Category Archives: Chocolate

Nutella Cream Pie

Nutella Cream PieI suppose this is a year of unconventional Thanksgiving pies here on E2 Bakes.Nutella Cream PieI usually go for traditional pastry crust pies this time of year (and there’s at least one coming your way), but then there was vegan pumpkin pie with toasted pecan crust. And now there’s Nutella Cream Pie.Nutella Cream PieMade with a graham cracker and hazelnut crust, a Nutella pudding filling, and topped with whipped cream and candied hazelnuts, this pie is basically the dessert of my dreams.Nutella Cream PieThis beauty has hazelnut flavor all over the place. We’re talking 2/3 cup toasted and blitzed into a buttery graham cracker crust…Nutella Cream PieNutella Cream PieNutella Cream Pieanother 1/3 cup that are lightly candied and scattered on top…Nutella Cream Pieand a creamy pudding filling that tastes like pure Nutella, but somehow even better.Nutella Cream PieNutella Cream PieNutella Cream PieDon’t ask me to explain how it’s possible to improve the flavor of Nutella—I can’t quite find the words.Nutella Cream PieYou’ll just have to make a Nutella Cream Pie and see for yourself.Nutella Cream Pie
Looking for more Thanksgiving Pies? Check out my light & fluffy Pumpkin Pie, Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie, and Chocolate Buttermilk Pie!

Nutella Cream Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Crust:
2/3 cup raw whole hazelnuts
6 full-sheets graham crackers
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Nutella Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Candied Hazelnuts:
1/3 cup raw whole hazelnuts
3 teaspoons granulated sugar

Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Make the crust. Scatter hazelnuts on a dry rimmed baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted. Do not burn. Let cool 10 minutes.

Combine toasted hazelnuts, graham crackers, light brown sugar, salt and melted butter in the bowl of a food processor. Process until hazelnuts and grahams are broken down and the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a deep pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes to set. Let cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium-large saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Boil one minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk 1/3 of the mixture into the egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to pan. Place pan over medium heat and whisk constantly until mixture boils for one minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla, followed by Nutella and butter.

Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Push filling through the sieve and discard any solids. Transfer filling to prepared crust. Press plastic wrap to the surface. Chill at least six hours.

Make the candied hazelnuts. Line a plate with parchment and set aside. Place hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and shiny. Add sugar by the teaspoon, stirring until it dissolves (it may smoke up a bit). When all sugar has dissolved, remove hazelnuts to prepared plate and let cool completely. They will be clumped together. Once cooled, place them on a cutting board and give them a rough chop with a large, sharp chef’s knife.

Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Remove pie from refrigerator and top with whipped cream. Scatter candied hazelnuts over the top, as desired. Slice and serve pie.

Leftover pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutella Cream PieNutella Cream Pie

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Five Ingredient Fudgsicles

Five Ingredient FudgsiclesUntil last Wednesday, I had no plans to create a new Fudgsicle recipe. I have some vegan Raspberry Fudgsicles in my Recipe Index that are kind of a salad masquerading as dessert—they’re made with avocado, dates, and fresh raspberries. They’re super delicious, so it makes sense that my boss had requested them (sans berries) on that hot, miserable day.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesI trekked over to Trader Joe’s to buy the day’s groceries. It was only when I was turning onto the block where I work that I realized I hadn’t bought anything for Fudgsicles. I had been a bit distracted when my boss had requested them, and had forgotten to put the ingredients on my list. It was getting late and I needed to get started on dinner, so instead of going back to TJ’s, I determined that I’d figure out how to make Fudgsicles from things they had on-hand.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesOnce I got dinner on, I started to look through the cabinets for ingredients. It went something like this:

  • I knew I had most of a container of cocoa powder tucked into the back of the pantry—it only ever gets used for WHAM Cakes—so the chocolate part was covered.
  • I found a can of coconut milk leftover from making coconut rice. That would work for creaminess.
  • I decided to add the dregs of a jar of coconut oil for richness and to mitigate any iciness from the water in the coconut milk. Fudgsicles are always a little soft (because otherwise they’d just be chocolate popsicles), so a lack of large ice crystals is pretty important.
  • For sweetener, I used maple syrup. Honey would have worked too, but they were fresh out.
  • Vanilla extract went into the mix because when it comes to desserts, it’s almost always a good idea.

