Chocolate Halvah Pudding

I was looking for a dessert recipe I could teach in my vegan cooking class. My goal was to make a dessert that people can enjoy without feeling that they have to compromise on flavor, looks, consistency, etc, and that would feel like dessert and not like health food. I did not want something that pretends to be something it is not, like fake cheesecake, eggless meringue, etc. You get the idea – if you abstain from eggs and dairy for a reason, why try to recreate and end up with a mediocre version of them?

Most desserts that are originally vegan, are fruit based, which I love dearly, but are not usually sophisticated enough for a cooking class. I could do some kind of health bars nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, but then people feel that it is “too healthy”.

Eventually, I came across this pudding recipe posted by an Israeli blogger. After tweaking it a little (you know I had to), here is the result, which I think is really yummy. It reminds me of a chocolate pudding sold in supermarkets in Israel that I used to love as a little girl.

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Ingredients:
1 15oz can cream of coconut
¼ cup water
3 tablespoonful cornstarch
½ cup water
2oz (60g) raw tahini
3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Chopped pistachios

Preparation:
In a saucepan, combine the cream of coconut and ¼ cup of water. In a separate dish, mix cornstarch with ½ cup of cold water and add to the coconut cream in the saucepan.

Cook the coconut mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, until the pudding starts to thicken. Remove from the heat as soon as the pudding starts to bubble.

Strain the pudding through a strainer to avoid having lumps in it, and divide it into two medium bowls.

Add raw tahini to one bowl and mix well.

Run the cocoa powder through a fine sieve and dust it onto the second bowl. Mix well until mixture is smooth.

Pour a little of each pudding mixture into a serving dish, alternating between the flavors to create a nice look.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Keep the pudding refrigerated.

When serving, decorate with chopped pistachios on top. Yum!

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