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July 07, 2006

Nutella, not just for the bedroom anymore, Part II: Vanilla Nutella ice cream


We're not ones to ever miss something related to ice cream, but we missed the ice cream event.  I can't say I'm surprised.  We used to spend countless hours each week cooking, eating, writing posts, reading other blogs and offering comments.  That's changed lately -- some of you may have noticed that we've been posting and commenting far less than normal.  Now our time is consumed with lawyers, and insurance agents, and bankers.

After eight years in our two-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto, we wanted more: more space, more (hell, any) yard, and, of course, a kitchen big enough for two people to work in without literally stepping on one another's toes.  Angry spouses and sharp blades are a bad combo, wouldn't you agree?

It all sounded so simple.

So we entered the Toronto real estate market.  Ugly.  House prices have been rising for the better part of a decade now, and the playing field is tilted strongly in the vendor's favour.  Our least favourite selling tactic was the lowball price with a fixed date for offers.  The low price sucks in many, many buyers, who all present offers one after another at a set time.  Such fierce competition forces any interested party to make an unconditional offer that far exceeds the asking price if they hope to have a chance of getting the house.  Picture seven or eight groups of buyers with their agents, pacing in the street outside the house in question as their offers are weighed and the neighbours peek through their windows.

We got burned by this strategy more times than I'd care to remember, and it began to take its toll.  Where once we used to get excited about a property we wanted, after two years and almost a dozen unsuccessful offers, we began to approach houses with a fatalistic, "let's see how we'll lose this house" attitude.

Then one day we finally got the house -- an old Victorian in Little Italy -- and on Tuesday we took possession.  During the mere month in between, our lives were consumed with the seemingly endless number of tasks it takes to turn pages of signatures into a set of keys to our new home.

Now that we own it, we're renovating it, which creates a whole new set of headaches.  Out with the lawyers, insurance agents, and bankers, and in with the electricians, roofers, and contractors.  It all means that we won't actually get to live in our new home until sometime in August, and it means that we rarely have time to devote to this blog.

When I do find time these days to devote to my stomach, I try to make it count.  That means making things we really love, and vanilla Nutella ice cream is at the top of that list.  We first tasted Nutella ice cream, gelato alla Nutella, on a trip to Italy.  I remember two distinct variations: one where the Nutella is fully incorporated into the ice cream, and the other, where a Nutella stripe is added to a regular ice cream base.  I prefer the latter, mainly because I love the texture of chilled Nutella melting on my palate.

Upon our return, I immediately set about trying to devise a version of my own.  The biggest challenge, and one I still haven't overcome to my complete satisfaction, is how to properly add a stripe to ice cream.  I've tried adding straight Nutella into the ice cream, and I find that the Nutella becomes too fully incorporated into the cream. To this point, I've used a technique I found in Williams-Sonoma Collection: Ice Cream in which Nutella is melted over a double boiler, a little vegetable oil is whisked in, and the mixture is then allowed to cool.  This works reasonably well, but I'd appreciate any suggestions to improve this dish.

Fully incorporated or striped, this ice cream is still other-worldly.  I'm not one for half-measures, so I always make this ice cream with a real vanilla bean (though I'm sure vanilla extract would work wonderfully too).  Flecked with vanilla seeds and banded with Nutella, this ice cream is perfect for both vanilla and Nutella addicts.

Of course, if like us you're addicted to both vanilla (see here, here, here, here, and here) and Nutella (see here), this ice cream may end up being the flavour you crave above all others.

Vanilla Nutella Ice Cream

250 ml (1 cup) 35% heavy cream
250 ml (1 cup) 3.25% milk
1 vanilla bean or substitute vanilla extract
110 g (1/2 cup) sugar
120 g (1/3 cup) Nutella
10 ml (2 tsp) canola oil

Combine cream, milk, sugar, and scraped vanilla seeds and pod and heat to 175F/79C.


One hour before churning the ice cream, heat the Nutella in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water.  Stir in the oil, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Freeze ice cream as per maker's instructions.  At the last moment, add the room temperature Nutella mixture to the ice cream.  Do not overchurn after this point or the Nutella will incorporate into the ice cream, rather than forming a stripe.


