No-Churn Dulce De Leche Icecream With Hazelnut Caramel Crunch
Inspired by Latin America’s most cherished treat, this Dulce De Leche Icecream With Hazelnut Caramel Crunch will top your list of favorite homemade icecreams.
Horribly hot summers are upon us, and can make us all appreciate a cold, creamy ice cream. Regardless, I guess we can agree all seasons are ice cream seasons!
True to it’s name, this icecream contains the most divine combination of cream and Dulce De Leche, beautifully swirled with delicate golden ribbons. Clusters of toasted hazelnuts and caramel crunch are mixed in, and that my friends, is what takes this icecream through the roof.
Every spoonful is laden with milky caramely (Is that not a word? If not, I guess I just made one) flavors and hazelnut crunch, making it the perfect refreshing summer treat!
Why I love this Dulce De Leche Icecream Recipe
One of the reasons why Dulce De Leche Ice cream is my favorite (not that any other reasons are needed!) is that it is not overly sweet, and truth be told, that’s what makes or breaks an icecream for me.
Not to mention how super duper easy it is to prepare. Like seriously, ridiculously easy! Unlike a custard-based icecream, this is a no-churn recipe, meaning you don’t need an icecream maker.
Just whip up some cream, dump in cans of Dulce De Leche, a splash of vanilla and hazelnut caramel crunch. That’s it!
Pop it in the freezer and let the freezer do it’s magic.
This is the first time ever I have made my own icecream, and I am so glad I chose Dulce De Leche flavor!
And if you haven’t noticed already, I’m a sucker for all things crunch, so I just had to throw in some caramel crunch. First, I was tempted to add in mini dark chocolate chips, but I didn’t want anything to mask the dreamy caramel flavor.
So I decided to stick to the theme, and made an easy homemade caramel crunch. I also had hazelnuts on hand, so I mixed those in as well. But that is completely optional; caramel crunch alone goes fantastically with creamy homemade icecream.
But lets rewind a bit…
What is Dulce de Leche?
When milk and sugar (or sweetened condensed milk or coconut milk) is gently heated and reduced for a long time, it thickens into it a creamy, luscious caramel. This is called Dulce De Leche.
So basically, Dulce de Leche is a thick sauce made from milk and sugar and has a rich caramel flavor. Dulce de leche is the key ingredient in many Latin American desserts and pastries. It can even go in brownies such as these Dulce De Leche Brownies!
Many countries have their own take on it, with slightly different versions, and can go by the names manjar, courtada and cajita. With fruits or chocolates, on cakes or toast, or straight out of the jar, there’s really no wrong way to eat it.
What is the difference between Caramel and Dulce De Leche?
Caramel is made from water and sugar and Dulce de leche is made from milk and sugar. Dulce de leche is heavier and thicker than caramel.
Where can I find Dulce De Leche in stores?
You can find Dulce De Leche cans alongside sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Sometimes the can of condensed milk just says caramel, not Dulce De Leche. Dont fret; it is the same thing!
How can I make homemade dulce de leche?
If you can not find Dulce De Leche at your local stores, there are a couple of way you can make it yourself, either on stove or in an oven, using a can of condensed milk. Condensed milk is high in sugar so it caramelizes pretty easily.
Dulce De Leche Recipe
MAKING DULCE DE LECHE ON STOVE
1) Fill a medium pot with water and bring it to a boil. Remove the label from two cans of condensed milk, and these cans (unopened!) in the water, horizontally. Now cover and let it simmer for two hours.
2) Check the water level in the pan at regular intervals, making sure the water is always at least two inches above the can. The can may explode if the water is less than that!
3) After two hours, remove the can carefully from the water and let it cool. Open the can only after it’s completely cool, not before! And when you finally open it, the condensed milk inside would have transformed into sweet, golden DULCE DE LECHE!
MAKING DULCE DE LECHE IN THE OVEN
1) Open two cans of sweetened condensed milk and pour it into an oven-proof dish and cover it with foil.
2) Fill another, larger dish with water, and place the condensed milk dish into the larger dish. The water should covers 3/4 of the sides of the smaller dish.
3) Bake for 2 hours at 200°C. The longer you bake, the darker and thicker your dulce de leche will be. Take out the dish from the oven and remove foil. Whisk well and your dulce de leche is ready!
Store homemade Dulce de leche in refrigerator.
Types of Icecreams/homemade icecream
No-churn ice creams are icecreams made without an icecream maker, usually at home. They use heavy cream as their base so they tend to have a higher fat content than store-bought ice creams. This is also why no-churn homemade icecreams are richer and smoother in texture and mouthfeel than custard-based ice creams.
Custard-based icecreams are the ones that are made in an ice-cream maker. An icecream maker has a paddle that turns (churns) continuously till the ice cream mixture changes from a liquid state to a creamy ice cream consistency. Icecream is then frozen.
Ingredients in Dulce De Leche Icecream
Heavy whipping cream: I use Macphies Mactop Non-Dairy Whipping Cream. Whipping the cream gives it those air pockets and volume that make it look like icecream. My heavy whipping cream is also a bit sweet. It is important to use good quality and higher fat heavy cream so you have a gorgeously rich and creamy icecream. If you use low fat whipping cream, you risk ice crystals in your homemade icecream. If you don’t mind the ice crystals, go ahead.
