February 4, 2011

San Fran: The Golden Gate Bridge

If it weren't for the great book pictured below, I would pretend that I didn't spend a "day" talking about the Golden Gate Bridge. I know you are expecting some great bridge making activity with toothpicks and marshmallows (how do you know how to make a flying buttress, Becky????) or popsicle sticks, or something.

But no. I planned on giving my kids glue and popsicle sticks and seeing what they came up with, but in the end, even that seemed like too much hassle. I'm due in three weeks. Everything seems like too much hassle. (I did get all the baby's clothes/blankets/burp cloths washed and rinsed twice and folded and put away. My kids have very, very sensitive skin. So see--I'm accomplishing things, just not gung-ho homeschool things.)

However, Pop's Bridge was a great book for anyone studying bridges or San Fran and I wanted to make sure you were aware of it--in case any of you do this unit.

Pop's Bridge by Eve Bunting.

To sort of make up for my bridgeless bridge lesson, I give you another San Fran idea. As we all know, Ghirardelli chocolate is made in San Fran. Chocolate interests me. It interests me a great deal. So I thought--we should make something out of San Fran chocolate.

So we did.
I decided to have the kids make a chocolate pudding recipe that I quite like. It is called Silken Chocolate Pudding and I found the recipe in the Moosewood Restaurant Recipe Book (not exact title). It is a vegetarian restaurant. No, I'm not a vegetarian, but I've found that vegetarian cookbooks often have some killer pasta and salad recipes. Not to mention the yummy soups. It is a great cookbook, and I have made the pudding before and thought it was yummy. Also, it is very simple to make--perfect for cooking with kids.
Unfortunately, the local grocery store didn't have silken tofu. Since I'm only really familiar with extra firm tofu (use it in hot and sour soup), I wasn't sure how different silken tofu was from firm tofu. Not wanting to drive to a different store, I bought the firm tofu and hoped for the best.

Big mistake.

The great thing about this pudding is the texture. My family makes a chocolate pudding that is tasty, but is so prone to lumps. Grr. But this chocolate pudding has a perfectly silky texture without all the stirring and work and worry.

That is--a perfectly silky texture when you use silken tofu. Not so much when you use firm tofu.
Basically, it turned out gross.


What a waste of chocolate.

Here's the recipe, though, for those of you who are interested. I really like this pudding because it is easy and because it is fairly bitter (if you don't like dark chocolate--this recipe is not for you). I sweeten it up with whipped cream. You could also decrease the cocoa for a less bitter flavor.

1 cake of silken tofu (about 16 oz)
3 tbls powdered sugar (I tend to add a little extra)
8 oz semisweet chocolate
6 tbls water
3 tbls cocoa
1 tsp vanilla

1. blend tofu and sugar until well blended (a blender is easiest but I used a hand mixer this time to give the kids more to do)

2. warm chocolate, water, cocoa, vanilla until chocolate melts. Stir until mixed. Pour into tofu mix and beat until smooth and silky.

I chill mine--but it isn't bad warm. You could top with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream to offset the bitter chocolate flavor. Or, you could add extra dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet to up the bitter factor. It is yummy that way!

PS I put icing sugar first and then realized most of my readers are American and might not know that icing sugar=powdered sugar. So I changed it. But now you know--icing sugar is what Canadians call powdered sugar. And knowing is half the battle.


  1. The Moosewood isn't just a vegetarian restraunt it is THE Vegetarian Resteraunt- the best in the country and their cookbook is probably the bible of veg cooking. (from the girl who loved it as a kid and is trying to convince my family they could go veg one night a week- could I hope for two?)

  2. Sorry Polly, I didn't know. I'm not really familiar with the vegetarian scene. Now I'm pretty proud of myself for knowing about the restaurant/cookbook. I'm so hip!