To make the Syrup:
1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan with a heavy bottom, over low heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Working quickly, place in the blender the tofu, 1 tablespoon of Syrup, 2 tablespoons sugar, coconut extract and salt. Set this aside and pour the remaining syrup evenly into 6 custard molds. Rotate each one to coat the base and sides with the syrup. Set aside.
3. Into the same saucepan pour the non-dairy milk and the agar. Bring this quickly to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Continue stirring. Add this hot milk mixture to the ingredients in the blender and immediately blend it to a smooth cream. Stir down the bubbles. Pour the blended mixture into the coated molds, and skim off any remaining foam. Cover the molds with plastic wrap, and refrigerate them until serving time.
To unmold the puddings:
Dip the bottom of each mold briefly into boiling water, then remove the plastic wrap and turn upside down on a dessert plate. The pudding should slide out easily. Pour any syrup left in the bottom of the mold over the pudding. Decorate each plate with fruit and mint or lemon balm sprigs.
** In light of recent research, Dr. Weil no longer recommends reduced-fat dairy products unless you happen to prefer the taste.
Variation: Vegan Crème Caramel or Individual Spanish-Style Flans:
Omit the coconut extract and add 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (you could use some orange extract or orange zest in the pudding and/or the syrup, if you like, and use less vanilla). I like this version less sweet, so I leave out the extra 2 tablespoons sugar in the pudding mixture, but you can leave it (or part of it) in, if you prefer.
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