Aug 25

Kyotofu’s Sweet Tofu Pudding

in Book Reviews, Dessert, Japanese

Sweet Tofu Pudding from Kyotofu Cookbook

Author Nicole Bermensolo brought her love for Japanese culture to Manhattan in 2006 when she and her friend Michael opened Kyotofu, a full-service restaurant and bakery.  The Kyotofu bakery featured Nicole’s quirky approach to Japanese sweets and customers fell in love.  In 2013 Nicole and Michael decided to close the restaurant so Nicole could focus on building Kyotofu into a bigger and better business.  Nicole has since written a book, Kyotofu: Uniquely Delicious Japanese Desserts, as a way to give people access to the sweets they once served at their restaurant.  I was recently sent a copy of the book to review and I loved it from page 1.  The book features 75 classic American sweets, like cheesecake, brownies, and muffins, combined with Japanese ingredients to create one-of-a-kind desserts.  White sesame biscotti, brown rice madeleines, yuzu cheesecake, saikyo miso caramel sauce, and kinako waffles with Chinese five-spice cream are just a few of the recipes in this book.  One of the things I love is that the book is divided by Japanese ingredient, like miso paste and sesame, so that you can explore how that ingredient changes depending on how you use it.  The book also includes a glossary of foreign terms and gives resources for where to find less familiar products.  Plus, all of the recipes can be made completely gluten-free thanks to Nicole’s cup-for-cup gluten free flour recipe.

KYOTOFU by Nicole Bermensolo

I recently spoke to Nicole and asked her how the bakery came about.  She said, “I have always felt compelled to introduce Americans to the lesser known aspects of Japanese cuisine, and the bakery was a vehicle to do that.  It’s really my passion in life.”  She explained that when it came to the items they sold in the bakery that for some she stuck to traditional aspects of Japanese cuisine and for others she tried to marry European and American desserts and techniques with Japanese ingredients.  Her dark chocolate brownie recipe which includes white miso paste, is a great example of this.  Think salted caramel, the miso in these brownies gives them that same kind of magic.  The brownies also happen to be Nicole’s favorite recipe in the book.

Sweet Tofu Pudding

I fell in love with her recipe for Sweet Tofu Pudding, so I’m sharing that with you today.  It’s like a Japanese take on an Italian panna cotta and is super quick to make, but can be dressed up to look really fancy.  Not only is it beautiful, but it is delicious!  Creamy and sweet, yet airy and light, this pudding uses soy milk as it’s star Japanese ingredient.  The book provides a recipe for a kuromitsu syrup which can be drizzled on top, which is made from kurosato, an unrefined cane sugar with a dark molasses, malty flavor that’s used frequently in traditional Japanese desserts.  Or you can just top it with fresh berries like I did!  This is a great book, especially if you want to start adding a special extra somethin’-somethin’ to your desserts.  Nicole’s love for Japan and it’s culture and cuisine shine through the pages, which I love.  So grab a copy of the book and enjoy this amazing sweet tofu pudding!

Sweet Tofu Pudding 2

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Sweet Tofu Pudding

Reprinted with permission from KYOTOFU © 2015 by Nicole Bermensolo, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Makes 6

1 envelope powdered gelatin
2 cups / 475 ml soy milk
1/3 cup / 66 g granulated sugar
1/3 / 80 ml cup whole milk
1/2 cup / 120 ml heavy whipping cream

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup / 60 ml of cold water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine 1 cup / 475 ml of the soy milk with the sugar over medium-low heat, and stir constantly, keeping the liquid below a simmer. Once all of the sugar has dissolved, remove the soy milk mixture from the heat.

3. Strain the gelatin through a fine mesh sieve to remove any standing water and add it to the hot soy milk, whisking well to dissolve fully. Add in the remaining soy milk, milk, and heavy whipping cream, stirring to incorporate. Divide the soy milk mixture between six individual ramekins, or small cups, and cover with plastic wrap.

4. Chill the ramekins in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours and up to 4 days.

5. Before serving, place the ramekins briefly in a warm water bath to unmold, and then invert the sweet tofu onto individual plates or a small bowl. Drizzle with the Kuromitsu Syrup and serve.

FOR A BLACK SESAME VARIATION: Use an additional 1/2 envelope of gelatin. Once all of the ingredients have been combined, cool the sweet tofu base in an ice bath until it thickens slightly, about 45 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of black sesame paste and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender (or in the jar of a standard blender). Divide the sweet tofu base among the ramekins, cover them with plastic wrap, and continue to step 4.


*Disclosure: I was provided with a review copy of this book by the publisher at no cost to me.  No other compensation was provided.  All opinions and experiences are my own!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris P. August 27, 2015 at 11:16 am

My wife and I went to Kyotofu for the first and only time not too long before it closed its doors. We loved it and were crushed when it closed. We are definitely ordering this book. We love panna cotta, so I already know we’ll love this particular recipe. Thanks Rachel for always sharing new stuff with us!


Maggie October 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

May I know how much (in gram) is 1 envelope of gelatin? Thank you.


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