Make-Your-Own Tofu kit from Morinaga. The full kit included containers of soy milk, packets of a special coagulant called nigari, and in the momen version of the kit, a press to turn the silken tofu that results from the process into a firmer version, more suitable for cooking with. The process of making the tofu was actually fairly easy; Brandy simply had to mix the soy milk with the nigari and then cook it in a water bath for about 15 minutes. Even though this version of the tofu was supposed to be silken, and therefore more soft and pudding like in texture, Brandy did want her tofu to be a bit more firm, so she simply let the ramekins cool down in the water, then dropped the tofu into a dish lined with cheese cloth and quickly drained off some of the excess moisture by gently squeezing the cloth around the tofu. She then placed the tofu back into the ramekins, covered them in plastic wrap, and placed a ramekin filled with uncooked rice on top of that so as to force a little more moisture out of the tofu and have it form a smooth surface. This process gave her just the texture she was looking for, even though she didn't have access to a proper tofu press.
Right after making the tofu, Brandy topped some of it off with a salted caramel sauce, enjoying its custard like texture and its creamy taste. "Why, this could be a lovely dessert for my vegan friends," she mused, "Maybe add a bit of coco powder and sugar to make it into a sort of chocolate custard... that would be delicious!" But it was a true stroke of genius that hit Brandy when she decided to use the tofu in a seasonal smoothie she could enjoy on Thanksgiving morning. Combining in a blender one ramekin of silken tofu (about 1/2 a cup's worth) with a 1/2 cup of orange juice, a 1/2 cup of carrot juice, and a table spoon of either pumpkin pie or chai spice (Brandy had both on hand and reported that either worked beautifully), Brandy whipped up a creamy, warming, delightful smoothie that kept her energized well into the afternoon.
Remembering this smoothie concoction (which, because she used the tofu, was not only vegan, but also gluten free, GMO free, and preservative free), Brandy nodded to herself and closed the fridge, now fully mentally prepared for the onslaught of cooking that was to come.
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