-30 minutes.

Once cooled, break the praline with your hands into pieces and add them to your food processor. Grind the praline and empty it into a glass jar.

Use it on your ice cream and you can keep the rest in the refrigerator, in a sealed glass jar, for 1 week.


  1. Yesterday I made a fig, Port and mascarpone icecream that is to die for. And I believe this one will be like that. Nutella and mascarpone, I'm already dreaming of it!!!

  2. This sounds wonderful, Magda! And, as my ice cream maker doesn't seem to work so week, I am going to try it with your whisking method. ~ David

  3. This looks smooth and delicious and that added crunch is a great idea.

  4. Magda, your talent continues to grow- truly beautiful photos. I wish I could come eat with you.