Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lose Some Wisdom, Gain Some Wisdom.

After many attempts to rationalize not having my wisdom teeth extracted, I traded them in for a bucket of painkillers and a chipmunk face. The "suggested foods" list, so kindly presented to me by the dentist, was supposed to aid me over the next week in finding edible options. However, after eliminating the foods I don't eat, it looked something like this:
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Soup
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Poutry
  • Quiche
  • Ice Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Milkshakes
  • Small pieces of meat
  • Cool Whip
  • Pudding
  • Milk/Milk Products
  • Snapple
Soup...? Thrilling! I stayed true to the list (and the fall season) for about 48 hours, consuming only roasted corn soup, butternut squash soup, sweet potato soup, zucchini soup, and curry soup. By the 49th hour, I was yearning for anything with texture. Even packing peanuts looked appetizing. As someone who puts chips in their sandwiches, nuts on their chocolate-chunk ice cream, and toasts everything that will fit in a toaster prior to consumption, a texture-less diet had proved to be about as enticing as I had anticipated. If only there was a way to incorporate flavor that would compensate for the lack of crunch... Suddenly, the solution became obvious. If I could enjoy something with the greatest flavor known to humankind, it wouldn't matter if it wasn't chewy, crunchy, or smooth. Chocolate in any form would do.

After digging through old recipes, I uncovered a chocolate pie that I'd made for a dinner party almost a year ago. The flavor, however, was as easy to recall as if I'd had eaten it the day before - rich, thick, dark, and creamy. Though I was forced to sacrifice the graham cracker crust, it was really no loss. The filling is the star of the show, and by the show, I mean my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The versatility and simplicity of this dessert means that not only is it quick to prepare, but even someone on a plethora of painkillers can assemble it (tested and confirmed). If you don't like tofu - perfect, because this chocolate mousse/pie filling tastes nothing like tofu. Much like heavy cream, the tofu serves to create a fluffy, whipped texture, without contributing to the flavor. I'm still not an advocate of the stuff... I mean, tofu is about as processed as can be, but contains 1,000 less calories than heavy cream would in this recipe (and no lactose, obviously.) Whether you use chocolate chips or dark chocolate is up to you; chips yield a sweeter dessert, a chopped chocolate bar yields a richer one. The primary difference between baking with bars of chocolate and chocolate chips is that the bar usually contains a higher cocoa content and the chips usually contain more sugar. If you're a big fan of chocolate and liqueur, use up to 2/3 cup in this recipe, and feel free to substitute in your favorite kind.

While there's nothing enlightening about the aftermath of having one's third set of molars drilled into oblivion, I have learned that chilled chocolate mousse does wonders for a sore mouth. It also does wonders for the mind and body, satisfying chocolate cravings without a sugar crash afterwards and delivering a decadent texture with less than half the fat of classic chocolate mousse. Nothing like being free of wisdom teeth, free of guilt, slightly dazed, and full of chocolate.

Chocolate Silk Mousse or Pie Filling:
- 1 1/2 C chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
- 1/4 C sweet liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Kahlua, or Bailey's
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 package (about 12 oz.) firm silken tofu
- 1 tsp vanilla 
      Melt chocolate and liqueur over a double broiler until smooth. Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth and silky, scraping down sides with a  rubber spatula. Pour into glass bowls or a cooled pie shell and chill for at least two hours (unless you want to eat it out of the food processor, which is perfectly fine). Serve with sliced bananas, over fresh fruits, topped with nuts or shredded coconut, etc. Serves 10 at 205 calories each, when using chocolate chips. Enjoy!

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