Monday Night Martha: Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding

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First off, the name "Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding" has too many adjectives to sound as though it would taste any good. It's like it was invented during a bad game of culinary Mad Libs.

Second, who the heck puts tofu in pudding? Nonetheless, we spotted this recipe in last week's New York Times and haven't been able to shake the thought of it.

This isn't Bill Cosby's JELL-O pudding. Silken tofu makes the pudding creamy but also adds protein to the dessert, which is really odd when you think about it. Then there's this special zinginess thanks to the cinnamon and chili powder. This recipe is vegetarian but could even be made vegan if you purchased the right chocolate.

A word to the wise when melting the chocolate: Use a microwave. Or, if you insist on stove-topping it all the way, at least do yourself the common courtesy of making sure the pan and utensils are bone dry.

When we began to mix the half-melted chocolate, we made the mistake of using the same wooden spoon used for the simple syrup without first washing and drying the spoon. Then we got distracted by the interweb and in the blink of an eye, the chocolate had seized up, becoming grainy and practically unusable.

Now, not only are we occasionally inept and lazy in the kitchen, we're also cheap and didn't feel like running to the store to buy another eight ounces of chocolate. So we transferred the chocolate mush into a Pyrex cup, microwaved it for about 30 seconds, then poured in a quarter cup of milk and stirred the heck out of it. That seemed to do the trick.

It was downhill from there. We put the chocolate in the blender, added the spices, simple syrup and tofu and blitzed it beyond recognition.

Last, we poured the mix into little cups and let them cool in the fridge during dinner. If you want to get extra fancy, you can drizzle chocolate shavings on top of the ramekins right before you're going to serve the pudding.

All in all, despite our foibles in the chocolate department, this dish was easy to make and tasted surprisingly great. We'd make it again if we were having a group of friends over for a dinner party. 

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