No…… your eyes are not deceiving you, the title of this post is “Chocolate Tofu Pudding”.
Yes…..you are visiting “Oui, Chef”, the VERY last place where you would expect to see tofu at all, let alone in a dessert!
For those of you who’s jaws have dropped to the floor, we’ll pause here a moment for you to pull yourself together.
Feeling better now? OK, let’s proceed.
This is a dish that I prepared recently for a Share Our Strength – “Cooking Matters” class that I was teaching in Boston. Share Our Strength is a national organization that works hard to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry, and one that I am proud to be an active supporter of. They weave together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children facing hunger and surround them with nutritious food where they live, learn and play.
“Cooking Matters” is a Share Our Strength program that brings together local culinary and nutrition professionals and others who volunteer their time to lead hands-on courses that give participants the know-how to select tasty and low-cost ingredients, stretch them across multiple meals, and use healthy cooking techniques and recipes that help them provide the best nourishment possible to their families. When I can, I work as a chef instructor for “Cooking Matters” classes in the greater Boston area, and I must tell you that teaching these classes is some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.
The classes run in six week sessions and include lessons on cooking, food budgeting, shopping, and the ins and outs of good nutrition. At the last class, students are presented a goodie bag of healthy treats and a diploma signifying their completion of all the course requirements. This class is also a celebration of sorts, where we all get to cook some “fun” food, and the students play games testing their knowledge of things they learned over the course of the class.
At the end of class #5, the lovely Gina P., an Americorps volunteer who was our class coordinator, suggested that we make this tofu pudding as a treat for the final class.
Can you even imagine the look on my face at the thought of this?
Remember that face you made when you were a sick kid and your Mom made you choke down cod-liver oil?
Yeah….that was just about it.
Anyway, she suggested that I make it at home and bring it to class, brilliantly deducing that most of our crew would resolutely refuse to try it had we made it in front of them. After much gagging and whining, I agreed to whip up a batch and bring it to the last class, where we would serve it to our students and solicit their feedback BEFORE telling them how it was made. She assured me that the pudding was great, and that our little trick would be fun. Hmmm…..
As you might have guessed (by the fact that I’m writing this post about the stuff), Gina was right….this pudding is great! Will it rival the best “cooked” from scratch chocolate pudding you’ve ever had, rich with heavy cream and deep dark chocolate? NO. But given the ease and speed with which this is made, not to mention the health benefits of avoiding all the cream in a traditional pudding, this is an absolute winner. The mouthfeel is silky and thick, the flavor, intensely chocolate and not overly sweet.
This is a dish your kids will love, and love to help you make as it involves pulverizing ingredients in a food processor. Do yourselves a favor though, and be sure to pull a Gina when you make your first batch, and not tell the kids about the tofu until they’ve dutifully swooned over this lovely, and bowed down to your greatness. Then….have your camera ready to capture the moment when you tell them that what they just ate and loved was a big old bowl of soybean curd!
Cheers – S
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 16-ounce package silken tofu
- Melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan or microwave with a tablespoon of water over medium heat. Stir the chocolate until smooth.
- Blend the tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and blend until completely combined.
- Chill the pudding for at least one hour. Serve with slices of fresh fruit.