"Nutella" gelato and egg-free chocolate banana bread?
What's the affinity here? Well, this is the first egg-free gelato we've ever done,
coincidentally coming into our lives at the same time as ani's first food
magazine impulse buy that had an egg-free banana bread recipe, chocolate no less.
Usually bob can't even sneak mini chocolate chips into the banana bread so this
was somewhat revolutionary for ani.
The night before we'd been doing some mid-winter web surfing for a
pizzoccheri online purchase having used up our last box from
our preflight visit to Castroni's amazing food shop on via Cola di Rienzo in Rome when we stumbled onto
an interesting food blog entry about pizzoccheri from someone in Munich (bob's
home in 1980-1981), which
reminded bob of another food blog that actually won him over enough to purchase
a related cookbook: Chocolate and Zucchini, and the current recipe was Nutella
gelato. No eggs, no sugar. Nothing but almost equal parts Nutella or Nutella
substitute (the health conscious upgrade) and fat-free evaporated milk. Beaten
together until smooth and loaded into an ice cream machine. Naturally this blog
entry inspired a lot of buzz reaction, but no action. Not many people have ice
cream machines! Like us just a few years ago, only able to dream about the day
when an ice cream machine might enter their lives but somehow paralyzed into
People! Get your priorities straight! Just go out and do it. Buy the machine
already. [Never mind that we had to be given it as a gift
before we could act on our own ice cream dreams.]
Lisa the vegetarian was coming over to introduce us to her baby for the
first time, so ani decided to do the chocolate banana bread as an afternoon
treat to go with our Pavoni cappuccino (courtesy of bob the barista), while bob was gung
ho for this easy Nutella gelato, no hassle with cooking up and cooling down an
egg base before loading the machine. Our abandoned jar of Nutella in the corner cupboard was nearly empty,
so a more healthy chocolate hazelnut spread was on the shopping list, and Whole
Foods delivered for us. Our first Nutella substitution had been a product we
snagged from Pain Quotidien in Manhattan, so seeking an alternative was nothing
new to bob. Hazelnuts and chocolate together are a favorite pleasure, one that
we have tried to incorporate into our dessert innovations repeatedly. We'd tried
chocolate gelato only once and it was unsuccessful, which put a damper on new
experiments in that direction. This experience put us back on track.
Egg-free gelato first entered bob's awareness in the hills near Castel
Gandolfo. Sergio was a vegetarian Italian early on before there was much of a
veggie consciousness in Italy. Eggs were off his list. bob introduced him to
bill and not only did the Vatican Observatory get a logo [check out Sergio's
creation on their web page], but
his sister Rita too. A marriage made in heaven. Well,
not a literal marriage. But Rita helped George transform the Specola into an
extended family that touched many people's lives over the years. [The literal
marriage involved a telescope engineer.] Her mom Gabriella trained us in the fine art of
real lasagna production.
Back to the future... both of these dishes were a pleasant surprise. Whatever
preconceived skepticism bob entertained about the simplicity of the gelato or
the necessity of being true to the banana bread recipe (ani vetoed his
suggestion to insert walnuts), it was quickly erased upon tasting this
combination that Saturday afternoon.
- "Nutella" gelato
- 1 can of fat-free evaporated milk, typically about 12-14 oz
- about 10 oz of Nutella or a less sweet chocolate hazelnut spread (quotes
needed if substituted)
- 1 ice cream machine
- egg-free chocolate banana bread
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
[we used 3/4 c all-purpose flour plus 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour plus
1 T wheat gluten]
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 T baking soda
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 c low-fat buttermilk [we used 1/4 c buttermilk powder plus 1 c water]
- 3/4 c mashed banana [we used two bananas]
- 1/3 c canola oil
- 2 t vanilla extract
egg-free chocolate banana bread
- We ignored the magazine instructions and just did our usual banana bread
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Sift all the dry stuff into a big bowl including the buttermilk power
substitute if used. (Who has real buttermilk on hand, and if you buy it,
what will you do with the other 3 cups since it only seems to be sold by the
- Put the bananas, oil and vanilla into the food processor and process
until smooth, then add in the water/buttermilk and process again.
- Fold the wet stuff into the dry stuff until mixed well.
- Pour into a loaf pan coated with veggie spray.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes, testing with the tooth pick test for
- Open the evaporated milk can and pour into a bowl.
- Open the Nutella jar and estimate about 85 percent of the milk quantity
and remove about that much with a spatula into the milk.
- Beat on low speed with a hand beater a few minutes until the two
ingredients form a smooth chocolate liquid.
- Pour into the ice cream machine bucket and start 'er up.
- When the machine starts groaning, you'll know that this is not ordinary
gelatoit sets up quickly. Watch it or you may break your machine. It only
takes twenty some minutes.
- Remove and place in the freezer.
- Serve each slice with a small scoop of the gelato on the side. If you
forget to let the gelato sit out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes before, 10
seconds in the microwave will soften it up just the right amount.
- Ani was right, this makes a nice smooth chocolate cake whose texture
walnuts would spoil. Like the crunchy peanut butter that bob never liked as
- Nutella, outselling peanut butter on the world market.
- Chocolate and Zucchini, Clotilde
Dusoulier's Paris food blog, February, 2008:
Nutella gelato. We bought
her first book.
- Vegetarian Times, March
2008, p.78: egg-free chocolate banana loaf by Patsy Jamieson. Too bad we
don't have enough time to utilize our Cooking Light and Bon Appetit
subscriptions let alone go for some of these other interesting food mags.
- Pain Quotidien, a Belgian
chain we first experienced with Jamila and
Pascale in its home city
Brussels. Makes a pretty good chocolate hazelnut spread, and it's a terrific
- Wheat gluten, it boosts the rising properties of quick breads made with
half whole wheat flour, available on-line from
King Arthur Flour, or visit their
shop in Norwich, VT as bob and ani do when they are visiting his brother's
- dr bob hazelnut dessert recipes: hazelnut gelato,
hazelnut cheesecake revisited: the gianduia variation,
perugina baci cheesecake.
- dr bob first egg-substitute dessert: chocolate chip cookie cheesecake NOT!
- Max-Plank-Institute für Astrophysik outside
Munich, bob's academic destination for 1980-1981. Where bob first
experimented with tiramisu and met Michele.
- Waiting for Gabriella's lasaga in three
parts: [1, 2,
food blog submission