A small portion of this of this rich-tasting No-Cook Vegan Chocolate Pudding will satisfy your chocolate cravings. This recipe is from my Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival dessert demo.
I was delighted to be invited back to do a dessert demo at the Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival by the founders, Sarah Feoli and Nira Palidowa, of US Veg Corp. This time I added time to visit the Heard Museum, one of the preeminent museums for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art. My sister-in-law Linda, a department chair at ASU, said lunch at the museum’s outdoor cafe was a must, and it was. The setting is heavenly, and many vegan options made choosing a dish difficult. I opted for the Three Sisters Soup, but the Dreamcatcher Salad, Roots and Shoots, and Market Plates were very appealing. We sat in the bright sun on Thursday, as evidenced by the shadow on my soup.
Friday night my generous Arizona Veg Fest assistant, and friend, Noemi Garcia got me to the 24 Carrots Café in Tempe. Chef-owner Sasha had invited me and Victoria Moran to speak about our vegan journeys. This was super enjoyable in the company of new and longtime friends, and a current Essential Vegan Desserts student, David, and his wife. This was so much fun that I stayed longer than intended, given my early call at Good Morning Arizona on Saturday.
Saturday morning Noemi met me at the studio and we set up for my segment in record time. It was really fun and I especially loved it when the delightful host, Lina de Florias tasted a Brownie Bite and said, “Wow, you’d never know what’s not in them!” Another myth busted with the help of chocolate—yes, vegan food tastes good! We talked about the Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival, and after Noemi and I packed up and loaded her car with props, she took me to the Phoenix Farmers Market. I bought Anasazi beans, one of the best breads I’ve tasted and a vegan pepperjack cheese. These cauliflowers were irresistible and the purple one became dinner! I went back to Linda’s home to gather my gear for the fest.
As it happens sometimes at classes and demos, a recipe has to be changed on the fly and that’s just what I did this time. I made a number of changes to the vegan chocolate pudding recipe as I was making it, and the attendees loved the result. I promised to post the recipe in a blog post, which is what I am doing today. Noemi tasted along the way—it’s safe when no eggs are involved—and we tweaked until the pudding was right. Then we compared notes about what I’d done.
Why’d I change the recipe to make a brand new vegan chocolate pudding? Well, as I teach attendees of Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy in my presentation How to Produce a Vegan Cooking Demo For Everyone, you’ve got to gather detailed information about your venue before you can plan the menu. Here, I decided it would be better for me to make a high-speed blender vegan Chocolate Pudding instead of one that would need cooking. Using the Vitamix in the tent made quantity samples easier to make than the food processor I used to recreate the pudding at home.
I suggest you try this vegan chocolate pudding recipe as written here the first time around, but feel free to change up the spices, add sweetener, use coffee instead of plant milk, and so on. If you swap peanut butter for the almond butter—well, hello chocolate peanut butter cup pudding. Get creative with add-ins and-ons: chopped nuts, cacao nibs or grated chocolate, fruit, cookie, cake crumbs, granola will all work.
At the demo, the Vanilla Pastry Cream I started to make became a chocolate cream with the spontaneous addition of cocoa powder and a bit of organic sugar. The Vanilla Cream recipe can be found here.
Fran’s Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival No-Cook Vegan Chocolate Pudding
This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups for 3 to 4 servings. This recipe calls for date paste, which I talk about in my Chocolate Ganache Torte blog post.
- 2/3 cup almond butter
- 1 cup date paste
- 6 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder, or use raw
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp tamari or shoyu
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract scraped
- 6 to 8 tablespoons almond or soymilk, more as needed to adjust consistency
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut butter, optional
Puree the almond butter, date paste, cocoa powder, sugar, tamari, vanilla and almond extracts in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add 6 tablespoons of the plant milk, the chili powder, cinnamon and salt, and blend or process until creamy.
Taste the pudding and add more spice and / or more sweetener. If you want a still richer pudding, add the coconut butter.
Before removing the pudding from the food processor, spoon a small amount into a small cup. Refrigerate for 15 minutes in order to judge the final consistency. If the pudding is too thick, add more plant milk.
Chill for about an hour before serving in small bowls, with any of the following toppings, or your own choice: vegan cream, cacao nibs, grated chocolate, chopped nuts, sliced dates, cherries or berries