I've been asked about the desire for certain foods a lot lately. Everybody gets cravings, but the cultural stereotype for them during this time in a woman's life is strong and well known. It is assumed one should be eating a chicken leg with raspberry jam, peanut butter and tuna, or the ever popular ice cream topped with pickles. There are looks of disappointment when I can't claim any of these weirdo combinations. My plate held peanut butter, oats, tomatoes, soup, pizza, and frozen yogurt as often then as it does now.
The last few weeks, I have felt the need to make and consume more foods a la minute. This has led to impromptu trips to Whole Foods for pints of thick chicken noodle soup (must need to hydrate), salads from Trader Joe's embellished with sardines (must need calcium), and beef shanks from Lunardi's cooked up in the crockpot (must need iron).
This weekend, while I'm sad to be missing out on this year's Foodbuzz Blogger Festival (by choice, but still), I did satisfy an impromptu craving for some chocolate pudding.
Not just any pudding. I wanted one that is rich and chocolatey, but wouldn't break the calorie bank. It's a rare recipe that provides this kind of pleasure as well as protein, calcium, and almost no effort. Definitely not calorie-free but compare this vegan recipe to a traditional one made with cream and you'd have double the trouble, with a sore tummy too.
Pulled from the bottom of my recipe folder, my Mom first made this recipe when I was in high school. It's pretty versatile depending on how much soymilk you use to thin it- a pudding (thin), a mousse (thick), or even a really great cupcake icing (thickest). I flavored mine with almond extract and served with fresh raspberries. Leave it plain or try something else that pairs well with chocolate.
I'm not sure which gave me more pleasure- slowly making my way to the bottom of the bowl, or Ray's astonishment at how delicious a dessert made with tofu and soymilk can be.
Tofu Chocolate Pudding
makes 4-6 servings
1 10-ounce bag vegan chocolate chips (I used Tropical Source), or regular semisweet chocolate chips
1 12-ounce package of soft silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu Silken Soft Tofu), smooshed in the package
1/2- 2/3 cup chocolate soy milk (I used Silk Chocolate soymilk)
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional), or flavoring of your choice
In a large microwave safe glass bowl, heat chocolate chips on half power for several minutes, stirring occasionally as the chips melt. The length of time is different with every microwave, just babysit them and stop when the chips have melted.
In another microwave safe glass bowl, heat 1/2 cup soymilk until just steaming. Add the hot soymilk and smooshed tofu to the chocolate chips. Blend with a stick blender until completely smooth. If you don't have a stick blender, you could transfer everything to a food processor and blend there. Add the almond extract to the mixture and stir. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The mixture will thicken considerably as it cools, and if you'd like a thinner consistency you can fold in additional soymilk with a spatula, to your taste.
Serve garnished with fresh berries, mint, shaved chocolate, or plain. Store in the fridge for several days.
With 6 servings, each portion contains about 256 calories and 4 grams of protein.