Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Pudding

Yesterday while reading the New York Times I saw a reprint of a Mark Bittman recipe for Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding. Reminicent of my favorite Vegan Chocolate Flourless Torte as well as another favorite, Boulder Mexican chocolate ice cream, I decided to give it a try. Besides, it would be a perfect finish for the enchilada lunch I planned to make my Mom tomorrow  Then I reread the recipe, I planned to use really good bittersweet chocolate which I eat right out of the bag and tofu isn't really bitter, why so much sugar? I cut the sugar and water by a third and the result was just right. Since then I have cut the sugar by two-thirds and the chocolate by at least one quarter. See variations, including ULTIMATE VARIATION below.  

In a small pot combine:

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water

Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Place in a glass container:

8 oz bittersweet chocolate (the better the quality, the better the pudding)

Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Do not overcook, chocolate will burn in the microwave!

Put the sugar water mix and chocolate a blender or the bowl of a food processor and add:

16 oz silken tofu
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t chipolte chili powder
1 t vanilla

Puree until smooth.  Divide among 6 ramekins (about 4.5 oz in each) and chill for at least an hour. Before serving (or before chilling), garnish with

chocolate shavings

(A chocolate bar works, but a block of chocolate would provide longer chocolate curls.)





November 2022
: First Stonyfield Farm went from nonfat frozen yogurt to whole milk frozen yogurt, now they have stopped production of our go-to dessert. After failing to find a good commercially produced alternative, I've found this is a good replacement. However, since it is not a special occasion dessert,I've modified the recipe:    
VARIATION #1 - LESS CHOCOLATE,  EVEN LESS SUGAR

6 oz bittersweet chocolate

1/4 c sugar
1/4 c water

16 oz silken tofu

1 t vanilla or almond extract 

Chili powder and cinnamon to taste. I usually omit and occasionally top with cinnamon.

Follow the original instructions. I pour the sugar water mixture into the glass measuring cup I melted the chocolate in (after putting chocolate in the food processor) to get the last of the chocolate out.

I often put in the freezer (in a covered container) to chill for an hour before eating then top with a few chocolate chunks (chips) or a few fresh or (mostly thawed) frozen raspberries.
This pudding though a tad higher in saturated fat, due to the large amount of chocolate, has no sodium or cholesterol, much less sugar (2 t per serving). and fewer calories than the frozen yogurt.



VARIATION #2 - FEWER CALORIES, LESS SUGAR
Substitute 3 T of cocoa powder for 3 oz of the bittersweet chocolate. Add 1 T cornstarch.
While this saves about 60 calories, 7 g of saturated fat and 4.6 g of sugar per serving, despite the cornstarch, the resulting pudding has less body.


ULTIMATE VARIATION
 
In an empty food processor bowl place: 

4 oz toasted hazelnuts or almonds and blend until the nuts are finely ground

Use vanilla instead of almond extract if using hazelnuts, almond extract if using almonds. Chili powder and cinnamon to taste. I usually omit both but occasionally top with a dusting of cinnamon, especially after a Mexican dinner.

Proceed with the original recipe.  When well blended divide into eight 3.7 oz servings (rather than six 4 oz servings)




This Ultimate Variation excluding nuts comes in comparable to the frozen yogurt on a calorie basis 167 calories for 4 oz, 154 calories for a 3.7 oz serving, comparable per serving in protein (with nuts),  much lower in sugar. and no cholesterol.  8 ~3.7 oz servings: ~248 (with nuts) calories, 3.3 g sat fat, 13.01 g sugar, 5.82 g protein.




Reviewed 5/17/17
Revised 11/21/22
Revised 2/10/24