Every kid has at least one food that he or she dreads seeing on the table come dinnertime. Liver. Brussels sprouts. Toad stroganoff (as imagined by the ever hyperbolic, notoriously picky Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes). In retrospect, I can see that I had it pretty good, but nevertheless, for me, that food was tofu. The only time I was ever happy to be served tofu? When it came dressed as dessert, completely masked in flavor by chocolate and sugar in the form of a luscious chocolate mousse.
Even though I knew full well what the mousse’s key ingredient was, I loved its refreshing, luxuriant silkiness. We used to buy it at the store until we realized just how easy it is to make at home – you only need a handful of ingredients, a blender, and a few minutes! This chocolate mousse can easily stand alone as a dessert, but adding a few garnishes to turn it into a parfait provides texture and enhances its presentation. After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?!
This was my first time using coconut cream to make a whipped topping, and to be honest, I was a little dubious at first. While I thought it turned out well in the end, a few words to the wise (and/or coconut cream newbies): yes, you will be able to taste a hint of coconut and no, you will not actually mistake it for regular whipped cream. That said, it’s a nice dairy-free option and it enabled me to keep these parfaits vegan! If you’re not concerned with such dietary restrictions, feel free to use regular whipped cream on top – this may also be a prudent choice if you have to make a last-minute dessert and are pressed for time, since the coconut cream does need to be refrigerated overnight.
- 1 package (16 ounces) silken tofu
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 Oreo cookies (or similar chocolate sandwich cookies), crumbled
- 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- If you’re going to top the parfaits with whipped coconut cream, place the unopened can of coconut cream in the refrigerator the night before you plan to serve the parfaits. If not, proceed to step 2.
- Place the silken tofu, drained of any excess liquid in the package, into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Heat the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments (the total amount of time will depend on the power of your microwave) until completely melted. Add the melted chocolate, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the tofu and blend until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Refrigerate the mousse for at least an hour before serving.
- To make the whipped coconut cream, scoop out the chilled solid cream from the can, leaving behind the liquid at the bottom (you won’t need this liquid). Place the cream in the bowl of a mixer and mix until smooth (20-30 seconds is sufficient). Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated. Unlike regular whipped cream, whipped coconut cream won’t really separate or deflate, so you don’t need to worry about making this just before serving.
- Assemble the parfaits: portion out half of the chocolate mousse into 4 glasses. Layer half of the crumbled Oreo cookies on top, then the remaining mousse, whipped coconut cream, the remaining Oreos, and the shredded coconut and sliced almonds.
- I highly recommend using silken tofu. I have made this mousse with firm tofu as well; it will certainly work, although you’ll probably need to add a few tablespoons of liquid (soy milk or even just water) to get it to blend it properly. The difference in end results is that with silken tofu, you’ll get a softer, lighter, creamier mousse, while with firm tofu, you’ll get a much denser, more filling (almost solid) mousse. I very much enjoy the denser one on its own, but for parfaits, I prefer the lighter one.
- Whipped coconut cream adapted from Minimalist Baker