Dulce De Leche: I used Nestle Caramel Condensed Milk. You need two cans for this icecream recipe; one and a half cans to beat into the whipped cream and the remaining half to make delicate swirls on top of the icecream. Dulce De Leche is sweet on it’s own, so I do not use additional sugar here. However, if you prefer sweeter icecreams, just add in some powdered sugar.
Vanilla Extract: I feel like vanilla extract helps any icecream taste more like an icecream. Makes sense, or nah?
Coffee Powder: Just for an extra kick, totally optional!
How do I make Hazelnut Caramel Crunch?
First place the hazelnuts in an air-fryer to toast them. You can also toast them in a frying pan or in an oven. They should look nice and brown once toasted. Remove peels if needed. Pop them into a zip-lock bag and hammer to crush.
Add these toasted and crushed hazelnuts with the sugar in a frying pan, and stir continuously till the sugar caramelizes and coats all the hazelnuts.
Transfer immediately to buttered tray (preferably steel or nonstick) and make sure it is spread out. Let cool completely.
Break into large chunks and place them again into a zip lock bag and hammer to crush.
And , there you have it, the most perfect hazelnut caramel crunch. The size of the crunch is totally upto you!
How to make homemade Dulce De Leche icecream?
Use a handmixer or stand mixer to whip cream to save yourself sometime and speed things up. If you don’t have those, you can just whip the cream using a whisk. It will take longer though.
Whip till stiff peaks form.
Open two cans of caramel condensed milk or dulce de leche.
And keeping half a can aside, dump the remaining dulce de leche into the whipped cream.
Beat till combined.
Finally, add in coffee powder and vanilla extract.
Beat just until combined.
Throw in the prepared hazelnut caramel crunch.
Fold it in using a rubber spatula.
Transfer to an air-tight deep box,
Put the remaining (half can) dulce de leche on top.
Swirl using the tip of the knife or a toothpick.
Top with more hazelnut caramel crunch. Put the lid and cover the box in plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer overnight.
And that’s all it takes to make this amazing frozen summer dessert!
Which nuts can I use?
You can substitute pecans or almonds for the hazelnuts, as they would go wonderfully with caramel crunch. You can skip the nuts all together if you are not a fan of them. There’s enough crunch in this icecream from the caramel.
Can I half the recipe?
If you would like reduce the quantity, you can easily half the recipe. Use 1 cup of whipping cream and 1/2 a can of dulce de leche. You can use the remaining dulce de leche for so many desserts like milkshakes, cakes, etc.
What can I serve it with?
You can scoop it into icecream bowls or serve it on some store-bought icecream cones. Drizzle chocolate fudge sauce, caramel, or left over dulce de leche.
How do I store homemade Dulce De Leche Icecream?
It is best to use a good, air tight container. As mentioned, I also use some plastic wrap around it, to double secure it. If air gets in, you are more likely to get ice crystals. So, secure it well.
How long does it keep well the freezer?
This icecream will stay well in the freezer for around a month.
Oh, and did I mention how amazingly scoopable it is for a homemade icecream?
And this is a picture I took, when I was having it for breakfast. Not ashamed.
I am so excited that I finally made my own icecream, and I can honestly say this Dulce De Leche icecream recipe is guaranteed to be a winner with adults and children alike.
If you have never tried homemade icecream before, this has to be the next thing you try! Here goes the recipe.
Dulce De Leche Icecream With Hazelnut Caramel Crunch
FOR THE HAZELNUT CARAMEL CRUNCH
- 120 g hazelnuts whole (¾ cup)
- 320 g granulated white sugar (1 cup + 10 tablespoons)
FOR THE DULCE DE LECHE ICECREAM
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream chilled
- 1 ½ cans dulce de leche (each can 397g)
- 1 teaspoon coffee powder (I used Nescafe)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE TOP
- ½ can dulce de leche
- hazelnut caramel crunch as desired
FOR THE HAZELNUT CARAMEL CRUNCH
- Toast hazelnut on stove, in an air-fryer on in an oven. Let them cool. Put them in a zip-lock bag and hammer to crush.
- Butter a large steel or non-stick pan, keep aside.
- Place the crushed hazelnuts in a pan with sugar. Stir continuously till the sugar caramelizes and coats all the hazelnuts. Transfer to a buttered steel or nonstick tray and make sure it is spread out. Let it cool completely. DON'T TOUCH! CARAMEL IS REALLY HOT!
- Once completely cool and solid, break it into big pieces, and place them again in a zip-lock bag. Hammer to crush. The size of the caramel crunch is totally up to you. Keep aside.
FOR THE DULCE DE LECHE ICECREAM
- In a large bowl, whip two cups of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. It helps if the whipping cream, bowl and the beaters are all chilled/very cold.
- Add 1 ½ cans of dulce de leche, coffee powder and vanilla extract, and beat till combined.
- Fold in the hazelnut caramel crunch using a rubber spatula. Keep some aside for topping.
- Transfer the icecream mixture to a deep, air-tight box. Smooth the top.
- Spoon dallops of with remaining half can of dulce de leche on top, and swirl using the tip of the a knife or a toothpick. Add some caramel crunch on top.
- Place the lid on the box and wrap the box using cling wrap. Place in the freezer overnight.
Did you try this recipe?
I would love to know how it turned out for you. Leave a comment below and post a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #theovenist.