Hazlenut ice cream in warm chocolate sauce

Serves 4
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1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise with the seeds scraped out

500ml/17fl oz milk
80ml/3fl oz double cream
4 egg yolks
100g/3oz caster sugar

For the praline

120g/4oz hazelnuts
250g/8oz caster sugar
125ml/4fl oz water
1tbsp vegetable oil (corn oil is fine)

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.

Place the vanilla pods in a pan with the milk and cream. Boil, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl. Remove the pod from the warmed milk and pour it over the yolks, and whisk to combine. Transfer this custard mix back to the pan and over a very, very low heat cook, while stirring consistently until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take about seven minutes. Do not let it boil or it will curdle. Remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl and allow it to cool while you make the praline.

Spread the nuts on a baking tray and place them in the hot oven. Toast them until golden and remove from the oven.

Pour the sugar and water in a pan and place over a gentle heat. Once dissolved, turn up the heat and cook, without stirring, until you have a caramel. While this is cooking, brush a baking tray with the oil and scatter the nuts on. Remove the caramel from the heat and pour immediately over the nuts. The caramel will set as it cools and you will be left with a hazelnut brittle.

Once the caramel has set, remove the nuts and blitz in a blender until you have a chunky powder. Don't take it too far though, as the crunchiness of this ice cream is part of its beauty. Fold the nuts into the ice cream base. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When set, serve in bowls with warmed chocolate sauce (see next recipe) spooned over.

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