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Chocolate Tofu Mousse (Healthy) guys!

Ok, don’t freak out seeing the title. If you hate tofu, let me tell you that it is not as bad as you think it is! πŸ˜€ Just try it in this form & I’m sure you will like it! It is surprisingly delicious and since Tofu is healthy, you can offset the guilt of eating a high-calorie dish by a nutritious dish! πŸ˜‰
A typical mousse is made from egg & cream in combination with other flavors. But since this is a pure vegetarian blog, I had to look for alternatives. I came across an interesting Vegan recipe. I’ve made suitable variations to the recipe to make it Vegetarian.
Wanna read more about Mousse? Click HERE.

SILKEN TOFU – 200 grams (7 oz.) {Read about it here}
Cooking Chocolate – 200 grams (or chocolate chips)
Soy Milk – 20-25 ml (I used Chocolate flavored)
Sugar / Maple Syrup – 1-2 tablespoons (or as per taste)
Vanilla Extract – 1/2 teaspoon

1. Add the tofu into a blender & blend well for about 2 minutes. (you can use a hand blender too)

2. Add the soy milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Puree until completely smooth. Set aside.

3. Using the double boiler method, melt the chocolate.{take a small sauce pan and fill half way with water. On top of that place a small sautΓ© pan. Fill the sautΓ© pan with chocolate chips and bring the water to a boil. Use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate as it melts. Once melted, remove from heat and let cool for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally}
4. Add the melted chocolate to the tofu mixture & blend until you get a smooth mixture. (No lumps)

5. Transfer the mixture into an air-tight container or a bowl covered in saran wrap and let chill for 1-2 hours.

6. ENJOY your healthy mousse! πŸ™‚

*** VERDICT: Ah, well I prefer the high-calorie creamy mousse! πŸ™‚ If you don’t like the smell of soy milk or tofu, then this one is definitely NOT for you. This one is good, no doubt about THAT. But the original one is better any day! πŸ˜‰ Watch out for the authentic mousse. Coming up soon…


Poha Chivda (Crispy Rice Flakes Snack)

Poha Chivda is a healthy & tasty any time snack made with Beaten Rice, Peanuts & other spices. Its crunchy & a perfect substitute for Chips. You can make this on the stove as well as in microwave. The following recipe uses a microwave. I’ve also given the steps to make this on stove after the pictures in italics.

Rice Flakes / Beaten Rice / Poha – 2 cups (4 palmfuls/ 200 grams)
Roasted Peanut / Groundnut – 2 tablespoons
Vegetable Cooking Oil – 1 tablespoon
Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Roasted Chickpea – 2 tablespoon
Curry Leaves – 5-8 leaves
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – to taste (1 teaspoon)
Green Chili – 2 (chopped)
Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon (optional)

1. Place the poha in a shallow microwave-safe dish and microwave for 1-2 minutes. The soft flakes would have turned crispy. Keep aside
** Roast it on a frying pan at high flame for about 2 minutes. Don’t add oil

2. Roast the peanuts & chickpea in microwave for 2 minutes. Keep aside.

** Again, you can roast this on a pan without oil.

3. In another microwave safe bowl, combine the oil and mustard seeds & cumin (optional) and microwave for 2 minutes. Add the green chillies, curry leaves, unsalted peanuts, roasted chickpea, salt and turmeric powder to the mustard-oil mixture and microwave on high for 1 more minute.

** Instead of a microwave bowl, heat oil in a pan, add the mustard, chili etc & directly add it to the rice flakes / poha

5. Add this to the poha. Mix well and microwave on high for 1 more minute. Add a drop of lemon juice/citric acid if you want. **OR Roast it on the stove in medium heat for about 1 minute

How to cook with Agar Agar/ China Grass/ Kanten/ Gelatin

China grass or Agar Agar or Kanten is a sea weed and completely vegetarian. It gives a smooth, glossy finish and many chefs prefer to use it over gelatin. China grass, if used properly sets easily at room temperature. The method of using Agar Agar or Gelatin (which is derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones) may be the same. We must be careful to follow the recipe correctly to get the desired texture.

Some useful tips to cook with agar agar / china grass / kanten :-

1. They need to be broken into pieces and softened by soaking in cold water for about 10-15 minutes.

2. Heat in low flame for them to melt completely. Never heat on a high or even medium flame.

3. When you boil agar agar, stir continuously or the flakes/powder will set in the bottom.

4. Do not over cook the agar agar mixture as it tends to set while cooking.

5. The agar agar mixture has to be added to another hot mixture immediately. Both the mixtures have to be HOT for the agar agar to set properly. If any one of them is cold, then your dessert will not set properly.

6. In case the agar agar mixture solidifies before you add to another hot mixture, reheat in low flame until it melts again completely & then add it.

You can use them to make Jellies, Mousse etc!

Silken Tofu and Regular Tofu!

In my next recipe, I’m gonna come up with an interesting dessert with Tofu. (stay tuned) Tofu is extremely good for health. And most people cringe hearing Tofu. But I’m sure, they’ll change their opinion when they taste this recipe. So, before I post about the secret recipe, here’s what you need to know about tofu:-

Source: Click here
Either read it here or click on the link.