Five Ingredient FudgsiclesFive Ingredient FudgsiclesI put all the ingredients in the blender, said a little prayer to Julia Child, and blitzed everything together until it was smooth. I divided the mixture among a set of ice pop molds and put them in the freezer.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesFive Ingredient FudgsiclesBefore the Fudgsicles were completely frozen, it was time for me to go home. As you probably could have guessed, I spent the next 18 or so hours wondering if they were any good compared to my old favorites. Imagine how delighted I was when I got to work the next day to see that the family had already eaten most of them!Five Ingredient FudgsiclesLuckily, there was one left for me to try. It was deeply chocolaty, perfectly sweet, and soft enough that I could bite through it—so basically, exactly what I was going for. I love that a recipe that began as a guessing game worked on the first try. That rarely happens, so I’m calling it a victory.
Five Ingredient FudgsiclesI’ve made three more batches of these Fudgsicles since last week—two for work and one for me. I love how quick and easy they are and that they’re made from the sort of ingredients I always have on hand. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that they’re vegan and fairly low-calorie for an end of the day treat. I don’t follow any sort of diet, but it’s nice to make something on the lighter side every once in a while.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesSpend five minutes making a batch of Fudgsicles this weekend! I hope you love them as much as I do.Five Ingredient Fudgsicles

Five Ingredient Fudgsicles
makes about 6 fudgsicles

1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably refined), melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until no lumps remain, scraping down sides as necessary. Divide mixture among ice pop molds. Do not add sticks.

Freeze one hour. Insert sticks. Freeze at least 5 more hours before enjoying.

To release from ice pop molds, place mold in a glass of warm tap water for 30-45 seconds. Fudgsicles should release easily. If they don’t, place them back in the warm water for 15 seconds before making another attempt.
Five Ingredient FudgsiclesFive Ingredient Fudgsicles

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}After I made Toasted Oat Graham Crackers a few weeks ago, I ran across the recipe for Ovenly’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I had bookmarked in three separate places, including my copy of their book.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}I should acknowledge that I already have four recipes for chocolate chip cookies in my archives (see here, here, here, and here) and another I’ve been tinkering with for over a year. I don’t need another, but I made an exception for Ovenly because theirs’ is naturally vegan and doesn’t involve any egg substitutes or sticks of “buttery spread.”Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but as I had plenty of oats leftover from making from my adventures in graham cracker-ing, I figured I’d give it a shot with toasted ground oats. I also swapped out plain granulated sugar for an equal volume of light brown, added some vanilla, switched from chocolate chips to finely chopped dark chocolate, and nixed the extra salt entirely.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}The Ovenly overlords will tell you that theirs’ is a finicky recipe and to follow it to the T. They are correct—it’s a very precise recipe and works perfectly as-is. But I messed with it anyway because I can’t help myself.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}It took me five test rounds to get these cookies to work consistently with toasted ground oats, but I persisted and have been rewarded with super chewy, chocolaty cookies that anyone will love (not just your favorite local gluten-free vegan).Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}I will, however, jump on Ovenly’s soapbox like a hypocrite and tell you not to mess with this recipe…any further than I have already.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}As with most baking recipes, the volumes of ingredients are very specific for a reason. In the case of this recipe, adjusting the liquid ingredients by 1 tablespoon (!) will either yield sad, soupy dough (and lacy cookies) or a chilled rock of inedible dough. Trust me, I know.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}And for the love of everything, don’t shorten the 12-24 hour chill. If you do, I guarantee you will be disappointed. But if you work ahead, as specified in the recipe, you’ll be rewarded with some seriously good Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}For all my “don’t mess with the recipe” talk, these are remarkably easy and delicious cookies! They’re a guaranteed hit, not only for their chewy texture and perfect amount of dark chocolate, but because they’re vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free, so more people can eat them. Love that ❤Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}
adapted from Ovenly
makes 21-24 medium cookies

3 cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for gluten-free)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (I use canola)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 ounces dark chocolate (certified dairy-free for vegan), finely chopped

Place oven racks in the top and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread oats onto a dry rimmed sheet pan. Place in oven and toast for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Transfer oats into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 3-4 minutes, or until there are no recognizable oats. Transfer ground oats to a large mixing bowl and freeze for 5 minutes, or until no longer warm.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine light brown sugar, oil, water, and vanilla. Whisk until the sugar has melted, and everything is fully combined and thickened slightly. Set aside.

