Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3: National Chocolate Mousse Day

I've never been a fan of chocolate mousse.  Generally, I don't care for the texture or how rich the flavor is - it's almost overwhelming.  Whenever the company I worked for ordered chocolate mousse for dessert during catered events, I would take a small taste to try the dessert and then I would pass it to my coworker who loved the mousse.

So, for today, I was intrigued to find that there are a lot of recipes for chocolate mousse that are tofu-based.  Yup, that's right - tofu.  At first, this confused me since traditional mousse is made with cream or milk and Mahalo points out that mousse has merengue or cream folded in.  (It was hard trying to figure out the difference between a pudding, a mousse, and a Bavarian, but Redi-base does a nice job of providing a quick explanation.)  Still, typing "chocolate mousse recipe" into Google search turned up a bunch of tofu-based recipes.  (Then again, this is probably due to tailored results.)  I decided I would make a tofu-based mousse because then it might not be as sweet or as calorie rich as a traditional mousse.  So after looking at this recipe that just used tofu, chocolate, and soy milk and this recipe which used cinnamon and vanilla, I once again decided to go the dangerous route.  That's right - I didn't follow a recipe.

Tofu, after a few minutes in
a food processor
So what did I do?  I drained, rinsed, and press a package of soft (silken) tofu and then attacked it with the food processor until it was smooth.  (Well, I used the the food processor to process the tofu.  I didn't actually hit the tofu with my food processor - that would just be very messy.)  In the microwave, using my handy dandy Tupperware Micro Pitcher set, (I really do love that thing) I melted 4 ounces of unsweetened dark baking chocolate and a scant 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  In a bowl, I whisked together the melted chocolate and one cup of vanilla soy milk.  I added 3 tablespoons of vanilla.  I decided to go for a Mexican-chocolate type mousse, so I added 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of chili.  I thoroughly whisked the mixture some more, then I folded in the pureed tofu.  I put it in the fridge to chill.  When I checked it 30 minutes later, I realized I should have portioned it out for the chilling, so I portioned it out and put it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

All mixed together and ready
to go in the fridge.
The result?  Well, I had two friends try it and took note of their reactions.  Both said it had a slightly sour taste which I could not pick up on and we couldn't figure out what ingredient would cause them to detect sourness.  Neither could pick up on the cinnamon and chili and the suggestion was made to add more.  All three of us agreed it could have been sweeter, but I was actually just fine with the flavor.  It was like eating fluffy dark chocolate to me.  (I like my chocolate as dark as I can get it- 85% and up please!)  The thing that bothered me most was the texture- I felt it was too grainy. Maybe I needed to process the tofu longer, or I should have used all baking chocolate and not chocolate chips.   If using ground cinnamon and chili was the cause for the graininess, I can try using cinnamon flavoring and a hot sauce instead.

 As is, I could see myself using this as a cream filling in a really sweet chocolate layer cake or in a cookie sandwich, but before I could serve it as a mousse, it needs some work.

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