October 2, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 2: Nutella Stuffed French Toast!

Okay, so I'm a day late and a dollar short to this whole MoFo thing. It technically started yesterday, but my awesome friends John and Katie got married and the whole day just kinda got away from me (in the best way possible). Luckily for Day Two I have something fan-freaking-tastic to post about! 

During October, Sundays here on The Odd Couple Eats will be dedicated to brunch recipes. I wanted to come out of the gate with a bang and I whipped up a doozy today! Did you know Nutella isn't vegan? It contains milk ingredients which is a HUGE BUMMER. I got to reading on the internets and found out that it's not too hard to make your own vegan hazelnut-chocolate spread (a.k.a. Nutella), so I knew it would be a great project to tackle during MoFo. 

I bought some raw hazelnuts and got to work roasting them. After they were browned, I took them out of the oven and let them cool. I could hear the skins crackling as they cooled, which meant that the meat was pulling away from the skin (dirty). I then placed the nuts in a kitchen towel and rubbed them together (ahhh!) and the skins came off pretty well. Here's what it looked like:

Pretty! And roasted hazelnuts smell amazing. I proceeded to make the Nutella and got it to chilling while I prepped the French Toast ingredients. 

I used Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Fronch Toast" recipe from her book "Vegan with a Vengeance." It really gets the job done like no other vegan French Toast recipe I've tried. However, it does call for chickpea flour which I was unable to find at the grocery store. I had some dried chickpeas, so I decided to see if I could make then into flour and lo and behold, it worked! I processed them in my food processor for about 37 years and then passed it through a sifter to get out any chunks. Be warned, the sound of chickpeas whirring around in the food processor makes the worst, loudest sound you'll ever hear! Something akin to the Dementors from Harry Potter crossed with a subway with screechy brakes. Johnny managed to sleep through the whole thing, but I was yearning for ear plugs. If you can find chickpea flour at the store, by all means snatch it up!

I assembled two slices of bread with Nutella in between, dipped them in the Fronch Toast batter, and fried in a thin layer of Canola Oil in a skillet for about 7 minutes on each side. I then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with organic maple syrup, tempeh bacon, and baby concord grapes. What a delicious way to start a Sunday!

Johnny was super impressed with everything and says he has "no critiques whatsoever" for this dish. Good, because anyone who doesn't enjoy this recipe is quite simply out of their mind!

Nutella Stuffed French Toast
Serves 2

Vegan Nutella
1 1/4 cups raw hazelnuts
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup Canola oil

French Toast
1 loaf French bread (I used a small organic whole wheat loaf)
1/2 cup soy creamer
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup chickpea flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes, then pour into a clean kitchen towel. Gather the towel into a bundle and rub together until most of the hazelnut skin has come off. Transfer the skinned hazelnuts to a food processor. Blend for about 5 minutes or until the hazelnuts have become like a butter. Be sure to scrape down the sides and pulse so as not to overload your food processor. Add in the cocoa, powdered sugar, and drizzle in the oil as you continue blending until you have a spreadable consistency. The Nutella will become thicker as it cools. Transfer to an airtight container or jar and place in the refrigerator. 

Slice your loaf of bread into 1/2" pieces. In a large, shallow dish whisk together the soy creamer, soy milk, corn starch and chickpea flour until well combined. Begin heating a large skillet over medium heat coated with a thin layer of Canola oil. Take a slice of bread and spread about a tablespoon of Nutella on it, then cover with another piece of bread. Dip both sides into the batter then place in the heated skillet. Allow to cook for 7 minutes, then flip and cook for another 7 minutes, or until deeply browned. Continue until you have used all your bread. 

Top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup. 

And now for a few gratuitous pictures of the gorgeous wedding. Congrats John & Katie! <3


  1. Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing! Like, gah-omg-amazing!

  2. Your brunch looks amazing! I looooved Nutella in my pregan days a million years ago, but never thought of making it at home myself. Maybe I'll give it a try during MoFo. You've inspired me. :)

  3. Oh yum, I love French toast so much!

  4. Wow, this looks magnificent! Hazelnuts are so expensive, but maybe sometime when I'm feeling a little extra-indulgent I will try this. Adding it to my recipe file!

  5. This sounds awesome! And the wedding definitely looked gorgeous.

  6. Thanks everyone! Choirqueer - Yeah, hazelnuts are a bit expensive. I bought a package for about $6 and used them all in this batch of Nutella, but I had quite a bit leftover so I'll be able to use it on sammies and toast this week. Woohoo!

  7. Why have I not thought of putting nutella in french toast before, that's sounds incredible!