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Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

Ah good luck! Contractors are a tough business indeed. We had our share 3 years ago! But think about the nice kitchen you will have!!!

I am not a Nutella fan (I know, I know), but your icecream surely looks great!


Congratulations on your new house! I've played the real estate game and it's not pretty here either. Will we get to see photos of your fabulous new kitchen? And Nutella ice cream - a great way to celebrate!


Congratulations on your new home! When do we get to come over for dinner:-)

Just be glad you don't live in SF--that would be 30-50 competing offers on houses that hover around the million dollar mark (and all in need of some renovations).

But that ice cream looks deadly delicious. Just the thing to soothe the real estate woes.

Happy homewarming to you (once the dust settles and is swept up). I hope you will be very happy there.


haha i love the title of your post! nutella is delicious but i keep mine in the back of my pantry so i don't eat it too much. it's easy to just stick a spoon in the jar and snack on it. :)


Like yoony, nutella is a dangerous commodity in our house, with the girls at least! The alpha male however isn't at all keen, so, it hasn't ever seen our bedroom.

Congratulations on your new digs, the icecream sounds perfect!

Raspberry Sour

Congrats on the new home. And right in Little Italy- that's wonderful! I know how crazy it is out here trying to get a place (both buying and renting).

May your nutella soon have many lovely, renovated rooms in which to frolick.


Congratulations on making it through the bidding wars, the market there in Toronto sounds just like how it is in Manhattan, I don't know how people deal with it without going nuts.

Any suggestions on ice cream makers? I've been looking around to finally getting one and I'll definitely have to try your recipe as soon as I do.


Auguri Rob and Rachael on the purchase of your new home!

I have a special place in my heart for Little Italy. My mom's family settled there when they arrived in Canada and up until she passed away two years ago, my grandmother lived in the same house on Beatrice that they moved into in the 1950s.

I wish you all the best! Ti auguro il meglio di tutto!

As for the ice cream ... swoon!


I'm glad to hear you've finally found a place! And just think about how wonderful it will be once all this is over and you get to cook amazing things in your new amazing kitchen...we'll still be here when you're finished! I love all things nutella, and this ice cream sounds, and looks fabulous!


This very well could be the only recipe that will ever require me to buy Nutella! I hope it tastes as good as it looks!


Congratulations on the home!

And the ice cream...ah...there are no words.


Bea, I can't believe you're not a Nutella fan. What's not to love?

Anita, yes, there will be photos of the new kitchen. Thanks for the wishes.

Tea, if the home ever gets done, everyone's more than welcome to stop by. I hear the SF real estate market is insane, but I never realized it's that crazy.

yoony and Bron, I succumb all too often to the temptation of eating Nutella with a spoon. I usually can't bring myself to stop until my face is flush from the sugar rush.

RS, I can't tell you how intrigued I am about sampling the many different foods on offer in Little Italy. I noticed last week that a new gelateria just opened around the corner from our new home.

Gerald, my hunch is that the Manhattan real estate market makes the Toronto market look puny, but thanks for the comparison. As for ice cream makers, we use a Cuisinart, and I like it. I've gotten to a point, however, where I would kill for a self-contained, self-freezing unit. I've seen but never tried the KitchenAid ice cream attachment, so I have no idea whether it's any good. Truth be told, I think the ice cream maker is less important than people think. The best texture is achieved with flash freezing once the ice cream has left the mixer. I guess what I'm saying is: I'd love a blast freezer.

Ivonne, a very sincere thank you for your kind wishes.

Michelle, I can't wait to start cooking in the new kitchen, and I will never lose my love of Nutella in any dish.

risingsunofnihon, is it safe to assume you're not a huge Nutella fan? Glad to see you're willing to bend for ice cream, however.

BNA, thanks about the house and ice cream.


Congratulations on your new home Rob and Rachel! Your Vanilla Nutella ice cream looks fantastic. I can't wait to try it!

Dental Girl

I work in a gelati store and they make Nutella gelati. It is to die for.


I'm reading through your Nutella posts, this one makes me wonder if you've tried to make nutella ice cream? A friend here in Manila makes a version that's quite good. He makes a chocolate-hazelnut base and adds it to the eggyolks and cream, makes the ice cream and adds roasted crushed hazelnuts to it.

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