"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 helplessness.

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

  1. We ignored the magazine instructions and just did our usual banana bread routine.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  3. 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 quart?)
  4. Put the bananas, oil and vanilla into the food processor and process until smooth, then add in the water/buttermilk and process again.
  5. Fold the wet stuff into the dry stuff until mixed well.
  6. Pour into a loaf pan coated with veggie spray.
  7. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, testing with the tooth pick test for doneness.
  8. Cool.

"Nutella" gelato

  1. Open the evaporated milk can and pour into a bowl.
  2. Open the Nutella jar and estimate about 85 percent of the milk quantity and remove about that much with a spatula into the milk.
  3. Beat on low speed with a hand beater a few minutes until the two ingredients form a smooth chocolate liquid.
  4. Pour into the ice cream machine bucket and start 'er up.
  5. When the machine starts groaning, you'll know that this is not ordinary gelato—it sets up quickly. Watch it or you may break your machine. It only takes twenty some minutes.
  6. Remove and place in the freezer.

serving together

  1. 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.


  1. 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 a kid.
  2. Nutella, outselling peanut butter on the world market.
  3. Chocolate and Zucchini, Clotilde Dusoulier's Paris food blog, February, 2008: Nutella gelato. We bought her first book.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 lunch/brunch destination.
  6. 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 family there.
  7. dr bob hazelnut dessert recipes: hazelnut gelato, hazelnut cheesecake, hazelnut cheesecake revisited: the gianduia variation, perugina baci cheesecake.
  8. dr bob first egg-substitute dessert: chocolate chip cookie cheesecake NOT!
  9. Max-Plank-Institute für Astrophysik outside Munich, bob's academic destination for 1980-1981. Where bob first experimented with tiramisu and met Michele.
  10. Waiting for Gabriella's lasaga in three parts: [1, 2, 3].
  11. Illustrations available.

food blog submission

62 posts so far and NOT ONE PERSON TRIED THIS! most of you say "if I had an ice cream machine".
I too was one of you until my sister-in-law gave me a machine 4 years ago. The lesson I learned: DON'T WAIT. Buy the machine, it is worth the money, the real thing with the freezing element.
I did this yesterday and yes, it sets up faster than the egg based recipe I modified from Under the Tuscan Sun (hazelnut gelato), so you have to watch it and listen for the machine when it starts groaning. A photo with egg-free chocolate banana bread is available on my website, the last recipe. Don't worry Clotilde, I am just an amateur, no competition.
My conclusion: good but very rich. Be careful with portion size. Thanks, Clotilde, I also bought your book to support your talent.

Posted by dr bob jantzen on February 25, 2008 1:38 AM  [Paris time]


nutlagelatobnabrd.htm: 24-dec-2008 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]