Tofu Panna Cotta

I made up this recipe because I love tofu, need more protein, and wanted a cool, no-cook summer dessert.  You could call it tofu cheesecake or custard, but panna cotta has a nice ring to it.

Tofu is versatile by nature, and this recipe lends itself to a variety of flavors.  I’ve been excited about a lemon-vanilla version but I imagine a batch with liqueur, fruit, or a shot of espresso would be delicious. You could also treat this more like a cheesecake and pour the mixture into a cookie or graham cracker crust (this raw almond crust seems fancy and decadent, and this no-bake oreo version also looks promising). 

makes 3-5 servings

1 package soft tofu, 16-19 ounces
1/3-1 cup sugar (see note)
1 package unflavored gelatin
2/3 cups boiling water
pinch of salt
flavoring: 1 teaspoon vanilla and juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste

Put the tofu in a blender and pulse until smooth.  Meanwhile, mix the sugar and gelatin in a small bowl, then add the boiling water and mix briskly to dissolve the gelatin.  Pour the sugar-water mixture into the blender with the tofu and flavorings, and blend until very smooth.  Taste for sugar and pour into cups.  Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Note: I have made this with both regular and artificial sugars, and the amount of sweetness varies widely.  I would start with 1/3 to ½ cup and then, once everything is blended together, taste and add more if necessary.