Valentine’s Day rarely contributes much normalcy to my life. One year, I ended up at a Tex Mex themed bar in the middle of the ghetto. While neon-colored margheritas were ubiquitous, not a soul was dining on any food. Regardless, my date insisted we stay for dinner. The music was so loud it was hard to object.
The next year, I went out for pizza with one of my best friends. A boy, who would later become my boyfriend, ended up joining us out. Towards the end of the dinner, my friend accidentally tipped over her cup of ice water, which then went all over the boy’s lap. It was below freezing outside, but thankfully he took it well. There were no first kisses that night.
Last Valentine’s Day, I came home to a huge package in the mail. I was given a large bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolate, and an assortment of pastries from a local bakery. All sounds fantastic, right? Sure it was fantastic, but unfortunately the friend zone conversation I had to have with my admirer didn’t go over so well. He no longer speaks to me anymore.
This year? This year I’m flying solo with no plans in mind, and I’m fairly certain it will be the most normal Valentine’s Day I’ve had yet. Although, living in a city, you never know what could happen. If Valentine’s Day does end up as just another Thursday night with a square or two of dark chocolate and a good beer to myself, and maybe a phone call with a girl friend to BS about life, I’ll be 100% okay with that. Sometimes normalcy is fine by me.
If you are, however, looking for something a little out of the ordinary to celebrate V-day, might I suggest this recipe. Chocolate mousse is a classic, and loved by all. But this definitely isn’t your classic mousse. While it tastes every bit as rich as the real deal, here, heavy cream is swapped for silken tofu to create a much lighter version of this chocolaty treat. Scooped into phyllo cups, whether its for your best friend or your lover, these are bound to impress your date. And trust me, unless you tell them, they’ll likely never guess the secret ingredient. If you want to keep the whole recipe vegan, simply ditch the phyllo cups for a graham cracker based crust. Make mini tarts for an equally adorable treat.
- -1 (1-lb)package silken tofu
- -2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- -1 tsp vanilla extract
- -1/3 cup espresso coffee or strongly-brewed coffee
- -1 slightly overflowing Tbsp maple syrup
- -2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- -Salt, dash
- -Powdered or regular sugar, for sprinkling
- -Fruit, handful of your choice (Bananas, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, etc.)
- -Shaved chocolate, optional
- -10 sheets of phyllo dough (Feel free to substitute mini vegan pie crusts, such as a graham cracker tart)
- -1/2 cup of butter
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or create your own double boiler by placing a small metal bowl atop a pan of simmering water, add chocolate to the bowl, and stir frequently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coffee. Place in food processor along with tofu, maple syrup, cocoa powder and a dash of salt. Process until smooth.
- Place in bowl and refrigerator for at least two hours. Flavor improves upon refrigeration and consistency becomes denser. However, if you want a lighter mousse, feel free to skip the refrigeration step.
- Meanwhile, make the phyllo cups. Preheat oven to 375F. Take a muffin tin and spray cups lightly with cooking oil.
- Lay out a sheet of phyllo dough on a clean cutting board. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle very lightly with sugar. Lay another sheet on top and repeat the process until you have 5 sheets stacked. Cut into 12 squares. Lightly press each square into muffin tin cups. Bake for 4-6 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and place on a cooling wrack.
- Repeat the process with 5 more sheets of phyllo dough and bake remaining 12 cups.
- Once cups are cool and mousse has refrigerated, scoop a generous dollop of mouse into each cup. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar, if desired, and top with fruit and/or whipped cream. Serve.
- (These are best when eaten within the first two hours or so.)
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Watch carefully and don't let them burn. Take out and twist out of cups.