Hi all! I’m so happy to be back to the blog!
I’d like to say that I’m well-rested—honestly, it’s been a good week for catching up on everything from sleep to editing. But this morning I awoke at 3 am to prepare for, and then drive 80 miles to, a cooking demonstration on a local morning TV show. I’d planned a nap while my babysitter sat with (chased) Nick; but she phoned to let me know she wouldn’t be in today. I stifled a scream and said "ok."
So here I yawn.
But no worries. Somehow it wouldn’t have felt right to return to blogging in anything other than my typical heavy-eyed humor.
The temptation to re-enter the blogworld a few days early was intense; a week-long break felt like laziness, going soft. I tend towards leniency with most everyone, but with myself, it’s all oblique manipulations and pawky obstinacy. A brief reminder of the events leading to my self-imposed absence was enough to keep me away. Here’s an abbreviated list of what suggested a break in my routine was necessary:
(1) One of my dear friends just had a baby and I twice (on two separate phone calls, two different days) referred to her caesarian as a circumcision (My friend Mercy, who reads and posts here often, can attest to this—she was the baffled person at the other end of the line on both occasions).
(2) I forgot my phone number while leaving a message on my physician’s voicemail. It’s not a new number.
(3) I fell asleep on Nick’s floor as we played with blocks.
(4) I thought I had lost my keys and frantically searched for them when I realized (several minutes later) that I was holding them. (To my credit, I was also holding a 30+ pound toddler, a ducky blanket and sunglasses in the same arm/hand; the keys got smushed into the mix).
Well, once again I’ve strayed from a tight entry of crisp certainty to a lyrical flood-tide of effusions. Best to get on with the food! I can think of few better ways to return than with chocolate, namely chocolate mousse.
Chocolate mousse recipes are abundant (try Googling; you’ll get more than a million hits). So why try mine? First (and this one should always be first for a chocolate dessert) it’s irresistible, decadent with deep chocolate flavor. Second, it’s fast and easy to make. Third, it’s foolproof (that come’s straight from this fool’s mouth). And fourth, it’s good for you. That’s right; not just lighter in fat and calories, but darn-right healthful, thanks to the soy and dark chocolate. I’ve already eaten one and a half helpings (purely for my health—ha!).
You can wait for a special occasion to make the mousse, but why? It’s rich enough to qualify as Friday-night comfort food, and you can pick up the ingredients on the way home.
It’s good to be back.
It's really important to use the shelf-stable, vacuum-packed variety of tofu here--it is very smooth and leads to a perfectly silken mousse texture. Refrigerated (fresh) tofu will yield a grainy texture.
I always opt for natural cocoa powder (unless it's marked as Dutch process, it is more than likely natural). It is earthy brown and has a deep chocolate flavor. Plus, it has far more antioxidants than Dutch process varieties (many of the antioxidants are stripped away in the processing of the latter).
Great chocolate leads to a great chocolate mousse, but honestly, this recipe is great with supermarket chocolate, too. If you have bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, you can use them in place of the choppped chocolate: 1/2 cup is 3 ounces.
Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse
This mousse is so simple to prepare and so delicious—no one ever guesses that tofu is one of the primary ingredients. Experiment and use any favorite liqueur or spirit in place of the Kahlua: Grand Marnier, Irish Cream, Frangelico, Crème de Menthe, brandy and whiskey are just a few of the sumptuous options.
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tablespoons Kahlua (coffee-flavored liqueur)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 12.3-ounce packages reduced-fat silken tofu, drained (e.g., Mori-Nu brand)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Extra coca powder for sprinkling
Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, liqueur, vanilla, salt and tofu in a blender or food processor. Process mixture until perfectly smooth.
Place chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted; remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Add chocolate to tofu mixture in blender or processor and process until smooth.
Divide mousse evenly among six 6-ounce ramekins or decorative cups (e.g., cappuccino cups). Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Just before serving, sprinkle tops with cocoa powder. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition per Serving:Calories 209; Fat 6g (poly 0.7g, mono 1.9g, sat 3.2g); Protein 9.0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 33.2g.