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"I wake filled with thoughts of you... Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! I shall see you in three hours. Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire." -- Napoleon Bonaparte -- Start to finish, 3 hours... it's maddening anticipation, but what a sweet and unusual reward! The longer the mousses sit to chill, the less "beany" tofu flavor they will carry... so, if you can stand it, let the mousses chill overnight and assemble the Napoleons on day 2. several 3-inch metal crumpet rings or biscuit cutters, optional but very helpful
Chocolate Tofu Mousse
- 24 ounces firm tofu, divided
- 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 1 -4 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
- 2 cups pecan halves or 2 cups pecan pieces
- 1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
- 1⁄3 cup light corn syrup
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
- 4 eggs
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces butterscotch chips
- 3⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon cognac (optional) or 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
- Prepare the semi sweet mousse: Melt the semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler over a simmering water bath.
- Chocolate should be smooth and glossy.
- Place 12 ounces of tofu in a food processor and puree until very smooth; note: a regular blender does not do a good job with this step.
- The hand held stick blenders do a nice job if a food processor is unavailable.
- Add 1 tsp vanilla and semi sweet chocolate to pureed tofu and blend well.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time, tasting in between each addition, until you get a desired sweetness.
- Turn mousse into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 2 1/2 hours to chill and allow the flavors to combine.
- Prepare the bittersweet mousse: Follow the directions for the semi sweet mousse in step one and refrigerate.
- Note:Taste the mousse before adding any powdered sugar, as the bittersweet flavor is very rich and provides a nice contrast to the semi sweet mousse as is.
- Prepare the brittle: Place the sugar in a large saucepan.
- Stir in the corn syrup and water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and boil for 3-4 minutes until bubbles form on the surface.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and boil for 5 minutes more.
- Remove the foil.
- The mixture should be clear or slightly golden and the sugar should be totally dissolved.
- Add the butter and stir until the butter is melted.
- Cook over low heat until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees F, about 30 minutes.
- Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally.
- When the caramel reaches 300 degrees, remove the pan from the heat, stir in the salt, baking soda and pecans.
- Spray a half sheet pan (12 x 17-inches) with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread the nut mixture over the prepared pan in a thin layer using a metal spatula (or a plastic spatula coated with nonstick spray).
- Set pan aside to cool for 30 minutes.
- Break the brittle into desired pieces.
- Prepare the ricotta rounds: Combine all ingredients for the ricotta rounds in the bowl of a food processor.
- The batter must be processed until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated.
- Heat a griddle or large saute pan over medium high heat.
- Spray the surface with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spray the inside of each 3 inch crumpet ring and place on the griddle or in the pan.
- Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each ring and cook until the top of the round is set with bubbles, then remove the ring, flip and cook for another minute to brown the bottom.
- Note: if crumpet rings or biscuit cutters are not available, drop 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot surface and use a spatula to even out the surface and try to round the edges for an approximate 3 inch circle.
- If only one ring is available and you are using a griddle, you can pour the batter onto the griddle in 2 batches to make a large pancake; flip it when the top sets, and then use the cutter to cut the 3 inch rounds.
- You are looking to make 12 rounds, regardless of the method you employ.
- Place prepared rounds on a plate, cover with a kitchen towel and refrigerate until cool.
- Prepare the ganache: Place the butterscotch chips in a medium sized stainless steel bowl; set aside.
- Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil.
- Immediately pour the boiling cream over the butterscotch chips and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Stir with a whisk until smooth.
- If desired, add the liqueur.
- Assemble the Napoleons: On a clean work surface, set down one ricotta round.
- Take 6 Tbsp of the bittersweet mousse and drop it onto the ricotta round.
- Using an offset spatula or a large spreading knife, spread the mousse to the edges of the round, keeping some height to the layer.
- Top with a second ricotta round and repeat the mousse layer using the semi sweet mousse.
- Take a ricotta round and smear it with the butterscotch ganache, then place the round on top of the 2nd mousse layer.
- To plate the Napoleon, drizzle some ganache on the plate and slide the Napoleon into the center.
- Lean several pieces of broken pecan brittle against the Napoleon, and sprinkle about a Tablespoon of crushed brittle over the entire plate.
- An alternative way to assemble the Napoleon is to use the 3 inch rings as a guide; place the 1st round in the bottom, drop in the bittersweet mousse, top it with 2nd round and press down to evenly distribute the mousse; repeat with the 2nd layer and then top and unmold the Napoleon before spreading the ganache.
- The final result is very "clean" this way, and more rustic using the first method, though no special equipment is needed.