A strange combination, some of you might be thinking - and I don't blame you at all! I experimented with this recipe as part of a new blogging event called They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT), Martin has set the challenge for people to come up with recipes for ingredients that wouldn't usually be put in the same dish, this month - Chocolate, Coffee and Garlic. It's all scientific with flavour pairings and such and if you are interested in all that you can read more about it on his blog as he can explain it much better than I ever could. We have been asked to describe the flavours of the dish, i will try my best to do this so please excuse the long post.
At first I wasn't sure if I would participate in this event as I wasn't sure if I was up to it, but I added it to my calender nonetheless and kept it in the back of my mind. In the meantime, a packet of tofu was lurking in the back of my fridge getting rather close to it's expiry date. I have seen a lot of talk about chocolate mousse made with tofu, so when the dessert bug hit me tonight I decided to give it a go. In my search online for a recipe I came across this one which used coffee as well, with 2 of the 3 required ingredients this set off a lightbulb - why not put some garlic in there too? So off I went, never having tried tofu mousse before, or a dessert with garlic in it - this could end in disaster!
Of course I had to alter the recipe a little so here it is:
Mocha Tofu Mousse with Garlic (Serves 6)
Firstly roast 8-10 whole garlic cloves in a slow oven (150-170C) for about 20 minutes. Roasting the garlic cloves takes the rawness out of them giving them a lovely sweet flavour and a soft, squishy texture. This texture will allow the garlic to be blended into the mousse without leaving lumps throughout.
In the meantime, drain 600g silken tofu for 10 minutes to allow it to dry out a little bit, then blend in the food processor until smooth. Add 1/2C cocoa powder & 3Tbsp instant coffee powder and process again until smooth.
Melt 125g dark chocolate in the microwave for approximately 45 seconds, or until smooth. (You can also melt it in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water if you prefer.) Add melted chocolate, 1/2C maple syrup, 1/4C golden syrup (you can use 3/4C maple syrup as the original recipe calls for, I just didn't have enough in my cupboard), 2tsp vanilla extract, chopped roasted garlic cloves & 1/2C caster sugar and process again until mixture is completely smooth.
Transfer to ramekins, individual moulds or glasses and refrigerate, covered, for several hours or overnight.
Ok, so I cheated a little as I had to get this post up tonight (the deadline is tomorrow, when I have promised myself I will be doing my essay which is due on Wednesday), I only left this in the fridge for half an hour before trying it, but I have left the rest to try properly sometime tomorrow and I will update about it.
The not-quite-ready mousse was still fairly thick and tasted strongly of chocolate and coffee (which hit the tastebuds in that order), the garlic taste was very subtle, both my mother and I could taste it in the aftertaste, although my brother said he couldn't taste it at all. This could be due to the roasting process which subdues the natural flavour of garlic and sweetens it, or it could be due to the fact that there were a lot of other flavours in there - maybe more is needed!
I only made half of the recipe as I only had 1 packet of tofu in my fridge, and I used 4 cloves, In the above recipe I have changed the garlic to 10 cloves as I think it would benefit from a little extra garlic. Although, the amount of garlic I used could be enough if you were looking to just add complexity to the dish without people knowing what the extra thing was - my mother and I both agreed that if we hadn't known there was garlic in it we probably wouldn't have been able to put our finger on the extra flavour. It is difficult to say this with certainty though, as I have not tried this mousse before, so I can't compare this version with a non garlic version.
This mousse is a little less sweet than usual mousse, the original recipe didn't call for sugar at all, but after tasting the mixture I decided it definately needed some sweetening. The dark chocolate also lends a bitterness which goes well with the minimal sugar content.
I'll let you know if anything changes once it has set properly tomorrow!
Well, the mousse has now been in the fridge overnight and the flavours have changed slightly. The coffee flavour is more dominant now, being the first to be recognisable, followed by the chocolate. It is now even harder to pick the garlic flavour out while tasting, but after a minute or so there is a subtle, sweet, roasted garlic aftertaste, but I am still unsure if someone who didn't know there was garlic in there would be able to pick what it is. I need a test subject, but alas there is no one around (I was going to try my brother but he insisted on knowing what was in there before trying it!). I think I would leave the garlic at 8 cloves as any more would dominate the dish, but if you are wanting it to be more dominant, please try 10 cloves and tell me how it goes.
As for the success of the dish - I would definately make it again... both my mother and I absolutely loved it, my brother said it was 'ok' but continued to scoff it down (men!)... It scored an average of 4/5...