Last Wednesday, my instructor brought in silken and firm tofu for the class to experiment with. She recommended that we try out another chef’s Almond Chocolate Tart Recipe. My culinary experience with tofu preparation is for savory dishes like curries, vegetarian kebobs, and in stir fries, so this method of sweet preparation was intriguing. It was only almost vegan because we didn’t have any carob chips, so I had to use dark-chocolate chips that most likely contained some sort of milk product. Though I trusted that the recipe would produce a good dessert, I was still a bit hesitant in putting the tart together and on top of that, I felt a little sense of pressure to do it right because for my many of my classmates, this would be their first experience with eating anything tofu. I want to really perfect the process and change people’s minds about “weird” foods and healthy substitutions.
For the crust, in a food processor or blender, pulse together,
1 cup toasted sliced almonds (toast in a pan for about 5 minutes)
*reserve about 1 tbs of the almonds for garnish
1.5 cup Oats or whatever granola you have around
1 tbs Vegan Butter (Earthbalance)
1 tbs Maple Syrup
2 tbs Apple Juice
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
Process until a sticky mixture forms, then press crust dough into a 9-in spring form pan coated with pan release. Press into an even layer with slightly higher edges
Par-bake the crust at 350F for about 10 minutes, just till slightly brown (this is an optional step, but I liked the extra toasted flavor and it will help the crust hold together better)
For the filling, melt 3 cups chocolate/carob chip over a double boiler
In a blender, blend until smooth
3.5 cups Silken Tofu (about 1.5 of that store brought containers)
8 tbs Maple syrup
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract
Once those ingredients are combined, slowly pour the melted chocolate into the blender, you may have to stop in between and stir up the mixture yourself — it starts to thicken very quickly
Reserve 1 cup of the fully incorporated filing. Pour the rest of the mixture in the crust (I actually ended up with more filling than needed).
Smooth out the top, cover, and chill for two hours.
For decorating, take the reserved filling and scoop into a pastry bag with a star tip. Pipe decorations abound the top edge of the tart.
Garnish with whatever your heart desires — I used toasted coconuts. You can go with the reserved sliced almonds, fruits, chocolate chips, etc.
Chill for another 30 minutes to firm up the piping work.
Other changes you can make to pump up the creatively of this treat is utilizing other extracts/flavorings like orange or raspberry. With the leftover filling, I allowed it to chill over night, scooped them into 1 tbsp balls, and rolled them into an espresso powder/cocoa powder mix – – Tofu Chocolate Truffles were born.