Hazelnut Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Coffee-Toffee Sauce

This creamy, smooth ice cream is made with hazelnut-infused whole milk. While it is excellent and rich enough all on its own, a small amount of Coffee-Toffee Sauce makes it that much better.

Recipes using hazelnuts you might enjoy:

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Chocolate Hazelnut Nutcracker Cake

Caramel Hazelnut Gelato
Hazelnut Toffee Cookies
Pear, Chocolate, Hazelnut Tart
Aran Goyoaga’s Hazelnut Butter Toffee

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Hazelnut Brown Sugar Ice Cream with Coffee-Toffee Sauce

  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 1.5 quarts 1x


Units Scale
  • For ice cream:
  • 1 cup toasted, finely chopped hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • dash salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • For coffee-toffee sauce:
  • Reserved nuts from steeped milk
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. instant coffee crystals (use espresso powder for a stronger coffee flavor)
  • 24 Tbsp. heavy cream


  1. For ice cream:
  2. Place whole milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the hazelnuts. Heat the milk until bubbles form around the edge of the pan and turn off the heat. Let the chopped nuts steep in milk for about an hour.
  3. After the nuts have steeped in the milk, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the nuts to extract all the milk. (Reserve nuts for another use, if desired.) You will have around 2 cups of milk left. Place the nut-infused milk back into the saucepan and heat again until very hot, but not boiling.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk (or beat with an electric mixer) the brown sugar and egg yolks with salt until very thick and pale in color.
  5. Whisk the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture in a small, steady stream. Pour entire mixture back into the pan. Cook while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon and/or the temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  6. Strain the cooked custard over a large, clean bowl with a fine, mesh sieve. Add the cold cream. Chill the custard for at least 3 hours or overnight until thoroughly chilled.
  7. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Makes approximately 1 1/2 quarts.
  8. For Coffee-Toffee Sauce:
  9. Add the first four ingredients (up to vanilla) to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to boil. When it becomes a deep golden brown, remove from heat and add the vanilla, coffee crystals and heavy cream (use enough to get to the desired thickness.) Stir well and let cool before serving. Makes about 1 cup sauce.
  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: dessert

Now be a good boy/girl and eat your ice cream!

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  1. Oh, interesting that you just infused the hazelnuts into the milk, how was the taste? I’ll bet it was so delicious. You have to tell me you are making these things ahead of time so I can plan to be there. From start to finish, I could be there for the finish just in time!

  2. One question: did you hand chop the hazelnuts or did you use a processor? Just how finely chopped were they? Minced garlic small or large cornmeal? I’m wondering if I process the nuts super fine it will increase the infusion process.

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