I actually purchased a tofu pudding mix that promised to make a brick of extra-firm tofu into a bowl of creamy, delicious pudding. And it kind of worked. I had to add some sweetener and cocoa to pep up the flavor, but the end product was surprisingly puddingish.
Then I looked at the ingredients:
dehydrated raw cane juice, Dutch cocoa powder, potato starch, guar gum, non-hydrogenated coconut oil, soy lecithin, vanillaHmm... sweetener, cocoa, thickeners, oils, and vanilla. Not exactly rocket science.
So I zipped over to VegWeb.com to see if anybody had a reasonably easy recipe for pudding, and found this five-star recipe. The ingredient deck here is even simpler:
1 block extra firm tofuAnd the method is exactly like the mix: throw everything into a bowl or blender and blend until smooth; chill while licking the mixing equipment.
3 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder
3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons liquid sweetener. (flavored syrup, or maple syrup works really well)
I made it tonight, using agave for the sweetener, and I'm never buying pre-made pudding or a pudding mix ever again. My Pizzakrap blender even managed to puree the tofu into a darned interesting approximation of pudding. Or, really, more like mousse.
Future pudding explorations:
- a teaspoon or so of mint extract for chocolate mint numminess
- one of the commenters on VegWeb -- commenting on a similar recipe -- says this makes a tasty frozen treat
- I'm thinking of trying a vanilla or almond version and layering it with the chocolate for a party parfait
*** Next day update ***
I was dreaming of parfait, I think, or maybe just Shrek. Anyway, I decided to make the parfait.
I made a vanilla-almond pudding this morning:
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 4 T maple syrup, or to taste (I thought 3 T was a little light on the sweetness, but I'm aiming for decadence)
- 1.5 t pure vanilla
- 1 t almond extract
- 3 T almond milk
Method: Blend until smooth.
The chocolate I made last night set up firm and silky, so I spooned some into a large, glass bowl and poured the vanilla over it. Chilled that for a couple hours, then spooned the rest of the chocolate over it. Topped with Soy Whip and sprinkles.
I can't wait to see my little creation demolished at a potluck this afternoon. Ev'body love parfait!
*** Two days later update ***The parfait went like a Sweet Pea turtle cheesecake, which is to say, WHOOSH! I set it on the table at the potluck, went away to swim, and came back in maybe half an hour to see an empty bowl. It was a huge hit. While the different flavors were nice fresh out of the blender, they turned into a delightfully creamy
The frozen version, however, is a disappointment. I put it directly from the blender into the freezer (using a container -- this time), and it froze into a snirt-like mass of ice crystals. Perhaps I'll try letting it set up in the fridge before freezing, or adding a little oil to see if that keeps the mess from solidifying too much. Ideas welcome.
Also, chocolate mint works very well. I'd start with 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract added to the chocolate recipe above. 1 teaspoon is a little too Altoid-y (or a comparable, vegan mint-y).