chiaroscuro hazelnut icecream

20 May

Moral of today’s story: Do not mix your drinks, people!

Too lazy to go out and buy more Amaretto, a beautiful hazelnut liqueur, I grabbed the only hard stuff we still have lying around. Half a bottle of Becherovka, a bitter herby digestif. Only after I tipped the full amount into my milk chocolate mixture did I realise that the icecream I had imagined might end up tasting like a hangover.

Amaretto is only 28% proof – Becherovka a tough 38%. Alcohol in icecream stops it from freezing too hard, which is perfect for this recipe: no icecream machine. Pour into a tub, freeze and it will still be smooth and easy to scoop. But I had happily slung in several shots of the medicinal stuff, to probably result in a sloppy alcoholic mess. Again, like the morning after.

An extra banana and some more milk were quickly added. Fingers crossed. And actually, it was not a disaster at all. Today I tasted both flavours so as to write a proper description. Tasted it several times. Licked both spoons.

One part mocha hazelnut icecream, one part white chocolate hazelnut. The bitter edge –  from the coffee and the stupid Becherovka – was dark and intriguing. The tooth-achingly sweet white chocolate let the pure Amaretto flavour show off. Swirled together, they make a beautiful contrast of taste and colour.

Of course later I kicked myself: I basically made frozen nutella. Fancy two-tone frozen nutella. With an alcoholic kick.

Wait. Is that a problem?


Chiaroscuro hazelnut icecream

(adapted from David Lebovitz. If you want to substitute the Amaretto, take note! Find something with a similar flavour and alcohol %)

serves four

250g hazelnuts

80g white chocolate

80g milk chocolate

2 tsp instant coffee

200ml milk

80ml Amaretto

2 tbsp milk powder

2 bananas

Roast the hazelnuts in a very hot oven to a toasty brown inside. If they still have their skins, roll them up in a teatowel while still warm and rub hard to remove skin.

Break the white chocolate into pieces and put in a small bowl with 100ml milk and 1 tbsp milk powder. Melt on a low heat in the microwave. Stir gently to combine. In another bowl do the same with the milk chocolate, 100ml milk, 1 tbsp milk powder and the instant coffee. Melt, taste and add more instant coffee if needed.

Blend the hazelnuts to a fine paste. Add the bananas and blend until very smooth. Divide the mixture between the two chocolate bowls and add 40ml Amaretto to each. Stir. Tip into two small tubs and freeze.

To be extra fancy, layer the different flavours: line a loaf tin with clingfilm. Pour in the white chocolate mixture and freeze for an hour or so. Remove and pour the milk chocolate mixture on top. Freeze again. When ready to serve, cut fat slices for a nice colour contrast.


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