This is one of my favorite quick desserts to make. When I’m out of ingredients for cookies or brownies, I can almost always scrounge up the ingredients for this pudding. I make a habit of keeping a container of silken tofu in the refrigerator so I’ll be ready to go when the mood strikes. Boxed (non-refrigerated) silken tofu works, too; just adjust for the difference in package weight.
The only thing you need to remember is to take the tofu out of the refrigerator and warm it up to room temperature before plunging ahead with the rest of the recipe, but even that can be sped up by just putting it in a double boiler over simmering water for a few minutes while you’re assembling the rest of the ingredients. If you try to make this with cold tofu the coconut oil will seize up and take some of the chocolate powder with it and life will never be the same.
This is less a recipe than a suggestion. Play around with it. Taste as you go—just leave a little for the rest of the family! Try different preserves, different juice concentrate, use more or less cocoa powder, etc. Almost everything is negotiable. I usually make this without measuring.
One word of advice I’d offer is that a liquid sweetener is probably going to give you a better final texture—gorgeously smooth and luscious—than a granulated sweetener. I usually stick with either agave nectar or maple syrup, but brown rice syrup or coconut nectar would likely be delicious. I’d also stick with seedless preserves, as I mention in the recipe below, or at least put it through a sieve to remove seeds if you don’t have a seedless one.
This doesn’t set up quite enough to be a successful refrigerator pie, but you could experiment with extra coconut oil or try some of the ideas mentioned in the recipe to achieve a firmer texture that would stand up to slicing.
A note about eating tofu: I know that there is some evidence to suggest that non-fermented soy products (like tofu) shouldn’t be eaten regularly, or perhaps not at all. If this is news to you, just Google ‘tofu health concerns’ or something along that line and you’ll get miles of links to articles both pro and con. Here’s one fairly recent one from The New York Times that concludes there isn’t much to worry about. My take on it is that there is still more to be discovered, and until the weight of evidence comes down solidly on one side (and stays there for a while), I like to play it safe and eat tofu in moderation.
Dark Chocolate-Brandy Pudding (vegan)
1 1lb. package of non-GMO silken tofu, brought to room temperature (I usually use Nasoya)
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. brandy (Christian Bros. VSOP or any brand of comparable quality) – optional, of course!
2 Tbs. R.W. Knudsen black cherry concentrate
3 Tbs. St. Dalfour Red Raspberry fruit-sweetened preserves (or comparable quality)
3 Tbs. melted coconut oil
3 Tbs. agave nectar or maple syrup
½ C. cocoa powder
Tiny pinch of salt
Make sure your tofu is at room temperature. If not, the melted coconut oil will seize up when it hits the cold tofu and it will not be a good thing. If you’re in a hurry and find yourself with a cold cube of tofu, just put it in a double boiler over simmering water for a few minutes before beginning the recipe.
Add all ingredients to a food processor. This is a taste-as-you-go recipe, so if you want to start with lesser quantities and see what tastes good to you, go ahead. All ingredients are negotiable; it’s all up to your taste buds to decide what you like.
Whizz until completely blended. This can also be done in a blender, but I find the food processor is more efficient for this job. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual pudding cups. Cover before refrigerating.
Refrigerate for at least an hour or two to allow it to set up. If it has been in the refrigerator for a day or more, I like to remove it an hour or so before eating so it’s not ice cold. More flavor that way. It’s best if eaten within three days, but that is easy to do!
The coconut oil helps the pudding to “set” once it is refrigerated. If you like an even firmer pudding, you can whiz in some arrowroot powder or a half teaspoon or so of psyllium husk powder dissolved in a tiny drop of water.
A dark berry preserve is especially good here. Black raspberry is great, but try to get seedless or put it through a sieve, because seeds in a soft, voluptuous pudding are incredibly annoying.
A tablespoon or two of Kaluha along with (or without) the brandy is delicious.
I tend to like pudding without toppings, but if you like toppings, have fun experimenting!