Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Playdate Special: Coconut Tapioca Frozen Cream

There I was in the middle of one of the cafés at the amazing California Academy of Sciences when I saw that tempting beauty: one small jar of tapioca cream with something on the top, perhaps a syrup or jam made of fruit. That was enough to trigger a little old obsession. I  was in a rush to see the albino alligator, so didn't have time to eat it.

At that point, though,  I didn't know if I was daydreaming -- probably one of the jet-lag effects, but I knew it was time for me to experiment again with tapioca pearls. I grew up having tapioca pudding (called sagu where I come from) always a treat from my grandma's kitchen. I don't know the original recipe, but remember well it was cooked in grape juice and served with créme anglaise. Later I ate it cooked in diluted red wine instead of grape juice. And just about three weeks ago, my mother-in-law prepared a cake with it to celebrate my husband's birthday.

Because I was craving it, I decided to go for a very reliable brand and ordered it as soon as I could to not make a mistake. Last time I tried to prepare tapioca, it was a disaster, mainly because it was a bit sour, probably because of the type of cassava used to make it.

So there I was with my project for the playdate: I wanted to make ice cream, tapioca coconut cake and tapioca pudding from my grandma. The result was what my kids loved. Darienne went home with one package of pearls hopeful that her older boy would like it. He did. And on Saturday, some of our guests and their kids tried the dessert before it was frozen. And went home with little samples and the desire to eat more. They were so pleased that they asked for this very simple recipe, that I now share with you.

Tapioca Coconut Frozen (or not) Cream 

The brand of tapioca is important for this one here. You can also try to make it with the large pearls. And let me know how was that! I served it with a swirl of organic dates syrup. And I and Darienne believe that you can add other delicacies over the top, or even inside the mix, such as cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon or other syrup.

1 cup uncooked tapioca white pearls
2 cups water
2 cups nonfat or 2% milk
1 can organic coconut milk
1 can sweet condensed milk

Soak tapioca for at least 30 minutes before  cooking. Add milk and bring to a boil. Simmer the mix, adding condensed milk, and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until you see that the pearls are transparent and the mix has a pudding look. Add coconut milk and cook for about 5 minutes more. You can now include your favorite spice, such as cardamom or nutmeg. Cool and and transfer mix to an ice cream maker. Process it for about 30 minutes. Serve it right after preparation or freeze it. 


Karen F. said...

Yum. I bought tapioca recently remembering that my Grandma used to make it for me. I still haven't gotten around to cooking it. We love coconut, too! I'm inspired. Thanks!

Myrna said...

Thanks for elucidating the mystery of the oriental tapioca, which reacts very differently from the one I bring from Brazil! I now know what to do! Many thanks!

Myrna said...

I just tried the recipy, and not only the tapioca worked fine this way, but the result was really irresistible! What I did, in "your favorite spice" part, was to add cinnamon powder, 2 cloves, 3 cardamom grains and ginger powder, and the interior of 4 passions fruits. A big success! Thanks!!

Anna said...

Wow! Passion fruit!!! What a great addition.Darienne will be very happy with the cardamom, as it's one of her favorite spices. Thanks for trying the recipe, and happy that it worked out fine.


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