“Chocolate” and “tofu” may not be two ingredients you’re used to seeing in the same dish, but I am here to tell you to keep an open mind. When I saw Mark Bittman’s Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding recipe in the New York Times last Wednesday I was immediately intrigued. For starts, I love the flavors of Mexican chocolate, with its warm cinnamon and subtle chile undertones. And the pudding recipe was so darn easy – melt chocolate, boil water, put everything in the blender – that I couldn’t resist. Even keeping in mind that one of the ingredients was a package of silken tofu.
I like tofu. I enjoy the texture of the extra-firm variety, especially sauteed or roasted, and I don’t mind the flavor. Frankly, tofu is pretty flavorless, which is why I’m always a bit confused when someone claims to not like the stuff. My father for example. I can understand why he would choose a steak over tofu, but to actively dislike the humble soybean curd? I think it’s mostly in his head, just too many steps removed from the meat and potatoes he grew up with on his family's farm.
So last night I made the pudding in about 10 minutes (no stirring on the stove!) and divided it into eight small cups and chilled them in the fridge. After dinner Dave, Rosa and I taste-tested the pudding, and it was fabulous: smooth, creamy, rich, and not tofu-y at all. Tonight it was even better, almost like chocolate mousse or pot de crème.
Obviously this pudding is excellent for folks trying to cut back on dairy, and I suppose it is a bit healthier than regular pudding thanks to the tofu. But the real reasons to prepare and eat it are that a) it's easy and b) it's delicious. Add a little whipped cream on top and this could be a dessert for company. In fact, I’m planning on making it the next time I see my dad – don’t tell. I think he'll like it.
To read Bittman’s column about the pudding click here. There’s even a three-minute video of him demo-ing the prep. The recipe:
Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding
By MARK BITTMAN
Time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes’ chilling
3/4 cup sugar
1 pound silken tofu
8 ounces high-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
Chocolate shavings (optional).
1. In a small pot, combine sugar with 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
2. Put all ingredients except for chocolate shavings in a blender and purée until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down its sides if necessary. Divide among 4 to 6 ramekins and chill for at least 30 minutes. If you like, garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.