Retrieve ground oats from the freezer. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chopped dark chocolate. Pour in liquid ingredients and fold together. Mixture will be pretty thin. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Do not skip or shorten this step.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Line a dinner plate with wax paper or parchment. Scoop dough (which will still be soft) in 2 tablespoon increments. Place dough balls on lined plate. Freeze for 10 minutes.

Place dough balls at least 4 inches apart on prepared pans (I get 6 on a half sheet pan). Place any remaining dough balls back in the freezer.

Bake 7 minutes. Rotate pans top-to-bottom and back-to-front. Bake an additional 6 minutes. Let cool for at least 7 minutes on prepared pans before removing to a rack to cool completely. Let pans return to room, temperature before baking remaining dough balls.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They may also be frozen after baking and are shockingly good when they are ice cold.Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free}

Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate GravyI know what you’re thinking. “Chocolate…gravy? GROSS.”

But hear me out. I have hated almost every gravy I’ve ever encountered, if I was even willing to take a bite in the first place. I’m not generally opposed to sauces, but the…gloppiness…of the cream gravies of my Texan childhood pretty much ruined them for me, with one notable exception: Chocolate Gravy.Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

If you’ve never heard of such a thing, imagine a thin, flour-thickened chocolate pudding that you spoon over Buttermilk Biscuits, preferably made by your old Texan grandma. You know, the one who lets you stay up late watching The Golden Girls and always has chocolate cake on the counter (and lets you slice it without supervision, so you’re really sugared-up when you go back to your parents’ house).Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

I had one of those grandmas. Her name was Dorothy, but I called her Nonnie, and she was the very best. She let my little sister and I eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch and frozen pizza for dinner on Friday nights (followed up by the aforementioned chocolate cake), but Sunday mornings were sacred.Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

You see, my dad went to her house for breakfast on Sundays, so she’d pull out all the stops. Even when she was very old and had arthritic hands, she would make sausage patties, eggs fried in bacon grease, sliced tomatoes, and biscuits & gravy. They’d eat breakfast and she’d play with our dog, Lily, while my dad took one of his signature twenty-minute snoozes in the recliner. On the rare occasion that my sisters and I were allowed to skip church and join in on Sunday breakfast at Nonnie’s, she’d add Chocolate Gravy to the menu, just because she loved us.Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

I’ve been thinking about Nonnie a lot lately. Maybe it’s because what would have been her 100th birthday is coming soon or because she was an amazing improvisational baker or because today marks eleven years living in NYC. Or maybe just because she was a badass lady. Whatever the reason, I’ve been craving Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy lately. And so, here we are.Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate GravyButtermilk Biscuits & Chocolate GravyButtermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

This is not Nonnie’s recipe—as far as I know, she never wrote anything down. Instead, it’s the product of a little trial and error and some taste memory from twenty years ago. I do know that the chocolate gravy I ate as a child was made with the Hershey’s cocoa that came in a can, but as I have never seen that in NYC, I recommend using whatever unsweetened cocoa you like. Dutch process cocoa will make for a deeper chocolate flavor, but natural unsweetened yields the lighter flavor I remember.Buttermilk BiscuitsButtermilk BiscuitsButtermilk Biscuits

As for the biscuits, this recipe is a slight departure from my previous all-time best biscuit recipe. Both are delicious, but I am currently partial to this fluffier, slightly more tender version. Buttermilk BiscuitsButtermilk BiscuitsButtermilk BiscuitsButtermilk BiscuitsThese buttermilk biscuits are made with a touch of cornstarch to mimic the tenderness of cake flour. I also added a smidge more flour and buttermilk, yielding a slightly softer dough. In addition, I’ve taken out the beat-with-a-rolling-pin step, and chosen to bake the biscuits close together on a parchment-lined baking sheet instead of packed into a casserole dish. Regardless of which biscuit recipe you choose though, you’re going to love them drizzled (or smothered) with Chocolate Gravy.Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

This weekend, do like Nonnie. Make some Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy for someone you love.Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

Buttermilk Biscuits
makes about 12 biscuits

1/2 cup unsalted butter, very cold
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3/4-1 cup buttermilk,* very cold
Chocolate Gravy, for serving (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Cut your stick of butter into two 4 tablespoon pieces. Cut one piece into four batons, and cut the other into very thin pats. Refrigerate until needed.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add chilled butter. Using your fingertips (not your palms!) or a pastry blender, cut cold butter into flour mixture until it is roughly the size of peas.

