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Call it tofulato - what happens when you introduce Oriental tofu to Italian gelato? A smooth, lean, delicious ice dessert.

Call it tofulato

What's the result when Oriental tofu meets Italian gelato? A delectable low-fat dessert we call "tofulato."

This happy cross-cultural concoction, consisting in large part of low-fat, low-calorie, inexpensive tofu, gives you a smooth-tasting, flavorful ice cream-like dessert without the usual penalties.

Alone, tofu has a powdery aftertaste. But the flavorings we suggest mask this quality to yield a lean but tasty dessert.

Unless you are very serious about restricting dairy intake, however, you will probably want to incorporate buttermilk or yogurt and a dab of whipping cream to produce a really smooth and rich-tasting tofulato. Make it with milk or whipping cream, and the result is even richer--though still predominately tofu.

A 1/2-cup serving of vanilla tofulato made with buttermilk has the fewest calories, about 109. Although lowest in fat, non-dairy vanilla tofulato has surprisingly more calories, about 188 for an equal portion; the sweetening is concentrated. If you make the same recipe with milk, a serving is about 122 calories; with whipping cream, it's about 222 calories.

Once soft, tofulato melts quickly--particularly the leaner versions. Adding gelatin (optional) helps slow its transition to a liquid state.

Vanilla Tofulato 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, optional 1/3 cup water, optional 2/3 cup sugar 1 package (1 lb.) soft tofu, drained (2 cups) 1-1/2 cups buttermilk, unflavored yogurt, whole milk, or whipping cream 1/3 cup whipping cream 2 teaspoons vanilla Additional flavoring (suggestions follow), optional Rock salt, optional Crushed ice, optional

If using gelatin, soften in water. Add sugar; heat until dissolved--in a nonmetal dish in a microwave oven on full power for about 1 minute (stir once), or in a 1- to 2-cup pan on medium heat, stirring.

In a food processor or blender, whirl the melted gelatin with sugar (or just sugar without gelatin) and tofu until smooth. Stir mixture into buttermilk, adding the 1/3 cup whipping cream, the vanilla, and, if desired, additional flavoring. Pour into the container of a self-refrigerated or ice-and salt-cooled ice cream maker; process according to manufactuer's directions. Serve when just frozen, or firm 1 to 2 hours longer in a freezer or packed with 1 part salt to 4 parts ice. For best flavor, freeze no longer than 3 weeks.

To make hard-frozen tofulato easier to scoop, let it soften at room temperature (about 30 minutes for a full batch). Makes about 1 quart.

Additional flavoring. Vanilla tofulato can be flavored in many ways. Choose from the following. Variations made without dairy ingredients yield only 2-1/2 to 3 cups.

Nondairy vanilla tofulato. Make vanilla tofulato, preceding, but omit all dairy products.

Banana tofulato. Make vanilla tofulato, preceding, using buttermilk or yogurt and the 1/3 cup whipping cream; and 1/3 cup mashed ripe banana.

Ginger or ginger-banana tofulato. Make vanilla tofulato, preceding, using buttermilk or yogurt and the 1/3 cup whipping cream; add 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger and/or 1/3 cup mashed ripe banana.

Malt or malt-banana tofulato. Make vanilla tofulato, preceding, using milk and the 1/3 cup whipping cream (with banana you can omit dairy products); whirl in 1/2 cup unflavored malted milk powder and/or 1/3 cup mashed ripe banana.

Chocolate malt tofulato. Make malt or malt-banana tofulato, above (with or without dairy products), and whirl in chocolate flavor: melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate baking bits or chopped semi-sweet chocolate in a nonmetal bowl in a microwave oven on full power just until melted, stirring occasionally; or stir over lowest heat in a 6- to 8-inch frying pan.

Carob tofulato. Melt 1/2 cup chopped carob in a nonmetal bowl in a microwave oven on full power just until melted, stirring occasionally; or stir over lowest heat in a 6- to 8-inch frying pan. Make vanilla tofulato, preceding, using milk and the 1/3 cup whipping cream (or omit diary products); whirl in melted carob.

Chilly chili tofulato. Beat 1/2 cup red, green, or yellow jalapeno jelly until smooth and whirl in as flavoring for vanilla tofulato, preceding; make with buttermilk or yogurt and the 1/3 cup whipping cream.

hazelnut praline tofulato. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup hazelnuts in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar melts and turns pale golden; sugar will firm at first, then melt with continued heat.

Pour hot melted sugar mixture onto a well-buttered piece of foil (about 12 by 15 in. square). Let cool until hard, at least 30 minutes. Pull praline off foil and break into chunks about 2 inches square and put into a food processor, or make chunks about 1 inch square and put into a blender. Whirl until praline pieces are about the size of rock salt.

Make vanilla tofulato, preceding, using milk and the 1/3 cup whipping cream (or omit dairy products); add praline pieces.

Fresh berry tofulato. Puree 1-1/2 cups berries (strawberries, raspberries, ollalieberries, boysenberries, or blueberries) with 3 tablespoon sugar; if desired, rub puree through a wire strainer and discard seeds. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, bring puree to a boil; reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, uncovered, until fruit is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes), stirring often. Stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice.

Make vanilla tofulato, preceding, using buttermilk or yogurt and the 1/3 cup whipping cream; add berry puree.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1985
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