House call: Aaron Brunet makes plant-based chocolate parfait
I’ve got Kate from Vegan Cuisine to thank for this one. We’ve done it a number of times at our cooking workshops and I keep tweaking it into slightly different versions.
The base is nuts and dates with an x-factor from orange zest, plus a bit of cocoa and a pinch of salt. Everyone freaks out about the filling and can’t believe it has tofu in it. The trick is to use silken tofu which is suuuper smooooth. Combined with good coconut cream and melted dark chocolate (effectively a plant-based ganache) it’s rich, yet not too heavy.
You can make it whatever shape works for you — in tart tins, a parfait glass, or as a big batch in a tray that you can slice into portions. Depending which you choose you may have some leftover base mixture; just roll it up and you have bliss balls that will keep for weeks.
You can vary the nuts to suit what you have available, I sometimes use half almond and half walnut. Another version I’ve made had mandarin zest in the base and chopped crystallised ginger in the filling, plus freeze-dried mandarin on top (to replicate the new Whittaker’s chocolate flavour). Get the recipe here
On my first out-of-Auckland house call I visited the Kopruch family in Waikanae. They’re very open to plant-based food and surprised me by making an amazing raw cashew quiche from one of Dr Libby’s books.
Here’s what they said about this dessert:
Michaela said “I’m not normally a fan of dark chocolate but the combination works really well and I like it.”
Anja said “It’s an amazing texture.”
Fabian said “I can definitely see why you won Masterchef.”
Jono said “It is yummy!”