Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chocolate Almond Midnight: The Remix

I recently received a bunch of coupons for free Nasoya products to review. I typically buy the cheap-o Whole Foods brand tofu because all tofu tastes the same to me. Nasoya is about a dollar higher than the generic stuff. But since it was free, I stocked up on several different Nasoya products, including Nasoya regular Silken Tofu and their Dark Chocolate Silken Style Creations.

I planned to use both products in my attempt recreate Chocolate Almond Midnight, the amazing torte I had at Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco last week. You might remember this photo from my Millennium post. This torte was the best thing I ever put in my mouth:

Though I purchased The Artful Vegan (Millennium's second cookbook) while I was at the restaurant, I later learned that the Chocolate Almond Midnight recipe was printed in their older book, The Millennium Cookbook. Thankfully, Swell Vegan was super swell and e-mailed me the recipe (which she graciously took the time to type out!).

The recipe is a bit different from the torte I had at the restaurant, which was topped with a creamy white chocolate mousse. The recipe from the cookbook didn't include the mousse, but I wanted to try and recreate it anyway by combining the regular silken tofu with melted vegan white chocolate chips and sugar. After making the mousse my way, I realized that The Artful Vegan contains a recipe for their mousse. But it contained cocoa butter, which I wouldn't even know where to find.

I layered my white chocolate mousse atop the Nasoya dark chocolate tofu and baked it in a cashew crust. Then I topped that with maple praline almonds, chocolate ganache, and (not picture here) fresh raspberry sauce:

Here's an inside shot so you can see the layers:

The result? Delicious. But not quite as tasty as the Millennium's version. I loved the fluffiness of their mousse, but my version is definitely a keeper. And that Nasoya dark chocolate tofu — oh my god, ya'll. It's just like chocolate pudding. There's no beany tofu taste whatsoever. In fact, I just ate a bowl of the leftover chocolate tofu by itself.

As for Nasoya's plain silken tofu, I love how it comes in a one-pound package instead of the 12.3-ounce aseptic package. Sometimes you just need a full pound of silken tofu.

Since I changed the recipe for Chocolate Almond Midnight so much, I think it's okay to re-print it here as an adaptation. Here ya go:

Chocolate Almond Midnight: The Remix
Adapted from The Millennium Cookbook

Cashew Crust
1/3 cup raw cashews
3 tbsp turbinado
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp salt

Chocolate Mousse
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 package of Nasoya Dark Chocolate Style Creations silken tofu
2 Tbsp. cornstarch (dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt

White Chocolate Mousse
1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips
3/4 package Nasoya Silken tofu, plain
1/4 cup turbinado
2 Tbsp. cornstarch (dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Maple Almond Praline
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup slivered almonds

Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows)
Fresh fruit, cocoa powder, and finely shredded fresh mint for garnish

To make the cashew crust: Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil an 8-inch round springform or false bottom pan. In a food processor, grind the cashews until they resemble fine meal. Add the Sucanat, oil, and vanilla. Process again until well combined. In a small bowl, stir the flour and salt together. Add the cashew mixture and mix into the flour, beginning with a spatula and ending with your hands. press the crust into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light brown and dry.

To make the chocolate mousse: In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips for about 30 seconds (check after 30 seconds and if they're not melted, add another 30 seconds). In a blender or food processor, combine the dark chocolate silken tofu, cornstarch slurry, vanilla, and salt. Process, then add the melted chocolate and blend for 2 minutes, or until very smooth and completely combined.

To make the white chocolate mousse: In a microwave, melt the white chocolate chips for about 30 seconds (check after 30 seconds and if they're not melted, add another 30 seconds). In a blender or food processor, combine plain silken tofu, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch slurry. Process, and then add the melted white chocolate. Blend until very smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil the sides of the cake pan above the prebaked crust. Pour the dark chocolate mousse mixture into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and very gently pour the white chocolate mousse on top of the dark chocolate. Bake for another 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then run a paring knife around the inside of the pan. Let the cake cool to the touch, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Unmold just before serving (I used a regular cake pan so I didn't unmold ... just sliced it from pan).

