Taho (Philippine Tofu Pudding)

“Taho….taho….taho….”

Early mornings in the Philippines, you’ll normally hear the man selling this warm, caramel tofu pudding calling out these words. He would have two metal pails balanced by a bamboo rod on his shoulders. Hard work for sure, but surely, it made our day.

Kids and adults alike would wait patiently, holding their little cups, glass containers, and tumblers, for the taho vendor to come by their home. I remember a few times our nanny got a whole Coleman cooler (a gallon one I believe) for us. It’s that delicious!

Everyone asks for extra caramel, as it is the highlight of this sweet dessert/breakfast in a cup.

So…it’s been a while since I’ve had that taho that you can purchase. Taho here in the US is mostly an anemic cousin of the real stuff, flavor wise and texture wise. What to do but make it yourself, right?

I had been making soy milk and sometimes tofu for a while now but I never made a super soft, silky tofu like taho should be. It literally disintegrates when jiggled. I tried to make it but it just curdled, not really forming any solid you could scoop up. Oh well…

My co worker Lisette gave me this tofu mix a few months back. She said they use it to make taho, and you just need the sago pearls and the caramel and you’re good to go. Since my “from scratch” tofu pudding failed, I reached for the box and tried it.

It worked beautifully! See my photo below! And it’s super easy to make!

All you’ll need are the following:

For the tofu pudding:

1 box (6.06oz) Tofu mix

10 cups water mixed

For the caramel:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

For the tapioca pearls:

1/2 cup Tapioca pearls

5 cups water

To make the tofu pudding:

Mix 10 cups water with the tofu packet mixture in a large saucepan. That is the big envelope in the tofu box. Set over medium heat. Bring to a boil.

Stir constantly with a whisk. Lower heat and for 3 minutes.

Add the coagulant, which is in the smaller white envelope, into the mixture, slowly. Give it a quick stir. And stop.

Remove from heat. Cover. Set aside to set. Do not touch or move it while it is setting. I just left it to set in the saucepan I cooked it in. 😊

In the meantime, prepare the Caramel.

Place 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium low heat. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the caramel is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool completely.

For the Sago Pearls,

Bring 5 cups water to boil. Add 1/2 cup sago. Simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until translucent. Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl of water until ready to use.

To assemble your “taho”

Using a spoon, carefully scrape thin layers of the warm tofu pudding into a glass, cup, or bowl. You only want a few spoonfuls as we will be layering this with the other ingredients.

*If the tofu is getting watery, scoop out and discard the excess water.*

Next, place a spoonful or two of the cooked tapioca pearls in.

Then a spoonful or two of the caramel(I always add more when no one is looking! It’s super delicious!).

Continue layering until you fill the glass almost to the top. I am stopping midway as I might eat everything at one go.

Remember to wipe of any caramel that dripped outside the glass! It will be a sticky mess if you don’t!

You can eat this with a spoon, as we do, or stir itup and drink it like I saw some folks do.

Either way, it is a nutritious and very delicious breakfast/snack/dessert.

I hope you all like this!

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Hot Chocolate Bombs

Happy 4th day of the New Year!

So have you had a Hot Chocolate Bomb yet? I didn’t realize how popular these things are!

These are fun little spheres (my molds were 2 1/2 inches) made of chocolate, candy coating, or butterscotch chips, and filled with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. I also made some filled with French Vanilla Latte, Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato flavored coffees.

You place the beautifully decorated ball in a mug big enough to hold it, pour HOT milk (or hot water for the coffee ones), and watch as the magic happens – the shell melts, usually turns over in the cup, and reveals the marshmallows and chocolate mixture (or flavored coffee) inside. Stir then enjoy!

I made some to give as gifts before the holidays and got several orders that I had to keep buying the ingredients to make it. And the stores kept running out of the brand I use so I had to keep going to several places to find them! They were worth it though as everyone is so happy when they get it.

So here…in case you want to try your hand at making these, are my step by step instructions!

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These are everything you need (plus a lot of marshmallows!!!) to make hot chocolate bombs.

Chocolate chips, candy coating, or flavored baking chips

Instant hot chocolate/cocoa mix (I like the brands I photographed above, but use any you like!)

Mini marshmallows

Sprinkles, crushed candy canes, edible metallic sprays, any candy or cookie decoration you want

Chocolate melting pot or a microwave safe bowl

Sphere molds

1. I started by melting a bag of chocolate in my chocolate melting pot. I also tried in the microwave – use full power at 30 second increments until the chocolate gets soft looking and shiny.

2. Stir to melt thoroughly.

3. Place about s tablespoon of melted chocolate in each cavity of the mold.

4. Using the back of a spoon, carefully coat the inside of the cavity with the melted chocolate. Make sure you try to coat evenly, and cover all visibly thin areas.

5. Refrigerate until it sets, about 30 minutes.

6. Carefully unmold each chocolate and place on a dish or plate.

7. To even out the edges, heat a small plate for about 1-2 minutes in the microwave and quickly invert 1 chocolate shell on the plate. When it starts melting the edges, twist and return to the plate. Repeat with remaining chocolate pieces.

8. Fill half of the shells with the hot chocolate mixture.

9. And top with a lot of marshmallows.

10. Reheat the small plate, around 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. One by one, invert the unfilled shells on to the plate, let it melt the edges slightly then twist the shell onto the filled shells. Run your finger through the crease and make sure to seal it together. You do not want hot chocolate powder coming out of the ball.

11. Drizzle with more melted chocolate (be sure it is not too hot otherwise it can melt your chocolate ball) and top with sprinkles, peppermint candies, cookie crumbs, etc!

12. You can also spray them with edible metallic spray to make it look really pretty!

13. Ta-da! Enjoy!

Below are some videos we took while preparing these hot chocolate balls!

This was mine! White chocolate peppermint hot chocolate!
This was my son’s!