The other night, my parents decided to throw a dessert party for our neighbors. Dessert parties are the best because you don’t have to prepare a huge meal; you can skip right to the part everyone’s waiting for anyway. My mom made a blueberry cobbler (which she veganized by substituting Earth Balance for butter), so I wanted to compliment it with something chocolatey.
Mousse! While I was in France, I discovered that everyone loves chocolate mousse. I ate it for dessert almost every night while I was there, not worrying about cream content (because I was being a vegetarian). Obviously I’m back to being a vegan now, so I needed to find a way to veganize chocolate mousse.
As usual, I was able to pull together a recipe from various online sources, mostly this one. Here’s what I used:
1 bag vegan chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 package Nasoya silken tofu
3 tbsp maple syrup (100% pure from Vermont, of course)
1 tsp vanilla
The first part of the preparation really stressed me out: I had to melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. I wasn’t even sure what a double boiler looked like. Apparently, it’s just a round-bottomed pot that fits into a regular pot. You heat up water in the regular pot and put whatever you want to melt into the round-bottomed one, so it melts without ever coming into contact with the hot water.
I had to stir the chocolate chips constantly so they wouldn’t burn. The possibility of the chocolate chips burning made me incredibly nervous for some reason, and I watched them intensely until I had stirred them into a big melted blob.
Then I mixed the chocolate blob with the other ingredients in the blender (this was before the blender committed suicide), divided it into adorable little dessert dishes, and put them in the refrigerator to set. Here’s what the mousse looked like ready to serve:
When the neighbors showed up, they were quite interested in talking about my veganism. Kathy, who lives across the street, even ran back to her house to grab her copy of The Veganist to show me. But despite their general enthusiasm, most people were weirded out when I told them about the tofu in the chocolate mousse.
For some reason, tofu and chocolate seem like two things that just shouldn’t mix. Like toothpaste and orange juice. Or garlic and french kissing.
I acted really confident, assuring everyone that this tofu-chocolate combination would be just delicious. I hoped I was right. For all I knew, it would be disgusting.
As people started tentatively tasting it, I willed it to be good. Please, Tofu, I thought. Please be smooth and pleasant instead of chunky and brain-like.
That was the first time I’ve attempted to communicate telepathically with tofu. But it worked! The chocolate mousse was a huge hit. Everyone marveled at how a vegan dessert could be so tasty.
And now that I think about it, tofu and chocolate are a combination that just makes so much sense. Like chocolate and peanut butter. Or chocolate and... pretty much anything, let's be honest.