I have this bad habit of experimenting with new recipes and testing them on unsuspecting people. I’m not saying I toss unsavory foods at these random victims (er um test subjects) and cackle evil-ly to myself. Sometimes I just don’t tell them things that they don’t need to know. Hey, it’s for their own good. Like one time I made a chocolate beet cake and took it to work and didn’t tell anyone there were beets in it until they ate it and loved it. Then I told a select few.
Let’s talk about a time where this tactic failed.
At the end of the semester for my Many Meanings of Meat class in my Gastronomy program (yes it was a class where we talked about meat all the time and yes I went to grad school and studied food), our class had a potluck to celebrate. We were each asked to bring in a dish that signified something we had learned that semester and explain it to everyone. After racking my brain for a recipe that would be delicious, impressive (I mean c’mon I’m cooking for a bunch of food-obsessed grad students), and significant, I decided to make a chocolate pie with silken tofu that I think is delicious. It is smooth, it is chocolate-y, it is rich, AND it has a graham cracker crust. It is a favorite in my family and something I thought would be well-loved by my fellow Gastronomy students. I explained my dish by saying something about how things weren’t always what they seemed in the meat industry (such as your awareness, or lack thereof, of the sanitation horror stories in slaughter houses). This delicious dessert is not what it seems. You can think of it like a chocolate cream pie, I said. Although there’s no cream in it.
Needless to say my attempt at mystery left the pie virtually untouched for the majority of the afternoon. A few people stealthily asked me what exactly was in that questionable pie, and by the end of the night only a few small slivers were missing. One guy who did taste it told me how much he liked it and expressed his surprise when he found out the main ingredient.
Sometimes it’s better just to not say anything and let people enjoy something. Ignorance is bliss.
So maybe you want to make something unusual for someone you like and not tell them what it contains, like this pudding recipe I recently tried. It is surprisingly delicious (like the chocolate tofu pie) and made with healthy fats! Hoorah! Huzzah! Now I can eat all the chocolate pudding I want and never get fat because it’s healthy fat so it doesn’t really count. Ok, that’s not exactly true, but you can still celebrate if you’re a) vegan b) trying to cut out unhealthy fats and c) if you just love chocolate a lot too much. A lot too much? Yep, that’s what I said. And maybe just don’t tell your friends what’s in it.
Here’s the recipe already:
Secret Ingredient Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from active.com’s recipe for Chocolate Mousse
1 ripe avocado
¼ tsp. vanilla
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. cocoa powder
pinch of cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a food processor (if you have one) and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor or you’re lazy, mash the avocado well with a fork. Stir in other ingredients. Refrigerate until cold and thick. Enjoy with a friend. Or make a bigger batch.