Tag Archives: chocolate

Silken Cocoa Chia Pudding

Silken Cocoa Chia Pudding
Silken Cocoa Chia Pudding

The Cleveland Clinic recently published an article, 6 Foods That Boost Your Beauty. Three of those foods were tofu, chia seeds and cocoa. Tofu contains isoflavones that can help our skin’s collagen to avoid wrinkles! (I may start sleeping with tofu under my eyes!) Chia seeds, the newest superfood, are a great plant source of omega-3′s and are wonderful for your overall health and the health of your hair and skin. Chia seeds absorb moisture and get things nice and thick. They are flavorless and make a perfect addition to this pudding. Cocoa is full of flavonoids that have antioxidant properties and cocoa contains epicatechin (say that five times fast!) which increases blood flow and oxygen to our skin. Just another reason to never feel guilty about eating chocolate!

OK, enough of the scientific terminology. This just tastes really good. Isn’t that the bottom line? This dessert will fool anyone with a sweet tooth or a love of chocolate. I know. I’ve fooled my father-in-law with a similar dessert that partly inspired this one. Alton Brown has a delicious Moo-Less Chocolate Pie made with silken tofu. My father-in-law does not like to experiment when it comes to food! So, one Thanksgiving, I decided to make Alton’s pie to take to my in-laws. I knew my father-in-law couldn’t resist a chocolate pie! I did’t say a word about the tofu. He ate it. He loved it! Then, I sprung it on him! I think he was a little shocked. I’m not usually one to pull a prank! We still joke about that pie, but if I made it today, I know he’d have a slice. So watch out Pop-Pop…I may show up to the next family dinner with Silken Cocoa Chia Pudding!

 

Silken Cocoa Chia Pudding

1 lb. silken tofu, drained if needed
3 T. honey
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder (see Notes)
2 T. your favorite liqueur or 1 t. vanilla extract (see Notes)
3 T. chia seeds
grated chocolate for garnish

In a blender, combine the tofu, honey, cocoa and liqueur or vanilla. Run the blender on high speed just until the ingredients are incorporated.

In a small bowl, pour the contents of the blender and add the chia seeds. Stir to combine.

Pour the pudding into serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Before serving, garnish with some grated chocolate!

Makes 4 servings.

 

Notes:

  • Using a good quality cocoa makes a big difference. But, keep in mind, there are two different types of cocoa powder: Dutch processed and natural. Dutch processed cocoa has been treated with alkali to neutralize the natural bitterness. Lindt and Droste make good quality Dutch processed cocoa. Natural cocoa has a deep chocolate flavor, but it is also quite bitter. Ghirardelli natural cocoa is readily available and a good quality cocoa in US grocery stores.  Use the cocoa you like best. If you don’t mind some added sugar and really don’t like the bitterness of cocoa, look for Ghirardelli’s Ground Chocolate and Cocoa or  a “drinking chocolate.” This is made with chocolate mixed with cocoa as opposed to  pure cocoa.
  • Some liqueur ideas: coffee, almond or orange flavored liqueur.
  • When you open up the package of tofu, there will usually be a bit of liquid in it. Drain that off before adding the tofu to the blender.
Silken Cocoa Chia Pudding
Silken Cocoa Chia Pudding

Pomegranate Mendiants

PomMendiant1000x1000
Pomegranate Mendiants

These red jeweled chocolates make a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Mendiants are a French candy traditionally made up of chocolate disks studded with dried fruits and nuts. Their colors represented the different robes of the monastic orders of the church. This version is simply my desire to combine pomegranate and chocolate! The flavors go so well together. The sweet and citrusy pop of the pomegranate aril is refreshing against the deep, rich chocolate. They are perfect together. I considered adding nuts to this, and you can, but I just loved it in this simple form so much, I didn’t want to change a thing!

I used a mix of chocolates, semi-sweet and just a bit of milk chocolate for these photos. I’ve made it with dark chocolate too (that’s my personal favorite). Both are so good. Use what you (or your Valentine) like best!

Pomegranate Mendiants

8oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate
2oz. milk chocolate, if desired
pomegranate arils (fresh or packaged) dried a bit on a paper towel, if needed

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or waxed paper.

In a heatproof bowl, melt the two chocolates in a microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Give it a stir, then microwave again for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted.

Pour about a scant tablespoon of chocolate onto the lined sheets spacing them a couple of inches apart. You can spread the chocolate out with the spoon, if you’d like, but I found that just pouring out all of the puddles of chocolate first, then smacking the pan on the counter works best. The puddles flatten out into perfect disks and it also gets the air bubbles out. Smack one side of the sheet first, then the other.

Stud the disks with the pomegranate arils then repeat the process on the second sheet. Allow the chocolates to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to set, or refrigerate for about 5 minutes to speed things up.

PomMendiant2:1000x1000

 

Notes:

  • In the U.S., pomegranate season ends in February. If you have a hard time finding fresh pomegranate, you can always look for the packaged arils in the produce section.
  • If you’d rather, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler. It’s a gentler method and probably preferable. The microwave is just a bit easier and quicker.
  • These chocolates keep well in a closed container in the refrigerator.

 

pomegranateMylesCavanaugh
This beautiful watercolor is by the artist Myles Cavanaugh. I’ve known Myles for a few years now and when I recently saw some pomegranate watercolors of his I asked if we could put one up on my blog with this recipe. I love his work! If you are interested in purchasing the painting above or would like to view Myles’ other work, contact him at his site, mylescavanaugh.com