Chef Fran Costigan

Pistachios, White Chocolate & Matcha

White Chocolate and Matcha Mousse Pudding

 

My Facebook feed informed me this morning that I’d missed National Pistachio Day (February 26) by one day. I really like pistachios and so does my granddaughter Georgia Lili.  Her dad, my son Michael, is the one in the family who likes white chocolate and he likes matcha tea too.  Personally, I find white chocolate too sweet, but I got to thinking that matcha and some serious citrus plus crunch might just make a fabulous small portion dessert. Now you have an idea about how I come to develop recipes––it’s definitely not always a straight line. The White Chocolate and Matcha Mousse Pudding in my book, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy Free Desserts, Running Press started just this way. As Georgia and Michael tried their best to cheer me up today after a cup of coffee was spilled on my backup but very much used Macbook Pro, I’m dedicating this blog post to them.

White Chocolate usually contains little cocoa mass (except for cocoa butter) and almost always contains milk or cream powder, which makes it unsuitable for vegans. Vegan White Chocolate Chips, which are admittedly low quality, can be found in kosher marts and at online retailers, such as the Vegan Store and Amazon.com.  I have sampled some good raw white chocolates in Europe and Organic Nectars in the U.S. makes a Golden White Chocolate that sweetened with coconut sugar, thus golden in color and that can be a consideration.

Matcha is a premium green tea powder unique to Japan that is used for drinking as tea and as an ingredient in recipes. The complex flavor is slightly bitter, vegetal, and astringent, but when used as an ingredient, sparingly, the flavor becomes subtler. Matcha adds a lovely light green hue and unique flavor to a dish. Pistachios have unique green color and flavor. Buy nuts in the shell. Do not use the  dyed red ones.

I served this mousse at Fashion Loves Animals last year with the thinly sliced kumquat garnish and extra pistachios, and it was a great success. I also served it at my book signing party at the Natural Gourmet Institute, when kumquats were out of season. We garnished instead with dragon fruit. pictured here. Stunning!

MOUSSE

This mousse/pudding is quite easy to make. If you double the recipe, make it in a food processor. Taste as you go. I actually prefer a bit more matcha. (Matcha may be like cilantro insofar as people seem to love it or loathe it but I think you’ll  really love it here.)  .. But,  this started as a post about National Pistachio Day.  

Here’s the recipe as it appears in Vegan Chocolate.

White Chocolate and Matcha Mousse Pudding 

The tart citrus flavor of the kumquat is a good foil for the rich, sweet unusual cream, and the pistachios add crunch and color. A chewy crispy mochi waffle is an optional but delightful component. The matcha adds an astringent note, but the pudding is sweet. Small portions are the way to go.

Makes 4 to 6 small servings

Note: Vegan white chocolate chips do not fit into the category of high-quality chocolate, but sometimes these chips are the only thing that will do. Like most chocolate chips, they will take longer to melt, so the procedure for melting the chocolate in this recipe does not follow the standard water bath procedure. Dissolving matcha in boiling water makes it taste bitter, so use very hot water instead. 

  • 6 ounces / 171 grams vegan white chocolate chips or another vegan white chocolate
  • 1⁄4 cup / 60 ml almond milk or coconut milk beverage
  • 4 ounces / 116 grams silken tofu (one third of a 12.3-ounce/ 349 gram aseptic box), drained
  • 1 tablespoon / 3 grams matcha 2 tablespoons / 30 ml very hot water (steaming, not boiling)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 thinly sliced kumquats, for serving
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons / 28 grams chopped pistachio nuts, for serving
  • 4 to 6 (1-inch / 2.5-cm) pieces mochi, for garnish (optional)

Put a small heatproof bowl into a skillet and pour enough water into the skillet so that the water reaches halfway up the bowl. Put the chocolate into the bowl.

Bring the water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the water at a bare simmer. When the chocolate looks softer and glossy, stir with a silicone spatula until it is completely melted and smooth.

Add 1 tablespoon of the almond milk or coconut milk beverage, stirring slowly and constantly until incorporated. The chocolate may look curdled as the milk is added but will smooth out as you stir. Repeat with the remaining milk. Turn off the heat. Keep the bowl of white chocolate in the skillet while you prepare the other ingredients.

Put the tofu into a small bowl and mash with a fork.

In a separate small bowl, dissolve the matcha in the hot water. Pour the dissolved matcha over the mashed tofu and stir to combine. Add the tofu mixture and the vanilla to the melted white chocolate.

Using an immersion blender, purée the white chocolate-tofu mixture in the bowl until absolutely smooth. Stir to check for any orphan pieces of tofu and purée again if necessary.

Pour the pudding into individual 4-ounce / 120-ml glasses (you will have enough for 4 to 6 glasses) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until softly set. The flavor of the matcha will continue to develop as the pudding chills.

Serving: Garnish each pudding with sliced kumquats and a sprinkling of the chopped pistachio nuts. Set a piece of mochi waffle, if using, into each glass on an angle.

Keeping: Refrigerate in the individual serving glasses or in a covered container for up to three days.

Check out my Blog Calendar and my Facebook page for current list of events. *EVENT This Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 1st and 2nd*

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Enter VEGTASTIC at Checkout. The special may still be available. NYVEGFOOD FEST is where you will find vendors selling and sampling all kinds of items, food, books, clothing, and more, dynamic speakers including author and director of Main  Street Vegan Academy®, Victoria Moran, and Cro-Mag, Triathlete, Author John Joseph McGowen  plus cooking demos sponsored by the Natural Gourmet Institute, home of the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®  My demo is Sunday at 1pm following Chef Jay Astafa. Sunday brings the team from Vedge, Chefs Kate Jacoby and Rich Landau. Read about my first time at Vedge in V for Vegan here. 

Fran and Victoria at the Academy. Come say hi to us this weekend. We’ll have information about next winter’s Main Street Vegan Academy and Wellness Cruise®. 

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I’ve got two questions for you.

If you could name a FOOD HOLIDAY, what would it be.

Do you consider White Chocolate eating chocolate?

Thanks.

Until soon, warmest wishes

Fran

PS WordPress isn’t letting me preview this post. After the computer debacle today, I’m pretty clear without google that there is a retrograde. So fingers crossed as I hit publish!

 

 

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