To make the praline: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Add the almond and stir constantly until the maple syrup has completely crystallized onto the almonds and the almonds appear dry.Pour the almonds onto a baking sheet and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 weeks.

Once the pie is cooled, scatter the praline bits on top, pressing them gently into the white chocolate mousse. Top with ganache.

To serve, cut the cake into 8 pieces. For each serving, pool Raspberry Sauce on a plate and top with a slice of cake. Garnish with fresh fruit, cocoa powder, and mint.

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. soy milk

Combine the chocolate and milk in a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Stir to combine. Allow to cool about ten minutes and then spoon into a pastry bag. Pipe ganache on top of pie in your desired pattern.

Raspberry Sauce
makes 1 cup

2 cups fresh or 10 ounces unsweetened frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup turbinado

In a blender, combine the raspberries and turbinado, then blend to a smooth sauce. Strain the sauce through a fine-meshed sieve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


I know it's a long recipe, but it's so delicious! Definitely worth the time it takes to make it. By the way, if you haven't entered my Vegan Essential gift certificate giveaway, the contest remains open until Wednesday. Go here for details.


jessy said...

sweet, sweet awesomeness, Bianca! you've out done yourself with your rendition of the chocolate almond midnight gloriousness! that was super awesome of Swell Vegan to send ya the recipe, and i love all of your additions and tweaks. it's one deliciously divine look'n dessert, and one that i'll have to make, too. mmmmmmmmm!

i just recently found coconut butter in my local natural foods store. it was the artisana brand and i found it near the raw nut butters. it's some delicious stuff. thanks so much for sharing your rock'n recipe!

Anonymous said...

That sounds amazing Bianca! I can't wait to try it. I've been meaning to try the chocolate Nasoya since it came out, but I was afraid it would be beany.

Is the Millenium pie even better than a S'mlove? I can't even imagine a dessert better than that!

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

Do you eat all your creations yourself or does somebody help you?

River - The Crafty Kook said...

Oh my torte! Heavenly chocolate goodness! I am not really a fan of tofu pies, but this one looks way too good. Ha! From now on I don't ever want to hear anybody say that vegans miss out on goodies! :-D

Michal said...

Those look so rich and nom worthy for sure, you have really out done yourself! :) I am a huge fan of the chocolate nasoya but since it is so expensive i only get it every once in a while.

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Yum! Thanks for posting this- I love love love silken tofu pies.

Cole said...

Holy moly, I really need to get me some of that pie.

Tanya said...

That looks WAY too good. And there's chocolate tofu??? I learn something new everyday :)

radioactivegan said...

Where do you get vegan white chocolate? I heard rumors of an accidentally vegan grocery store brand, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere :(

Anonymous said...

I think your version looks decadent and beautiful! Glad I could help a sister out :)

Anonymous said...

Easily I assent to but I dream the collection should prepare more info then it has.

Nasoya said...

Thanks for the amazing and yummy review!


Mary said...

The maple praline almonds make it for me! Wowza.

I almost always buy Nasoya, since there's no store brand available near me. I use the silken in my smoothies and the extra firm for everything else.

Anonymous said...

Well, that just looks super amazing!

Just found your blog, really enjoying it. :)

Anonymous said...

I luv that brand of tofu (we don't have a trader joes here in Houston..what kinda sense does THAT make?).

Anyhow..the results look fab. Thanx for sharing the recipe!

Tiffany said...

Ooooh wow that looks delicious. I still haven't tried a tofu silk pie-esque creation and this has convinced me that I am missing out. I'll have to try your recipe sometime, for sure!

Claryn said...

Wow, this looks so good. I love how perfect tofu is for recreating mousse. Thanks for sharing!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, YUM! I am far too lazy to make Millennium dishes.

Cassie - Vegan Fox said...

Chocolate tofu? That's wild! I've never seen such a thing,