VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUDDING

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It started when I enjoyed the chocolate pudding at M Cafe de Chaya, a macrobiotic lunch spot I used to frequent. It’s vegan and wonderful. Dark and luscious, but without the rich heft of a pot au creme, it was the perfect way to end a meal. Over my trips there, I’ve sussed out the important ingredients: arrowroot and kuzu. They replace what heated eggs and cream do in a true pudding, providing the thick texture.  After many failed attempts, and many returns to learn the nuances of the recipe, I’ve figured it out. The best part is it’s completely open to tweaking: espresso flavored, raspberry and rose, whatever you want. Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

kuzu starch and arrowroot can be found in most health food stores

1 tablespoon kuzu starch

2 cups chocolate almond milk

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

I used Valrhona; if you use a lower quality cocoa, you may need to use a little more

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

small pinch of salt

6 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Mix the kuzu with two tablespoons of almond milk until dissolved in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix the arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, spices, and salt together in a medium size saucepan. Make sure there are not lumps. Add about 1 cup of almond milk and agave nectar, and mix until thoroughly combined with no lumps. Stir in the rest of the almond milk and simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously. Add the kuzu and blend until thickened. This will happen quickly, so keep your eye on it. Take it off of the heat and add in the vanilla.

Pour into desired containers, cover with a bit of plastic wrap (touching the top of the pudding) and chill in the fridge for several hours. When it’s set, it will probably look separated, meaning a chocolate solid with clear liquid around it. Do not fear! Just stir it vigorously and you will have a luscious, thick, pudding.