The Minimalist – Out of the Wok, Tofu Stars in Dessert

from MARK BITTMAN

FOR many people tofu has become a staple in their diets, and rightly so. Though it is made from soy milk in roughly the same way cheese is made from mammal milk (a curdling agent is added, and it’s drained of excess water), tofu doesn’t take nearly as many forms as cheese. But neither is it solely the stuff of stir-fries.

For example, I can almost guarantee you will be impressed by this dessert, a pudding that takes about as much time to make as hot chocolate. But there are a few qualifiers. Without chocolate, the flavor is unimpressive; it tastes like sweetened tofu. Add chocolate and a few Mexican spices, however, and you have a real winner. And certainly no one I’ve fed it to had any inkling that it was dairy free.

The texture of the pudding, which must be made with silken tofu, is almost unbelievably good. The silken tofu packed in aseptic boxes yields a slightly better texture than that packed in tubs. I have no doubt that if you make your own tofu, or buy it from an artisan, you could improve the texture even further.

More important than which brand of tofu you buy is the brand of chocolate. Without mentioning names, let me just suggest that you use the highest quality chocolate — semisweet or bittersweet, please — you can lay your hands on. After all, it’s the flavor of the chocolate, not of the tofu, that will dominate.

[follow this link for a how-to video that will make your mouth water. Yum.]

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