Anyone sensing a theme? I seem to be stuck on Mexican food, though this is not a bad thing. Who doesn't like cumin, cilantro, chili pepper, cinnamon? (And is all Mexican food alliterative?) However, after my mole recipe and pico de gallo salad, I thought I should do something for dessert.
I like cooking with tofu. It has a great texture, ranging from silky soft to firm and crumbly. Better yet, it will absorb whatever flavors it snuggles up with like the way I wished I could absorb calculus by sleeping with my textbook under my pillow. I have often used soft tofu to add body and protein to blended soups and firm tofu as the main act in my stir fries. However, I had not, until now, considered the soy product as a potential dessert.
Mark Bittman's article in the New York Times about tofu included this recipe for Mexican Chocolate tofu pudding. I pretty much like anything he creates, so I thought I'd give it a shot. The recipe was easy and produced a great result. The pudding has the deep undertones of cinnamon supporting the high and hot notes of the chili. If you like the flavors of Mexican chocolate, this dish has it in spades. If you like your chocolate a bit less adulterated, it is also a treat without the spices. An extra table spoon or two of cocoa mixed in with the liquid would make it seriously decadent. At the same time, there's something wonderfully guilt-free about eating tofu. Go on.
Mark Bittman's Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding
3/4 C. sugar
1 pound silken tofu
8 ounces high-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. chili powder, or more to taste
Chocolate shavings (optional).
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.
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. Garnish with fruit or chocolate shavings.
Serves 4 to 6 (depending on size of ramekin and appetite)