I'm not a big fan of desserts, but I had to try this one.
It's a chocolate pudding made without any eggs or dairy.
It surged into my consciousness at exactly the same time I decided I'm probably lactose intolerant.
All credit goes to Mark Bittman for inventing it (and if he didn't invent it, he ain't talking).
And extra credit goes to Zoomie for following this recipe and blogging about it. I was tempted.
In case you haven't stumbled across this pudding yet, it's made with... gasp... tofu. Silken tofu.
OK, ick, right?
It's smooth and creamy and smooth and creamy. And chocolatey.
Use the best silken tofu you can find. We are lucky to have a local artisan tofu maker (even if the soy beans are not local), Hodo Soy Beanery, so we were certain to have a fresh, luscious batch to work with (though the shelf-stable kind in the cardboard box is perfectly decent).
Also, use the best bittersweet chocolate you can find. Mine was a Scharffen Berger 82% bar.
Bittman's recipe incorporates cinnamon (I used Mexican canela) and chili powder. It was fine, but not my favorite taste, so I might tinker next time. I'm thinking rose and white pepper. (You melt some sugar in water; I would sub a little rose water in that step.)
Also, there is no salt in the recipe.
So, I sprinkled these with a teensy pinch of crunchy Maldon salt flakes. Not sure I would do it again, but it was pretty.
Here's the deal, though. This recipe is Dead Easy. If you can nuke a candy bar for a minute or two, you've got the skills to make this.
One more thing. As Zoomie pointed out, the recipe makes an awful lot of pudding, far more than the four-to-six servings specified. I simply reduced the ingredients proportionally, based on the weight of one Scharffen Berger bar. Roughishly. It came out fine. Trust me, even though there's no cream, you can't really eat more than a little dab of it.
If there's a downside at all, it's that this pudding doesn't form a skin.
I call that an upside.