Pour in 3/4 cup cold buttermilk. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. If it seems dry, add more buttermilk by the tablespoon.

Turn dough (and any unincorporated flour bits) out onto a floured surface. Flour your fingertips and pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Fold dough in half, and turn one quarter turn. Pat out until it is 1/2-inch thick again. Repeat folding/quarter-turning/patting out until you have done it four times total. Re-flour your surface as necessary.

Cut dough with a biscuit cutter or sharp knife (not serrated). Cut directly down—do not twist. Place biscuits close together in your prepared pan. Pat biscuit dough scraps into a cohesive piece, and cut until you have used all your dough.

Brush biscuits with extra buttermilk.

Bake biscuits for 14-15 minutes, until they have risen and are starting to brown. Let cool 5-10 minutes. Serve with Chocolate Gravy, if desired.

Biscuits are best the day they are made, but can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Note:

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use this alternative. Pour 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) in a liquid measuring cup. Pour regular milk up to the 1-cup mark. Let sit 5 minutes in the refrigerator. Stir mixture before proceeding with the recipe.

Chocolate Gravy
makes about 2 cups

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk (preferably whole)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, and salt into a 4-quart pot. Gradually whisk in milk. Place pot over medium heat and whisk continuously until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer to a gravy boat or other serving vessel. Serve over split Buttermilk Biscuits. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat before serving.

Buttermilk Biscuits & Chocolate GravyButtermilk Biscuits

Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}

Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}Did you know that you can make a spectacular chocolate cheesecake without ever opening a brick of cream cheese?Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}It’s true—this Chocolate Cheesecake is cool, creamy, chocolaty, and completely vegan!Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}It’s made primarily of softened cashews and coconut cream…Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}…and melted chocolate, of course 🙂 Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}

This cheesecake is grain-free, too. Where you might normally find a crunchy graham cracker crust under all that creamy filling, this crust is made of dates, almonds, and cocoa powder.Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}Both the crust and the filling come together in the bowl of a food processor before being layered into springform pan and chilled until solid. No need to crank the oven for this no-bake cake!Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}Once the cake is chilled all the way through, remove it from the springform and give it a drizzle of homemade chocolate shell.Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}Chocolate Cheesecake slices like a dream. It definitely stands on its own, but I couldn’t resist plating each piece with a few fresh sweet cherries!Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}You’ll love this smooth, creamy, chocolaty cheesecake! It’s easy to make, no-bake, vegan and grain-free—perfect for sharing with your favorite gluten-free vegans! Out of all the good things about this cake (and there are *a lot*), I think the number of people I can share it with is the very best one ❤ Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}
Want more vegan, grain-free cheesecake? Try my Peachy Paleo Cheesecake!

Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}
makes one 9-inch cheesecake

Filling:
1 cup raw cashews
1 14-ounce can coconut cream (not cream of coconut)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon espresso granules (optional)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly

Crust:
15 Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw almonds
3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Topping:
Homemade Chocolate Shell

The night before you want to make the cheesecake, place cashews in a small container with a lid. Cover with water. Refrigerate for 4-12 hours.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil.

Make the crust. Combine dates, almonds, and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor, and process until the almonds are broken down and the filling starts to form a ball. Mixture should hold together when pinched. Transfer crust mixture to prepared pan, and press it to the edges to form an even layer. Set aside.

Wash and dry the food processor, or wipe it out very well with a paper towel.

Make the filling. Drain soaked cashews and place them in the food processor. Add coconut cream, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, espresso granules, vanilla, and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add melted chocolate and process again. With the food processor running, drizzle coconut oil through the feed tube. Continue processing until everything is smooth and fully combined.

Pour filling mixture over crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for 8 hours (or freeze for 2 hours).

Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan. Release the cheesecake from the springform pan, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate shell. Slice with a large, sharp chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Serve.

Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days.

Note:

If you cannot find coconut cream, use two 13.5-ounce cans of full-fat coconut milk. Chill them overnight and scoop off the coconut cream to use for the cake. Reserve the leftover liquid for another use.Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}Chocolate Cheesecake {Vegan & Grain-Free}