First and foremost, I have to say Happy VEGAN MOFO everyone! I have been mega busy lately but I hope to get a few more things up here before the end of the month. I have been on a real kick lately making all sorts of loaf type desserts...it all started with the never ending supply of my Spiced Banana Bread.
Then I started making pumpkin bread variations on it. It was only a matter of time before my dessert journey ended here....homemade Nutella and pound cake. That's right folks....Nutella swirled into pound cake. And the result...heavenly! Sometimes, you just have to take risks to get great desserts, right?
Also, I think I am secretly trying to come up with some awesome desserts because Chris' birthday is on Thanksgiving this year!!! Crazy! That means double desserts. I am going to be in a food coma for a long time after next Thursday.
- 2 c. hazelnuts, toasted and mostly shelled
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp vegtable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. water
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- 3/4 c blended silken tofu
- 1 c. sugar
- 1/3 c canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 2 c flour
To start, you will want to begin with the nutella. Toast the hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven for about 12- 15 minutes. Using a kitchen towel, scoop about maybe 1/2 c or so of the hazelnuts, and use the towel to rub off as much of the skins as you can. If you have some skin left on the nuts, it will be okay, you just want as much off as you can get. Repeat for the remaining hazelnuts.
When all the hazelnuts are done, place in a food processor and blend until it gets to be almost like peanut butter like consistency. This will take several minutes of blending/pulsing to achieve. First, it will be kind of like bread crumbs, and slowly the natural oils will come out of the nuts and make it into a sticky, peanut butter type paste.
When you have the right texture, add your powdered sugar, cocoa powder and oil. Pulse and blend until everything is combined. You might have to stop several times to scrape the sides down. Everything will probably get very thick at this point.
Next, the trick to get this more of a smooth consistency, I transfered everything to my KitchenAid mixer. While you are mixing and fluffing the nutella, add a 1/4 c. of water at a time until you have a smooth, more spreadable mixture. For mine, I ended up using 1/2 c. of water.
Now, set up a double boiler and melt 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate. When the chocolate is close to being all the way melted, take the bowl off of the double boiler and continue to stir until no pieces of chocolate remain. Add to your nutella spread, and mix until everything is smooth and combined.
Note: This makes about 2 c. worth of nutella, and for the cake, you will likely only use a little over a cup. But hey, this means nutella for breakfast, for lunch, for snacks! Anytime!
Okay, onto the cake. I know that just making the nutella was a lot of work, but the cake goes quickly and you will have almost a whole hour to rest up while it is in the oven. So, let's get this cake going!
Take your silken tofu and blend in your food processor. This will make sure there are no lumps, and it should almost resemble the consistency of yogurt. Take the blended tofu, add your sugar, oil and vanilla, ,mix until everything comes together to a nice, smooth batter. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and corn starch. Then add your flour, one cup at a time. Mix for a couple of minutes, the batter should be fairly thick in consistency.
Now for the fun part! Take a 9x5 inch loaf pan and spread about 1/3 of the batter as the bottom layer. Then take the nutella and spread a layer on top of the batter. Since the nutella is a lot thicker than the batter, I found that spooning out small amounts of nutella and dotting it across the batter works best. Then take the back of the spoon and spread it out as best as possible. Take about 1/3 of the batter and spread over the nutella. Repeat the nutella layer. Then pour over the rest of the batter on top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean when poked in the center.
Now eat cake! With nutella on top! And maybe ice cream if you have any around!