Gianduja Gelato – A ticket to Hazelnut Heaven

July 13th, 2007  | Category: Chocolate, Ice Cream & Sorbet, Turkish Cuisine

Gianduja Stracciatella Gelato

I couldn’t help but eat half of this gelato before it even had a chance to freeze and went to heaven. The hazelnut heaven.

What makes you choose a recipe to try the first time you open a cookbook? An enticing photo? A favorite ingredient used in the recipe? Raves you read on food blogs?

All of the above? For me, it is sometimes the technique that is used. I’m all ears when there is an extraction of flavorful juices. 5 minutes after I read Dorie rubbing the warmed-up sugar with lemon zest in one of her recipes, I was zesting oranges. The result was Orange Grove Cookies.

And when I read David instructing to squeeze the soaked hazelnuts to extract their juices, I knew I had to try the recipe. Even tough it is quite early to decide that this is my favorite recipe from the book, there is a strong hunch that it just may be.

Gianduja Stracciatella Gelato 2

A special recipe like this deserves special treatment. I decided to serve it in between wafer halvas. It is quite common in Turkey to eat ice cream smeared on top of the delicate and crunchy wafer halva discs. If you’re living in the US, here is where you can buy it from.

Gianduja Stracciatella Gelato 4

Gianduja Stracciatella Gelato Recipe

Recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz


  • 1+1/2 cups (185 g) hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  1. Rub the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel to remove as much of the papery skins as possible, then finely chop them in a food processor or blender.
  2. Warm the milk with 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Once warm, remove from the heat and add the chopped hazelnuts. Cover and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. Put the milk chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) cream in a medium saucepan until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the milk chocolate pieces and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
  4. Pour the hazelnut-infused milk through a strainer into a medium saucepan, squeezing the nuts firmly with your hands to extract as much of the flavorful liquid as possible. Discard the hazelnuts.
  5. Rewarm the hazelnut-infused mixture. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm hazelnut mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  6. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the milk chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath.
  7. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  8. In a clean and absolutely dry bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring it until it’s completely smooth.
  9. Start freezing the gelato in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drizzle a very thin stream of the warm chocolate into 1 quart of ice cream during the last possible moment of churning. If the chocolate clings too much to the dasher, remove the ice cream from the machine and drizzle the chocolate into the frozen ice cream by hand while you layer it into the storage container, breaking up any chunks as you stir.
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  1. 1 - Hilda on July 13th, 2007

    oh for heaven’s sake, have mercy! I can’t keep up with all the decadent recipes you post and that I want to try immediately. 😉

  2. 2 - Mary on July 14th, 2007

    Great photos. I can just imagine how good the gianduja gelato is with the wafer discs.

  3. 3 - Cenk on July 14th, 2007

    Hi Hilda – This one is a must-try. Excellent recipe, thanks to David. I hope you like it as much as I do.

    Mary – It really was hazelnut heaven.

  4. 4 - Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy on July 14th, 2007

    That looks wonderful, I am really craving hazelnut gelato, and those chunks of chocolate….? YUM.

  5. 5 - Zeynep Seda on July 14th, 2007

    Cenk, what a scene!! I’d love to take a huge bite from that wafer 🙂 Although I am a huge ice-cream fan it’s been quite a while since I churned my last batch 🙁 I was planing to make a batch of lavander ice-cream, after that this will be the first one to try!

    Keep up with the good work!

  6. 6 - Rosa on July 14th, 2007

    Mindblowing photography and recipe! I can quite imagine how fantastic it must taste…

  7. 7 - Shaun on July 15th, 2007

    Dearest Cenk – Hazelnut has such a mystifying magical taste – deeply nutty yet so different from all the other nuts. If ever I’m at a traditional gelateria, I always go for gianduia. If you opened a gelateria, I’d be first in the queue 🙂 Have a lovely time in Bodrum.

  8. 8 - Patricia Scarpin on July 17th, 2007

    Cenk, this is a mean, mean post! I wish I could have some and I love the way you served the gelatto.

  9. 9 - Tartelette on July 17th, 2007

    OMG…This IS heaven!!! I drool and I drool an I drool …just stunning pics top it off!

  10. 10 - tokyoastrogirl on July 17th, 2007

    Hazelnuts are by far my favorite nuts. I loved Nutella as a child and it reminds me of that special time in my life everytime I eat it. Great idea to sandwich the ice cream like that…..I must run out and get this book- I’ve read so many great things about it!

    Beautiful photos as always.

  11. 11 - Graeme on July 19th, 2007

    That’s what I call a variation on a classic. Good stuff.

  12. 12 - Gabi on August 2nd, 2007

    Wow! That looks so delicious. I can’t wait to try it too. I had marked the recipe in my copy of The Perfect Scoop and now I’ll really have to get to it.

  13. 13 - A Batch of Homemade Ice Cream Recipes at on August 4th, 2007

    […] Gianduja Gelato from Cafe Fernando […]

  14. 14 - Habeas Brulee » Blog Archive » Roundup of Food Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed #11 on September 21st, 2007

    […] Cenk from Cafe Fernando served his Gianduja Stracciatella Gelato between wafer halvas, making for a lovely hazelnut chocolate ice cream cake. […]

  15. 15 - Weekly Link Roundup for September 23, 2007 | Catch The Spoon on September 25th, 2007

    […] * Cheesesteak Eggrolls * Make-Ahead Lunch Tips * A Study on Cinematic Garlic * Yet Another Food Recall * Anthony Bourdain Busts on Trendy Food * The Pretty Way to Slice an Apple * Bacon Chocolate * Spiced Cookies (Really!) * Hazlenut Gelato * Bacon Salt?! * Chai Ice Cream * Gelatin Filtration Experiment * Cauliflower Cube * […]

  16. 16 - growitgreen on July 18th, 2008

    I love gelato, but it is difficult to find a shop that makes it in my small town in S.C. so, I have to make it myself when I get a craving. I appreciate all of the recipes I can get my hands on. Check out this “cool” article about gelato at foodista.

  17. 17 - Jen on August 5th, 2008

    I’m just about to mix up this Gianduja Gelato tonight, so I haven’t yet tried it… but, the Rice Gelato from David’ book is to die for. You must give it a whirl!

    Also, I tried the Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream and couldn’t quite get it to freeze properly, not sure what happened. I had a few cans of sweetened condensed milk that I brought over from the States that I needed to use so I figured I’d try that recipe :).

  18. 18 - Cenk on August 5th, 2008

    Hi Jen – Sorry to hear about the Vietnamese coffee ice cream.. I am surprised to hear that the result wasn’t any good. Please do try it one more time with a new can; it really is to-die-for! And I’ll make sure to whirl a batch of rice gelato!

  19. 19 - Adriana on August 13th, 2013

    When I read “discard the hazelnuts” I confess I tear fell from the corner of my eye. So I £accidentally” dropped some of them back while straining it. How clumsy of me! >:-) Had a little trouble with the stracciatella part. My chocolate was a bit too warm and started to mix too well with the ice cream, so I stopped the machine and finished by hand. Absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing it !

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