Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Tofu Mousse
From the recipe files of Tasty Tofu dishes I am sharing an oldie and a goody, Vegan Chocolate Tofu Pudding aka Chocolate Tofu Mousse. Years ago, when I worked at Whole Foods, this was one of our most popular items on the salad bar and at the grab-and-go area. It's amazingly rich and luscious and a little goes a long way. When I was teaching cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma, I taught a Vegetarian Cuisine class and figured out the ingredients in the Whole Foods vegan pudding and put it on my course menu. That class was a surprise hit due in large part to this simple 4-ingredient dessert.
Inspiration to make it again came by way of a free sample of Ghirardelli's Twilight Delights Chocolate bar, from the Taste Maker's program by FoodBuzz, my blog sponsor. I could have just eaten the candy bar and blogged all about how good it was - the 72% cacao bar has notes of deep red wine, cherries and berries and a spicy undercurrent of black pepper. I wanted to do something more with the chocolate but time and ideas were in short supply, hence this very simple yet elegant vegan dessert. The pudding/mousse can be used as a mousse pie filling, just pour it into a graham cracker crust of choice. It can be layered in fancy tall glasses with whipped cream or vegan whipped cream. You can use it as a cake filling for a vegan chocolate cake - here's a good recipe to try for that idea. Or you can just spoon some into a small bowl and enjoy!
Chocolate Tofu Mousse Ingredients:
- 7 to 10 ounces, about 2 Bars of a High-Quality Dark Chocolate - 65% or higher Cocoa (Such as Ghirardelli's Twilight Temptations 72% Cocoa or Ghirardelli's Intense Dark bars) - melted
- 1 Pound Package of SILKEN Tofu - drained
- 1/4 Cup Dried Cherries - rehydrate in hot water
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Food Processor or Blender - Mixing Bowls & Spatulas
- Break the dark chocolate bar into pieces and melt it either over a double boiler or in the microwave. If melting the chocolate in a microwave, use a microwave-safe bowl and heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals until it is completely melted - about 1 minute and 30 seconds total.
- Rehydrate the dried cherries in 1/3 cup of hot water until they are plump and pliable.
- Blend the rehydrated cherries, the silken tofu and the vanilla extract in a food processor or blender until very smooth.
- Carefully pour in the melted dark chocolate into the tofu mixture; cover the food processor and mix until the tofu is creamy and the chocolate is thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour the tofu mousse into a serving bowl and chill for at least 1 hour. The mousse will firm up as it cools. Makes 8 servings. Keeps for up to 5 days tightly covered and refrigerated.
- SILKEN TOFU is the best - I tried using soft tofu, and this is what it looks like when you make this pudding - a grainy, firm mess! It tasted okay, but had a funky soy aftertaste. It was more like a tofu fudge which was not the dessert I was trying to make.
- In order for this to qualify as a vegan dessert, you must use a bitter-sweet or semi-sweet chocolate, which contains no milk-solids or animal fats. A high-quality dark chocolate will yield a richer, tastier dessert.
- Any kind of dark chocolate can be used, though in fairness, I did have the Ghirardelli chocolate on hand so I used it because I received it as a premium. If using dark/semi or bitter-sweet chips, use at least 10 to 12 ounces, which is about 1 3/4 cups in dry measurements, or sometimes the contents of an entire bag.
- A funny side-note: Don't assume that just because this is vegan and sort of low-fat that you can eat as much as you want. We had an annoying customer at Whole Foods who would come in every day and "sample" the pudding. Her samples were the size of a quarter pound take-out container. When approached on this liberal sampling "theft" of product, she was appalled that we would even say anything to her about the tastings. She then began to buy it by the ounce, stating that this was her main meal of the day and that it was so good for her. Little did she understand that the Whole Foods version is super rich, high in sugar and not that low-fat. As Mark Bittman says, just because a junk food is labeled organic doesn't make it any better for you - it's still junk food. This is still a sweet dessert and should be eaten in moderation.