Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato


2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, plus
1/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed, to garnish


In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar on medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Put a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through it. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill the mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze. To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts.
Note: I do not use an ice cream maker, just put in freezer, stirring every 30 minutes or so, for about 4 hours.