The Old Malt Shop Experience – Italian Style!
There is something about summertime that makes you crave things icy cold – gelato, granita, iced caffe. All the better if they are also smooth and creamy, tasty beyond belief, and make you daydream for summer days gone by at the Malt Shop, Ice Cream Shop, or Gelateria. MALTED HAZELNUT GELATO is one of those amazing chilly taste treats that is all wrapped up in nostalgia. Malted Milks are almost things of the past – certainly of my past. I daydream about sitting on those revolving stools in the ice cream shop slurping a chocolate malt while listening to Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin, and Connie Francis on the jukebox. Who??
At the same time, my nostalgia takes me longingly to that tiny gelateria near the Trevi Fountain in Rome – where I loved to drop a coin or three on the most perfect Hazelnut Gelato – one of my faves! Anything hazelnut reminds me of Italy anyway - the Perugina Chocolates with the creamy hazelnut centers, the gianduia (chocolate with hazelnut paste) fillings that permeate so many of the sweet treats, and the devine hazelnuts of Piedmont.
These memories and creamy delights are all wrapped up in my new favorite frozen treat: MALTED HAZELNUT GELATO! Just wait til you taste THIS ONE! You won’t believe the creaminess of this gelato. Throw in some chocolate covered malted milk balls, close your eyes, and you are there, baby! “Memories are made of this!!”
MALTED HAZELNUT GELATO
Makes: about a quart
1 C. Heavy Cream
1 C. Whole Milk
1 C. Half and Half
4 Egg Yolks – beaten
1/2 C. Sugar
1/3 C. Sifted Powdered Malted Milk ( I use Nestle Carnation “original”)
3/4 C. Nutella
1 C. Chocolate Covered Malted Milk Balls (Whoppers) – partially crushed
In a pan or double boiler, mix together: cream, milk, Half and Half, beaten egg yolks, sugar, and sifted malted milk powder (sifting gets the clumps out)
While stirring, carefully heat the mixture at just below a simmer until it thickens. It takes about 10 minutes to do this. Do not heat too quickly or forget to stir. You are making a custard. If it overheats, it will curdle.
You know it is ready, when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and cool down a little.
In a separate bowl, stir the Nutella to loosen.
Add a small amount of the custard to the Nutella and stir well. Add more and stir.
When it becomes more liquid, add the rest of the custard to it and combine. It will turn a beautiful chocolate color. Make sure the mixtures are completely incorporated.
Sometimes it retains some solids. You can strain it to get a perfectly smooth consistency. This is optional.
Chill your custard, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
Put your malted milk balls in a plastic bag and seal. Then hit the bag a few times with a mallet or something heavy like a tomato can. Don’t completely crush the balls. You want them chunky. It only take a few “hits”. I like to refrigerate the crushed balls so that when I am ready to add them to the gelato, they are ice cold.
The next day, pour the custard (it will be thicker) into an ice cream maker and follow directions to make your gelato. My ice cream maker takes about 35 minutes to get the gelato to a soft serve state.
When this occurs, add the chilled, crushed malted milk balls.
Freeze to your desired consistency. I do not like my gelato frozen hard. If it becomes too frozen, let it sit a couple of minutes before serving.
Take just one spoon of this Malted Hazelnut Gelato and drift off. Can you hear the jukebox now?? “VOLARE—OH OH, CANTARE O-O-O-O…”
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography