OK guys, this is it: a rich chocolate dessert that's easy to make. Perfect for Valentine's day. Just make sure that the chocolate you use is about 70% cocoa or better. And while you are at it, use real vanilla extract.
Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, peeled, and ground
Trader Joe's has the hazel nuts. They are shelled but raw and unpeeled. Put them on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Put them in the oven preheated to 350F. Let them roast for 15-20 minutes. When you can smell that wonderful scent then they are ready. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
After they've cooled, grab a handful, wrap them up in a dish towel and rub them together. When you unwrap them, most of the shins will have come off. Don't worry about the skins that are still adhered. It doesn't matter. I ground the hazelnuts to about the consistency of coffee grounds in my Cuisenart Mini-Prep.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, eggs, chocolate chips, vanilla, sugar, cocoa, and half the hazelnuts. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture just starts to boil. Strain through a fine sieve and discard the solids. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Place the chilled mixture and the remaining hazelnuts in an ice cream maker and process. I have one of these Cuisenart ice cream makers with the built-in refrigeration unit. No crushed ice to buy. No rock salt. No stains on the patio. Just flip the switch and 45 minutes later you have gelato.