A few weeks ago Shivani Vora, friend and renowned journalist, invited me to a dessert tasting by a company called Vegan Divas. Since I heard the word ‘vegan’ I assumed that I wouldn’t be eating all that much. After all, how were desserts like chocolate mousse going to provide aeration with the absence of whipped eggs and where would that creamy mouth feel come from, that so indulgently coats the mouth, without cream?
I showed up to the event to find a huge spread of sweet treats and each treat looked better and furthermore, tasted better, than the next. Duped again by preconceived notions, I had to admit that not only were these desserts capable of rivaling their non-vegan counter parts, but they offered an added benefit: a fresh palate, free from fatty residues that typically accompany dairy desserts.
After munching on the carrot cake, donuts, cookies of the most exotic variety and of course, chocolate mousse, I had to express my enthusiasm to the lady behind this brain child – Fernanda Capobianco.
I have tried many vegan desserts in the past, but whatever I have tasted has never quite measured up to what it claimed to be. After seeing Fernanda in action at her factory in Long Island City, it became clear that she would settle for nothing but the best and for her, the best could only be an outcome of the finest ingredients.
Surrounded by the most wholesome confection and the most elegant deserts, Fernanda invited me to help make her spiced chocolate mousse. I would have never believed that a chocolate mousse could taste this good without its ‘key ingredients’. But why take my word for it, as the saying goes ‘the proof is in the pudding’.
Saira Malhotra is a classically trained chef and graduate from the French Culinary Institute. Saira brings her European, Asian and American background together via the palate and communicated through her food blog: www.passportpantry.com.
Calories per serving: 270 per serving
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 4-5 hours chilling
Total time: 4-5 hours 20 mins
2 1/2 packages of extra firm Mori-Nu Silken tofu
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup Sucanat(dehydrated cane juice)
2 cups vegan, kosher and non-dairy chocolate chips
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
1. In a large food processor, combine tofu, Sucanat, vanilla extract and salt. Process for 7 minutes until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
2. In a double boiler, place chocolate chips and canola oil, melt ingredients slowly so the chocolate doesn't scorch. Stir constantly.
3. When chocolate has fully melted and is smooth and silky, place in food processor with all ingredients and process 5 minutes, incorporating everything from the sides of the food processor
4. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Serve topped with raspberries or cocoa nibs.