Janet’s chocolate mousse pie

The main ingredients in this no-bake dessert are flavonoid-rich dark chocolate and protein-rich tofu

The editor of Science News for Students made this, her signature pie. After its picture was taken, the staff dove in to eat it.

Allie Wilkinson

Serves 8 to 12

This recipe, a family favorite, wows guests who never suspect that its main ingredient is tofu — even after finishing a sinfully rich slice of the pie. In the past, I’ve always billed the dessert as healthy, based on studies suggesting that soy products such as tofu can offer heart (cardiovascular) and anti-cancer benefits. In fact, I adapted this recipe from a fattier and more heavily sweetened version that was served to me and other attendees, years ago. It was during a luncheon at the First International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease.

Despite the pie’s soy base, however, I often felt a twinge of guilt over the heavy dose of chocolate present in each slice.

With the newly emerging data on dark chocolate’s flavonoids, I now feel less self-conscious about serving this dessert. I can point out that its bounty of chocolate may actually contribute to the pie’s offering of a cardiovascular double whammy. And studies have indicated that the stearic acid in chocolate — a saturated fat — is actually a type that doesn’t appear to raise cholesterol levels in the blood (as most sat fats do).

Want a triple whammy? Serve with a cup of strong, flavonoid-rich darjeeling tea. The especially good news: This pie is so rich that it’s easy to be satisfied with a very small slice. Indeed, if you practice mindful eating, you will make it even harder to overindulge.

Ingredients

2 boxes of low-fat silken tofu (12.3-ounces each, any firmness. I use Mori-Nu)

1 10-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

a chocolate-cookie no-bake pie shell

raspberries or strawberries (for garnish)

whipped cream (if desired for garnish)

Directions

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler until the chips retain their shape but are soft as warm butter. Remove from heat.

Puree the tofu in a food processor — about 2 minutes — frequently scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that all of the tofu is converted from a soft brick into a warm-pudding consistency. Move to a mixing bowl. Now fold in the softened chocolate and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a chocolate-cookie pie shell and swirl the top to make soft peaks, like frosting a cake. Garnish with berries (healthy) and/or whipped cream (yummy but not very healthy). Then chill to set. Ready in 1 hour.

Janet Raloff is the editor of Science News for Students. Prior to this, she was an environmental reporter for Science News, specializing in toxicology. To her never-ending surprise, her daughter became a toxicologist.

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