It's Tuesdays with Dorie today and this week's selection from Baking Chez Moi was brand new to me: chewy tapioca pearls suspended in a very creamy, subtly flavoured coconut pudding, but it took me two tries to get it right!
After my first attempt, which resulted in pearls that fell apart while soaking and a rubbery pudding that was overcooked in seven minutes, I decided that not all large pearl tapioca is created equal and the brand I had wasn't going to work using Dorie's instructions.
Discussions on forums I came across online mentioned that some brands disintegrate in cold water but hot water creates a seal. When I found several recipes that called for precooking the tapioca in boiling water, that's what I did, cooking it for almost an hour until the pearls were translucent with just a white dot in the centre.
I followed the book's instructions from there using 120ml of the starchy cooking water in place of the same amount of milk to help thicken the pudding. This method worked.
Puddings are a real novelty for me and
my family and everyone really
enjoyed this one, even the first, gummy bear-like version! The pudding itself was
silky and had a lovely sweet vanilla-coconut flavour, and the chewy tapioca was just plain fun
to eat! (We're fans of bubble tea too!)
I served it as suggested with the
Spiced Hibiscus Syrup (page 450) and fresh strawberries. The sweet syrup infused with the flavours of cardamom, peppercorns,
hibiscus, and vanilla was a perfect complement to the rich pudding.
Did anyone else have the same problems? If you're as curious as I am to find out how everyone else fared with this recipe, visit here.