By Tom Conway
For The Beachcomber
Happy Valentine’s Day, my little snookie-wookies, lamby-kins, and kitten-cakes! If overly-sweet pet names aren’t your thing, let’s head to the kitchen and temper the love-fest with a balanced approach to the day’s favorite confection: Chocolate.
I’ve always felt Valentine’s Day should be about gestures that fill the heart, not a square, and for me, cooking is where I share the love. But recently, I was told that my kitchen crush needs to include more dietary concerns and choices. That’s the trouble with growing up in a full-tilt dairy household; I never knew less could really be more. So I offer up two easy, albeit decadent, recipes for my favorite chocolate pudding pots: one vegan, one dairy-free; and neither classic in preparation, as each is born in a blender. And remember, the better the chocolate used, the better the mousse eaten. And be sure to check the chocolate’s ingredient list to make sure it’s a dairy-free product.
I embrace this Vegan Chocolate Mousse recipe with the enthusiasm of a sixth-grader winning a spelling bee. It’ so rich, delicious and velvety that your vegan Valentine will swoon in disbelief and ask to see the recipe for verification of ingredients. It’s that good.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
• 3/4 cups sugar
• 3/4 cups water
• 1 pound silken tofu (firm tofu works but makes for a grainier texture)
• 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate (or dark chocolate)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, add water and sugar and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves.
In a blender add tofu and chocolate and slowly pour hot sugar water over it and blend on high for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides if necessary. Add vanilla, pulse a few more times.
Pour mousse into 4-6 small cups, chill for at least an hour and serve with whipped cream.
This easy dairy-free chocolate mousse combines simple syrup, chocolate and un-whipped egg whites into a froth of airy cocoa goodness. Say hello to Cloud 9, where the silver lining is chocolate. Within five minutes on prep, and an hour of chill time, you’ve set the stage for romance or at least, undying devotion! Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse
• 1.5 cups Dark Chocolate chips (semi-sweet or >64% cocoa)
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee or instant espresso
• 1 teaspoon Vanilla
• 3 eggs (use egg whites only)
Place chocolate chips in the blender.
In a saucepan, heat water, sugar, and coffee until solution boils.
Slowly pour heated solution into blender, and pulse until chips are melted and the mixture is creamy.
Add three egg whites and blend the mixture on high for 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and pulse a few times.
Pour into 4-6 dessert cups and chill for at least an hour.