There are two main kinds of tofu: silken and regular. Silken tofu, also called soft, silk or Japanese-style tofu has a softer consistency than regular tofu and will fall apart if not handled carefully. You may notice that silken tofu (soft tofu), unlike regular tofu, is sometimes packaged in aseptic boxes that do not require refrigeration. Because of this, silken tofu is sometimes sold in a different section of grocery stores than regular tofu, which is packed in water and requires refrigeration.
Both silken and regular tofu can be found in soft, medium, firm and extra firm consistencies. They are made from the same ingredients, but they are processed slightly differently, and are not interchangeable in a recipe.

Silken Tofu

Most recipes will let you know when silken tofu is needed. I find that there is little difference between firm and extra firm silken tofu, and for most purposes, the different kinds of silken tofu are interchangeable, so don’t worry if your grocer only stocks one kind.
Salad dressings, sauces and desserts usually use silken tofu for a thick and creamy texture. Silken tofu in an aseptic container has a shelf life of up to a year, unopened. Once opened, submerge any used portion with water in a container, cover, and refrigerate for up to a week.

Regular Tofu

Regular tofu, also called Chinese-style tofu or bean curd is more common than silken tofu and comes in a plastic container in the refrigerator or produce section of most grocery stores. Firm or extra firm regular tofu is best used in stir fries, tofu bakes or any dish where you will want the tofu to retain its shape. For recipes that call for crumbled or mashed tofu, such as mock ricotta or scrambled tofu, firm tofu will work just fine, though medium or soft tofu will have a smoother consistency~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’ll let you out on a small secret. The recipe calls for silken tofu. So, keep that ready folks! πŸ˜‰

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Good Morning People! πŸ™‚
As I was saying yesterday, since I discovered how bloody easy it is to make an ice cream, I made a batch of Vanilla, Strawberry & Fresh Mint Ice creams! πŸ˜€ And so tasty were they that me & my brother have already finished with Mint & Vanilla!
Fresh Mint has a very bright taste to it. Combine it with some chocolate chips & you’ve got yourself a brilliant ice cream. So, let us begin…

Fresh Mint Leaves – 3/4 cup (100 grams)
Milk – 400 ml
Heavy/ Whipping Cream – 100 ml
Milk Powder – 25 grams (Skip & use more milk {50ml} & 1/2 tsp extra cornflour OR 20 ml cream)
Cornflour – 1 tablespoon
Sugar – 3/4 cup (100 grans) or as per taste
Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon 
Chocolate Chips – optional

1. Roughly tear the mint leaves into small pieces.
2. Put the sugar, milk, milk powder, 1 tbsp cream & mint leaves in a heavy saucepan & heat until just steaming. (Do NOT let it boil)
3. Cover and let it stand for 30 minutes.
4. Again, heat the mixture until it comes to a boil, remove; cover & let it stand for another 15-20 minutes.
** This step is to infuse the mint leaves’ flavour into the milk mixture

 5. Strain the milk mixture into a container in which you want to freeze your ice cream. Discard the mint leaves.
6. In a pan, add the heavy cream  & 1 tbsp cornflour and mix well. Place it on the heat & stir continuously until the cream thickens a bit. Then take it off the heat.
7. Add this cream to the mint flavoured milk & whip/beat well with an electric or manual whisk. Add the lemon juice and again whisk well. Add chocolate chips if you want & mix well.
8. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Then put it in a shallow bowl & freeze it for about 1 hour until the ice cream is slushy.
9. Remove & beat again for 2-3 minutes & freeze.
10. Repeat step 9 about 4-5 times to give the ice cream a smooth texture.
11. Sccop & Serve! ☺

Strawberry puree red, juicy strawberry is one of my favorite fruits! We’ll learn how to make the Strawberry puree in this post. It can be used in many recipes such as the strawberry ice cream, as a topping for pies etc.

Ripe Strawberries

1. Wash the strawberries well.
2. Cut them into halves. Remove the leaves
3. Run them through a blender until smooth. (5 minutes)
4. You can add a few lemon juice drops
5. Add sugar if desired. But since they are already so sweet, I don’t think most of you will want it.

Strawberry ICE CREAM, now that I discovered how EASY it is to make ice cream, I didn’t just stop at Vanilla! I made a batch of Stawberry & Fresh Mint too. I found some other Veg recipes for ice cream too. But this basic recipe was by far the easiest one. And it didn’t call for ingredients like corn syrup (which, inspite of my best efforts, I couldn’t find) I’ll probably try the other recipes if & when I get those ingredients. But for now, I am incredibly happy with this one. πŸ˜€
Ingredients – 
3/4 cup Strawberry Puree
1 cup (150 ml) Milk
2 teaspoons Cornflour
1 cup (100 ml) Heavy Cream
25-30 grams of Powdered sugar (or as per taste)

1. Make the puree. (Click on this link to see how)
2. Mix the cornflour in 1-2 tablespoons of water & set aside.
3. Heat the milk in a pan. When it comes to boil, add HALF of the sugar & the cornflour-water & stir until slightly thick. (Simmer around 2-4 minutes)
4. Remove from heat & cool completely.
5. Take the heavy cream, add the remaining half of sugar & whip (with manual or electric whisk or beater) for about 5-10 minutes until soft peaks form.
6. Mix the cooled Milk mixture with the heavy whipped cream and the strawberry puree. Adjust sugar according to your taste.
7. Pour the mixture in a shallow bowl, cover & freeze for about 2 hours until it is slushy.
8. Remove, run it in the blender to break the ice crystals and again pour into shallow bowl, cover & freeze
9. Repeat step 8 for 3-4 times in order to get a smooth texture.
10. Scoop & Serve!