The idea of tofu instead of something does NOT sound so appealing to me. Tofu for vegan mayo, tofu to make sauces, tofu to make fake cheese. I don’t know, it just goes along the same lines as the hippy granola-ey line of food that is okay sometimes but I don’t want to be typecast for my healthy and/or GF way of life.
But then… Mark Bittman wrote a recipe for the New York Times in 2009 for Mexican Chocolate Pudding. My world changed. Wait, that’s a lie. First, I made his recipe with an immersion blender and it was choppy and odd and I figured that’s what happens when you use tofu instead of real milk. Then I tried it again with a cuisinart (yes, that’s what it called for in the first place). And then I made it again. And again. The original recipe calls for cinnamon and chili powder and other such spices. I mixed it up. I did it plain. I did it with orange zest and toasted pistachios on top. I thoroughly enjoy this recipe. It is my “go-to” when I have to create a dessert that looks great, is super simple, and pleases everyone with all the food issues human-kind now comes with to a party.
I’ve made variations of this as pie filling, renamed it “mousse” to sound fancier, made it with roasted bananas for chocolate banana cream pie, and this week I made it for my vegan intern’s birthday with espresso and toasted almonds.
Vegan Chocolate Pudding
16 oz silken tofu (firm or extra firm- or if you’re doubling it- try 1 soft and 1 extra firm)*
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
3/4 c. boiling water
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 t instant espresso, rum, orange juice etc (optional)
topping choices: crushed pistachios, toasted almonds, orange zest, peanuts and bananas (it’s really good I swear), fleur de sel, you get the picture.
Melt chocolate and set aside. Pour boiling water over sugar and mix with a spoon until dissolved. If using espresso, add this to the boiling water too. If using juice or alcohol, take away 2 teaspoons of the water. Blend tofu in the food processor until smooth, add all other ingredients and puree. Scrape out into individual ramekins or in 1 serving bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Add topping just before serving.
*It’s very important that you use silken. I’ve experimented with regular ol’ tofu and to me it tastes too vegetabley-based as opposed to sweet and delicious.