Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream

Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


There is something so old school sexy about praline.  It seems so luxurious to me – I remember hearing Nigella describe it once as ‘edible gold filings’.


That was probably before the huge proliferation of actual gold being used in desserts, but the imagery still has impact.


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


It’s like the fairy dust of desserts – it also helps that there is a whisper of magic in the way it’s made. I mean, it’s two ingredients! You start off with a bunch of nuts, and some white granules of sugar, and you end up with a huge, translucent amber slab studded with hazelnuts.


It’s the stained glass window of confectionery. It’s like spinning gold from hay. And then you blitz it, or chop it, into delicious, gleaming rubble.


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


Praline is actually a surprisingly versatile and useful ingredient to have knocking around your kitchen. A handful of this stirred into your next batch of cookies or muffins will take them to the next level.


Or turn any dessert into a stunner with a shower of crunchy golden praline over it – plain ice cream, chocolate pudding, mousse, cakes, brownies, pies…all are transformed.


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


This is absolutely my favourite use for praline though, stirred through a base of rich vanilla ice cream; the definition of elegant simplicity.


Homemade vanilla always kicks the crap out of store bought. You just can’t beat the flavour of real vanilla beans infused in good quality milk and cream, and sweetened just enough.


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


Some of the praline softens, providing a bitter, nut-studded toffee swirl throughout the ice cream, and some of it stays crisp and crunchy on top.


It’s heavenly baby. I love to eat this with crepes – I couldn’t tell you why, I just think it’s the perfect combo. But really, there’s no bad way to eat this.


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


There’s a lot of pictures in this post – I just couldn’t stop taking them. The way the light hits that praline, and the crunchy pieces meld into the cream, trust me, this is only a small selection of the photos!


Is there a recipe that makes you as crazy as this one does to me?


xx Sarah.


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream | The Sugar Hit!


Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream
Rich vanilla ice cream, swirled with crunchy pieces of hazelnut praline.
For the praline:
  • ½ cup (110g) caster sugar (regular granulated sugar is fine)
  • ⅔ cup (125g) whole skinned hazelnuts
For the ice cream:
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 + ½ tbsp cornstarch (cornflour in Australia)
  • 1 + ¼ cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp glucose syrup (or light corn syrup)
  • 1 vanilla bean (or more, if you can afford it)
  1. To make the praline, place the nuts into a dry frying pan and cook them over a medium heat until they look burnished and golden.
  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. In a medium sized, heavy based saucepan add the sugar, along with 2 tbsps of water and place over a high heat.
  4. Cook the sugar and water, never stirring, until it begins to change colour. You can swirl the pan gently to ensure the sugar caramelises evenly.
  5. Once you have an amber caramel, carefully add the hazelnuts and keep cooking for a few minutes, swirling the pan so that all the nuts are coated.
  6. Tip the mixture out onto the lined baking tray, ensuring the nuts are in one layer, and leave to cool completely.
  7. To make the ice cream, place the cream cheese and salt into a large mixing bowl, and stir together until smooth.
  8. Place 2 tbsp of the milk, and the cornstarch into a small bowl, and stir them together.
  9. Place the remaining ingredients into a large saucepan, including the vanilla bean, split and with the seeds scraped out and added.
  10. Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat, and let boil for 4 minutes.
  11. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch and milk. Return to the heat briefly, until the mixture thickens.
  12. Now, slowly incorporate the thickened mixture into the cream cheese and salt, ensuring there are no lumps. Cover and chill until completely cold.
  13. Churn the ice cream according to the instructions on your ice cream machine.
  14. Chop the praline finely by hand, or in a food processor.
  15. When the ice cream is churned, pack it into a container, generously sprinkling each layer with plenty of praline, finishing with praline. You may have a little left over - bonus!



  1. For half a moment, I thought the picture of the spilled praline was actually a picture of praline exploding upward into the air and i thought you took your photography to a whole new level.

  2. It’s gorgeous Sarah and the praline mixed with the vanilla ice cream Is probably the best thing ever!! Noting beats a homemade ice cream!!

  3. Girl, your photos in this post are too much. Ridiculously beautiful! And you made me want to bury my face in a vat of sugar and nuts, so, mission accomplished.

    • YES, I will report that to Mission Control.

  4. Love all the pictures, the praline makes the ice cream look like it’s jeweled! I love crunchy stuff in my ice cream, so obviously this sounds fantastic to me!
    That last picture, I just want to smoosh my face into!!

  5. This ice cream sounds phenomenal–perhaps especially because we’ve hit pre-summer high temps here in California. I have always thought of praline as pecan, which is not my favorite at all, but hazelnuts? Yes please!

  6. Gorgeous pics Sar, loving the darkness of these. The moodiness. Also – I want to eat that praline so hard.

  7. Oh my god, Sarah. I’m trying to get better about leaving comments and I knew I had to leave one here. This looks magical and your pictures are fantastic!! I’ve been thinking about doing praline with a coffee ice cream base but I can’t decide if the flavors would clash. I think not.

    • Thanks for commenting – I think a coffee version would be AMAZING!

  8. I saw your ice-cream picture on Pinterest and just HAD to check it out! Amazing stuff, I want some right now so badly!

  9. 1 .edible gold filings: I totally see that. 2. i <3 those marmalade jars. 3. goddamn praline IS super pretty. Looks deeee-lish.

    • 1. Yes! 2. me too – Bonne Maman for the win 3. Thank you!

  10. I just saw this on Pinterest and I NEEDED to check this out. I need this in my life!

  11. This looks amaaaaaaaaazing. caramel and nuts make everything delcious x

  12. Saarah, I don’t blame you one little bit for taking a lot of photos. THey are all simply stunning. Gorgeousness… I’m with ya on the praline. Have you had praline paste? God’s gift to mankind..

  13. Oh my god….. This is just ridiculous, I am salivating just looking at the photos!
    I can’t wait to try this out.

  14. Looks divine! Any way I can make ice cream without a churn?

    • Hi Caroline – there are two ways that I know of. One is to make an ice cream base, like this recipe, and then place it in the freezer, and take it out every 30 mins to whip it with a fork or whisk. The other way is easier, and I do it a lot, which is to make a cheat’s ice cream out of whipped cream and condensed milk! Just fold them together and freeze!

  15. Hello,

    what do you mean by CREAM cheese,
    perhaps this is cream 35 % fat.
    I am French is the product that we have here

    Thank for you response.

    • Bonjour Sam, I think you would call it le Philadelphia – a thick and creamy cheese product.

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