Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream Cake

posted by Sue Freeman 06-06-99 5:49 AM

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream Cake

Hazelnut Meringue Layers:
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream:
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
pinch of salt
2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Italian hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped

Dark Chocolate Ganache:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
1 tablespoon Italian Italian hazelnut liqueur
12 hazelnuts

1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

To roast hazelnuts, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350.

Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan two to three times until the nuts are golden beneath the skins.

Wrap the nuts in a clean towel and cool completely. Transfer nuts to a large sieve and rub nuts back and forth to remove loose skins.

Make Hazelnut Meringue Layers: Position one rack in top third of oven and another rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 250.

Line the bottoms of two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Lightly butter foil. Dust the foil with flour and top off the excess. Using dull side of a small knife, trace one 9 inch circle on each baking sheet.

In a clean, grease free, 4 1/2 quart bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer, using the wire whip attachment, beat egg whites at med. low speed until just frothy. Add salt, increase speed to med-high and beat egg whites until soft peaks start to form. One tablespoon at a time add in granulated sugar. Continue beating until meringue is stiff and shiny. Using a balloon whisk or rubber spatula, gently fold in ground hazelnuts.

Scrape one half of the hazelnut meringue mixture onto each of the outlined circles on the prepared baking sheets. Using a small metal cake spatula spread meringue mixture to the edges of outlined circles. Bake rounds for 30 minutes. Turn oven off and let stand in oven with door closed for 2 hours.

Make Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream: In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, l tablespoon of sugar and salt until blended.

In a heavy large non corrosive saucepan, bring the half and half, cream and remaining sugar to a gentle boil. Remove pan from heat.

Gradually whisk about 1 cup of hot liquid into beaten egg yolks until blended. Return this mixture to the saucepan. Continue cooking over med.-low heat stirring constantly with a flat edged wooden spoon for 2 to 4 minutes or until the custard has thickened slightly. It is done when you can run your finger down the back of a custard coated spoon and a path remains. Do not let custard come to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in chcolate. Whisk until smooth. Strain custard through a sieve into a non corrosive metal bowl.

Place bowl over a larger bowl of ice water and stir custard for 5 to 10 minutes or until cool. Stir in hazelnut liqueur and vanilla. Remove bowl of custard and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until very cold.

Scrape chilled custard into container of ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions. Transfer ice cream to med. bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in hazelnuts and smooth the top. Cover surface with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

Make Dark Ganache: Put chopped chocolate in medium bowl.

In a saucepan, heat cream until it comes to a boil. Pour hot cream mixture over the chocolate and let mixture stand 30 seconds to melt chocolate. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Stir in butter and liqueur. Let cool for 15 minutes until slightly thickened.

Dip 12 hazelnuts into chocolate ganache for garnish and let sit.

Assemble cake: Place meringue layer in the bottom of 9 inch spring form pan. Trim edges to fit if necessary. Spoon chocolate hazelnut ice cream over the meringue layer and spread ice cream evenly over meringue. Top with other meringue layer and gently press down to sandwich the ice cream. Return to freezer for 1 hour.

Remove cake from freezer. Carefully heat outside of pan with blow dryer or damp, (not wet) hot towel until edge of ice cream starts to melt and sides of pan can be removed.

Place cake over cookie sheet on a wire rack. Spread Ganache over the top and sides of cake. Press hazelnuts against the side of cake working around the cake until side is completely covered with ground hazelnuts. Freeze until ready to serve.

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