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Guest Post: Almond Tofu 2 Ways by Lady And Pups


This week, we’re excited to feature one of our favorite talented food bloggers who is also featured as one of our “Sweet Reads.”Her site Lady And Pups – Home Cooking With Extreme Prejudice features a variety of recipes from Western to Asian to favorite past-time snacks that you can simply follow to impress your friends/family while entertaining at home.

Here’s one of my favorite entries on Almond Tofu that I’m dying to try:

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The traditional almond tofu is a lot more straight forward and the recipe more well-known, basically a panna cotta. Unflavored gelatine is melted into the almond milk then chilled to solidify then, just as the tapioca-style, served with rock-sugar syrup and a dab of almond milk. Both ways have their charms if you ask me. The tapioca-style almond tofu carries more weight and satisfaction as an afternoon-treat or late-night craving, whereas the almond panna cotta is light and refreshing, perfect as a weightless dessert after a full meal. I urge you to give both a try. Really, because you are missing out.

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Servings: 4 servings for each style

Almond milk that’s going to be the base for almond tofu/almond panna cotta is infused with peanuts that are incorporated in the blending process. Traditionally whole peanuts are used but for convenience sake, I am using ready-made peanut butter that I assume everyone has in their fridge. This recipe makes a very rich/concentrated almond milk-base, more so than what’s usually used for commercial restaurants because well… what’s the perk of making things at home if not the fact that we don’t have to be profit-driven? But if you are aiming for a larger yield or simply like it on the lighter side, feel free to dilute the almond milk-base with water according to your likings.

Go here for more important information on almond milk and the difference between bitter/sweet almonds, and American/Chinese almonds.

Ingredients:

  • To make 3 1/2 cups of almond milk-base:
    • 1 cups of Chinese southern almonds (yes it has to be this kind)(I am using the skin-on Chinese southern almonds. Use the skinless kind if that’s all is available)
    • 2 cups of filtered water for soaking
    • 3 1/2 cups of filtered/mineral water for blending
    • 3/4 tsp of peanut butter
  • Rock sugar syrup:
  • Almond tofu – tapioca style:
    • 3 cups of almond milk-base (or 2 cups of almond milk-base + 1 cup of water as a lighter version if preferred)
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of tapioca flour
    • 1/2 cup of almond milk-base reserved for pouring
  • Almond tofu – panna cotta style:
    • 3 cups of almond milk-base (or 2 cups of almond milk-base + 1 cup of water as a lighter version if preferred)
    • 6 tsp of unflavored gelatine
    • 1/2 cup of almond milk-base reserved for pouring

To make the almond milk-base: Soak 1 cups of almonds in 2 cups of cold filtered water for 24 hours, or bring the water to a boil and soak the almonds for 6~8 hours (remove from the heat once the almonds are added). Once soaked, drain and peel the almonds if you are using skin-on almonds by pinching it gently (more about this here). In a powerful blender (do this in 2 batches), combine the soaked/peeled almonds with 3 1/2 cup of filtered water and 3/4 tsp of peanut butter. Blend on high-speed and keep it running for 2 min until the mixture is creamy and milk-like. Strain the mixture into another container through a fine-mesh cheese cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the pulp. Keep the almond milk in an air-tight bottle in the refrigerator and shake well before using.

What to do with the leftover pulp? Coming soon.

To make the rock sugar syrup: Combine water and white rock sugar, and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Chill completely before using.

Almond tofu – tapioca style: Bring 1 cup of almond milk-base to a slight simmer in a sauce pot over medium-heat. Whisk together 2 cups of almond milk-base with 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of tapioca flour. Slowly pour the almond milk + tapioca flour mixture into the simmering almond milk while stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir vigorously (to prevent lumping) until the mixture cooks into a pot of glutinous paste (kind of like THICK lava), approx 3~5 min.

I have also tried just mixing 3 cups of almond milk-base with the tapioca flour and cook right on the stove, but the it seems to create a slightly more lumpy texture.

Before pouring it into a mold know this: this mixture is SUPER STICKY and will stick to anything it touches. The antidote to this vicious nature is… WATER. Rinse a 6″ square cake-mold with water so it’s relatively wet. Then pour the mixture into it and smooth it out with a spoon. It may look suspiciously loose and batter-like but don’t worry. Chill in the fridge until COMPLETELY COLD for at least 6 hours before cutting, and it will firm up. To get it out of the mold, again, WATER. Pour some water over the almond tofu and scrape the sides with a wet knife. Invert the mold and peel the almond tofu out of it, onto a cutting board that’s splashed with WATER. Cut into bite-size squares. Every time you feel that the almond tofu is fighting you, just splash some water on top.

Serve the almond tofu with a mixture of rock sugar syrup and almond milk. I like the ratio of 2 parts syrup and 1 part almond milk.

Almond tofu – panna cotta style: Sprinkle the unflavored gelatine over 3 cups of almond milk-base. Whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and whisk until all the gelatine has melted. Pour the mixture into individual serving bowl and refrigerate until completely set and chilled, at least 4 hours.

Serve with a mixture of rock sugar syrup and almond milk. Again, I like the ratio of 2 parts syrup and 1 part almond milk.

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