So I know what you’re thinking – those crazy vegetarians, always substituting the good stuff with tofu! Well, let me first assure you that we were not drawn to this recipe because of its lack of dairy products (I think we singlehandedly keep the industry in business with our inordinate consumption of cottage cheese).
More importantly, this pudding has no semblance of tofu in its taste – it is pure rich, chocolatey goodness. And don’t go thinking that because it says “tofu” that it’s good for you. Sorry :(
What it does happen to be is one really easy, delicious dessert (to be eaten sparingly, of course!)! I had bookmarked Mark Bittman’s recipe a while ago, as I was intrigued by the concept of pudding made with tofu. After trying it, I don’t think I’ll ever need to make real pudding again! (OK, I’ve never made real pudding. But I don’t need to anymore!) It was so easy and totally delicious that I think I’ll continue to stick with soy.
We served this after a Mexican-inspired meal featuring stuffed peppers, and it was the perfect finish. I loved the subtle spicy hint of the chili powder with the rich, bittersweet chocolate.
I tried to make a “healthier” version later by cutting back on the sugar and chocolate, but it just wasn’t the same. I may experiment again with 1/2 cup sugar and the full amount of chocolate (I’ll keep you posted), but really – for an occasional treat, it’s probably best to embrace the good stuff :)
Chocolate Chili Tofu Pudding
Inspired by Mark Bittman
Makes 6-8 servings
What You Need
3/4 cup sugar
1 pound silken tofu*
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
What to Do
1 Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool.
2 Meanwhile, melt 8 ounces chocolate in the microwave by alternating heating for about a minute and then stirring, until fully melted. (Or, melt it the old-fashioned way using a double-boiler on the stove.)
3 Pour the chocolate into the pot with the sugar water, and add 1 pound silken tofu, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Puree the ingredients using an immersion blender until smooth. (Or, blend ingredients together using a conventional blender.)
4 Pour into a sealed container and chill for at least 30 minutes.
5 Spoon into individual dishes. If desired, garnish with chopped chocolate and a dash of chili powder.
Note: Make sure to use tofu that is labeled “silken”, which has a softer consistency than regular tofu.