Hazelnut Ice Cream Topping
Simple yet wonderfully delicious flavors of brown sugar, hazelnut extract (or vanilla extract) are brightened with fresh lemon juice, yielding a yummy rich hazelnut ice cream topping.
Having extolled the wonderful flavors of this hazelnut ice cream topping, I must confess it can be a little tricky. It is indeed easy to make but still a little tricky. The recipe starts as a brown sugar simple syrup that is cooked a little longer, then cooled to yield a thickened syrup. When over cooked, some of the sugar separates--to my disappointment.
And so I was reluctant to share this recipe. Dare to read on?
The perfect consistency is a lightly thickened syrup:
Yields: 1/3 cup
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 - 1 teaspoon hazelnut OR vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon hazelnuts, chopped
Several drops or 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Using a heavy bottom sauce pan, add brown sugar and water. On high heat, bring to a rolling boil (about 2 minutes). Turn heat down to medium, stir occasionally and simmer for 3 minutes until brown sugar has totally melted.
*At this point you have a brown sugar simple syrup that can be cooled and used in a variety of dishes and drinks. One example is an Old Fashion made with just bourbon, bitters and an orange peel which I had discovered at Inspired Taste.
Back to preparation: Continue simmering the mixture on medium heat and occasionally stir for about 5-6 more minutes. Remove from heat. The syrup will flow very fluid, almost like water. Stir in the extract, lemon juice, chopped hazelnuts and allow to cool. As it cools, it will begin to thicken. The syrup will appear smooth with a clear brown color. Pour over ice cream once it has thickened.
Some of the brown sugar crystalizes after a couple of hours. To reconstitute, reheat it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
The brown sugar will melt into the water. HOWEVER, if overcooked, some of the sugar will separate. A grainy texture will result with most of the sugar settling at the bottom.
Add sliced fresh peaches to a dish. Add a scoop or two of rich vanilla ice cream. Then finish this yummy dessert with the hazelnut ice cream topping.
Ready to go at it! Enjoy!