Gianduja Ice Cream

    Roasted Banana Panna Cotta with Gianduja Ice Cream at Oak. (Photo by Rich Vana)

Roasted Banana Panna Cotta with Gianduja Ice Cream at Oak. (Photo by Rich Vana)

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There are desserts in this world that appeal to not only the taste buds, but to nostalgia. In Texas, pecan pie might be one of these desserts – or maybe a cobbler of some sort. Blue Bell makes a living off of grown-ups who grew up eating their ice cream, and as for brownies and cupcakes – well, it’s probably fair to say that the appeal is universal.

But those nostalgic desserts – they’re familiar. There’s no real opportunity for complete and overwhelming revelation – a pecan pie may be the best you’ve ever had, but if you’ve tasted 100 pecan pies, most of it is still familiar. That’s not the case here. How many times have you tasted a banana panna cotta with gianduja ice cream and kumquat marmalade? Odds are, unless you’ve been to Oak in the Design District in the past month, you’ve never had it at all. And it is a revelation indeed. Sarah Green, Oak’s Pastry Chef,  is the composer of this particular indulgence, and was kind enough to share her recipe with us. We’ve separated the entire Roasted Banana Panna Cotta with Gianduja and Kumquat Marmalade recipe into four parts (Panna Cotta, Caramel Creme Sauce, Kumquat Marmalade, Gianduja Ice Cream), as it would be a shame to limit each aspect to this particular dish – if you’d like to make the entire dish, then just make the four recipes.

We have pared this recipe down by 3/4 – Green’s original measurements were for restaurant quantities. As we state below, the use of Nutella in leiu of actual gianduja is acceptable – the ice cream texture doesn’t alter dramatically – but only if you’ve searched high and low and can’t find gianduja.

For the chocolate dirt you see in the photo, Green uses a chocolate cake that she dehydrates in the oven at low temperature, then grinds. Hazelnuts can be found at Central Market, and in the event that you absolutely cannot find gianduja, Green says Nutella can be used as a substitute – but still soften and melt it in a double boiler. We have also included metric measurements because measurements that are volume-based are anathema from kitchen productivity.

Gianduja Ice Cream

By Entrée Dallas Published: April 18, 2013

    This ice cream is a nod to the wonderful Italian Gianduja - though Nutella, a general type of gianduja paste, can be used in a pinch.



    1. Heat Cream and Milk to a simmer.
    2. Whisk Yolks, Sugar and Salt together.
    3. Temper Eggs with hot Cream (whisk in a small amount of hot cream at a time into the eggs, preventing them from scrambling as they heat up). Strain through a chinois or other fine strainer.
    4. Whisk small amounts of base into chocolate until fully emulsified and all base is added. Strain a second time.
    5. Chill until very cold, and spin in ice cream maker until done.

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