I’m not vegan, but I’m all for making healthier substitutes where it doesn’t make a huge difference in taste, especially when it involves saving time. Lately, I’ve become a rabid fan of using silken tofu in desserts. It’s simpler to make than an egg and dairy based custard, with all of the richness and none of the cholesterol.
Silken tofu, also called “Soft tofu” has not been drained or pressed, giving it a higher water content than firm tofu and a satiny smooth texture which makes it perfect for making faux custards. It also tends to have a milder soybean flavor, making it easy to obscure with other ingredients.
While the name may sound like the Chinese dessert of the same name, I made this pudding in the style of a trifle, using alternating layers of custard with digestive biscuits. The hard cookies absorb moisture from the custard as it sits in the fridge overnight, setting the pudding, while giving the digestives a moist cake-like texture.
If you use ripe fruit, you also don’t need to add any extra sugar as the fruit will sweeten the custard, but if you don’t feel like it’s sweet enough, you can always add some agave nectar.
While I used mangoes this pudding would be just as good with made with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches… well you get the idea.
Vegan Mango Pudding
- 340 grams (12 ounces) silken tofu
- 3 ripe medium-sized mangoes
- agave nectar (optional)
- 20 vegan digestive biscuits
- Put the tofu in a colander and allow it to drain over a bowl for at least 30 minutes to get rid of the extra water.
- Peel two of the mangoes and remove as much fruit as possible from around the seed using a knife. You should have about 400 grams (14 ounces) of fruit. Put the mango and drained tofu into a blender and blend until smooth. If your mango was ripe, you shouldn't need to add any sugar, but if it's not sweet enough for your tastes, add some agave nectar.
- In a glass bowl, spread a 1/4" layer of pudding down and top with biscuits. You can break the biscuits up into pieces to make them fit into the nooks and crannies. Continue alternating layers of biscuits and pudding until you run out of pudding (the top layer should be pudding).
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- To finish, peel and slice the remaining mango and spread the slices on top of the pudding. To serve, use a spoon to scoop the mango pudding into serving bowls.
Yield: 6 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.