Interview with Nicole Bermensolo
Dédé Wilson: Nicole, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Tofu is always in my fridge and these days it is a fairly common ingredient for many. So for those who might have it around, but have only used it for a savory dish, where do you suggest they begin their sweet tofu exploration?
Nicole Bermensolo: Simple is best. Start simply. My recipe for sweet tofu only has 4 ingredients. It really allows the soymilk to shine through.
How about the other soy ingredients that you use in Kyotofu? Can you tell us a bit about those?
There are so many! Miso, kinako, and soymilk to name a few. Miso is fermented soy paste, kinako is toasted soy flour, and soymilk is milk made from boiled and strained soybeans. Each has a very different flavor and lends itself to different uses.
If someone is not in a major metropolitan area or somewhere where they have a lot of tofu choices, what brands do you suggest that are readily available? Or, put another way, what should folks look for on the label to make sure they are getting a good tofu.
I advocate any brand of Japanese tofu. They’re the experts after all! I personally like House brand and Morinaga brand.
You shifted from being a restaurateur to a wholesale business. Now that you are making baked goods on a larger scale, what are your biggest sellers? Any items that you loved that just didn’t gel with the public?
Biggest sellers are the miso brownies and chocolate chunk cookies. Yes, plenty of items haven’t worked with a larger audience. It’s sometimes hard to tell what will be received well in different regions of the country. It can vary widely.
Both of these recipes are very forgiving. They’re hard to get wrong. But if you do stray a bit, there is a very good chance they will still turn out well. My main concern would be watching baking times. Less for a chewier cookie, more for a harder cookie. And don’t burn the pound cake!! Check it often the first time you make it. Every oven is different.
Nicole, thank you so much for your expertise and your creativity with tofu!