Non-dairy, creamy, rich, dark chocolate orange mousse. Yes, it does exist.
I feel like tofu can be really divisive. There's the "I love tofu" camp, and the "that's the ickiest food ever" camp. A lot of times people are turned off by its texture - and hey, I get it - it's white, slimy, and flavorless - it's not the snugly teddy bear of foods. But those qualities can be a total plus - it's a blank slate! You can marinate it, and give it whatever flavor you want. You can grill it or bake it, and change the color and consistency. You can blend it into drinks and desserts to add a creamy texture without messing up the flavor. See? Glass just went from half empty, to half full.
I just joined a really cool group of health-focused bloggers called the Recipe ReDux. Each month, we're all given a theme, and we each create a different recipe based on that theme. We post them on the same day every month, so you get a lot of recipe options to choose from - all of them designed to be both delicious and healthy. This month, the theme was a chocolate recipe in which the chocolate complements other heart healthy, "good for you" foods. It was thought up by the lovely ladies over at Meal Makeover Moms. My recipe includes tofu (heart healthy soybeans) and oranges (a fruit with lots of fiber), and excludes cream (high in saturated fat). Dark chocolate itself has antioxidants that fight free radicals, which cause cell damage, and may help lower blood pressure. One study showed that milk may interfere with how your body absorbs those antioxidants, but you don't have to worry about milk in this recipe - we use tofu to get a creamy consistency. Topping with whipped cream is up to you, but this recipe could be easily non-dairy by omitting the whipped cream, or using a vegan alternative.
As you know, I love a good presentation, so I scooped out the center of an orange, used the juice for flavor, and spooned the mousse inside. As the mousse chills, it takes on even more of the orange flavor.
Dark Chocolate Orange Tofu Mousse
2 navel oranges, hollowed out & juice reserved
12 oz silken tofu, drained
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped cream (optional)
orange peel shavings to garnish (optional)
1. Melt chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until chocolate is almost completely melted. Stir to dissolve the last bits.
2. Puree 12 ounces of drained tofu with 2 tablespoons of reserved orange juice, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract. A mini food processor is great here, but a blender or immersion blender will work too.
3. Spoon mousse into orange cups and refrigerate, at least one hour.
4. Before serving, top with whipped cream (optional), and garnish with chocolate shavings and orange peel shavings (optional).