Vegan Treats

I’ve found a new favorite cook book. I can’t guarantee everything in it is amazing because it’s still new to me and I’m just starting with the desserts, but every meal I’ve tried in it is awesome. Even my carnivore of a boyfriend has complimented each thing I’ve made from the book, and the recipes are surprisingly hearty while still being healthy. The book is called Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton, and I’ve just started on the dessert recipes. Some are a little risky I think, but several sound fabulous. I chose this one because I had all of the ingredients at home already, except for tofu…yes, tofu.

It’s an interesting idea-putting tofu in a dessert. I knew beforehand that tofu is a versatile ingredient. It absorbs whatever flavors you cook it with, and it will take on different characteristics and textures based on how you cook it. I’ve never had it in a dessert (that I’m aware of), so it’s been a new experience for me to taste it as a sweet topping. Layer it up with chocolate, vanilla extract, and almond butter, and the heck if I can tell the difference. Well, okay, I can tell the difference, but it tastes better than I thought it would. I can’t say I’d dive into another dessert made with tofu, but perhaps my palette just isn’t used to it. Everything is worth a try at least once, right?

Leslie’s Bad but Good Bars

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 8 bars

For the Base

  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened if you want to be good)
  • 2 Tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 8″ by 8″ pan
  • Parchment paper

For the Topping

  • 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup silken extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter

How to Do It

  1. Line an 8″ by 8″ square pan with enough parchment paper that it hangs over the sides slightly.
  2. Mix together the base ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until everything is moistened with the rice syrup and butter. Place the mixture into the center of the pan, and spread out evenly using a rubber spatula or your (clean) fingers.
  3. Whip the tofu in a food processor until it’s smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and nut butter, and whip again. Scrape the sides of the bowl if you need to, and whip until the ingredients are blended and creamy.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. You can set up a small sauce pan of water over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Place the chocolate in a metal mixing bowl, and place the bowl on top of the pan. Continue to move the chocolate around with a wooden spoon until it’s melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into the food processor with the tofu mixture, and whip until the ingredients are blended. Pour the mixture over the base, and use a rubber spatula to smooth it over the entire area.
  6. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm, and slice into bars to serve.

Recipe from Dreena Burton’s eat, drink & be vegan

Baker’s Tip: If you want to make this recipe non-vegan, use regular butter in place of Earth Balance, semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of non-dairy chocolate chips, and cream cheese in place of tofu. It’ll be slightly unhealthy, but at least it’ll be delicious.

 

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