This vegan chocolate pudding is so creamy, sweet and chocolatey that’s you’d never guess the main ingredient is cauliflower. Don’t worry; it doesn’t taste anything like cauliflower – just the deliciously classic combination of chocolate and orange. This hidden veggie dessert can be served straight out of the blender as a pudding or frozen and served as a healthy vegan ice cream cake.
I was recently invited to participate in a recipe creation contest by a local organic farm. They sent me a box with a selection of their seasonal produce and asked me to let my imagination run wild.
Immediately I was drawn to the beautiful head of cauliflower and the ideas started flowing: cauliflower rice, Swiss chard rolls stuffed with cauliflower rice, Swiss chard sushi rolls with cauliflower rice, potato and Swiss chard curry with cauliflower rice, cauliflower rice pudding… could it be possible to make a dessert from vegetables? Let’s find out!
I’ve previously made the typical frozen vegan cashew cheesecake, topping mine with a latticework of rhubarb. Would it work with cauliflower? After many, many (many, many, many) attempts, the answer turned out to be yes and no.
Steamed cauliflower blended with one avocado for fat and creaminess, cocoa powder and orange zest for taste and maple syrup for sweetness makes a delicious dairy-free pudding. You’d absolutely never guess that it has cauliflower in it! Trying to freeze it into an ice cream cake, however, turned out to be tricky.
Small test batches turned out wonderfully, but trying to increase the volume to a 15 cm cake resulted time and time again in iciness in the middle of the cake.
I finally determined that the best results were with round cakes no more than 10 cm in diameter, or even better, 10 cm square cakes that can be cut in half to yield two portions each.
These smaller cakes were delectably creamy and delicious with a sweet graham-date base and candied orange slices on top.
It’s up to you whether you want to serve this dessert as a pudding or freeze it into a cake – the base recipe is the same. I know that there will probably be a lot of skeptics about the cauliflower in this vegan chocolate pudding – it’s something you’ll have to try to believe. Go ahead and ask a friend to try to guess the hidden veggie, I bet you they never will!
45 minPrep Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup (50 grams) cocoa powder
- ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
- The zest of 2 oranges
- ¼ cup (60 ml) plant milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt (optional)
- 60 grams (2 oz) vegan graham cracker crumbs or crushed biscuits
- 8 – 10 pitted dates
- Two 10 cm (4 inch) square cake rings
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 14 grams (0.5 oz) grated vegan dark chocolate
- Steam the cauliflower until tender. Allow to cool to room temperature. Blend the cauliflower with all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor until you get a smooth pudding consistency. You will have to scrape down the sides of the blender from time to time. Taste and adjust the flavours to your liking: more cocoa powder for a more chocolaty taste, more maple for sweetness, etc.
- To serve as a pudding, divide the mixture into four cups and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with grated chocolate and candied oranges.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs or biscuits and 8 dates in a food processor until the mixture is crumbled and holds together when pressed. Add a couple more dates if it’s not sticky enough. Divide the mixture between two cake rings and compact it down with the back of a spoon.
- Pour the chocolate pudding mixture into the cake rings, smooth down and freeze overnight. Take them out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Allow to thaw slightly until you can slip the cake rings off. Cut each cake in half into two rectangles, garnish with grated chocolate and candied oranges. Serve.
- Combine the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer, mixing to dissolve the sugar. Add the orange slices and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the peels become translucent – about 20 minutes, turning the orange slices from time to time to ensure they stay submerged. Remove the slices from the pot and allow to cool on a plate. (You can also serve the remaining orange syrup along with with pudding or cake).