Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thrice Thwarted by Tapioca

Its been getting cooler here in the mid-west and that has put me in the mood for custardy foods. I was in the baking section of the grocery store the other day picking up vanilla beans for Jaden's Vanilla Bean Giveaway and spotted the tapioca from across the isle. I opted for the large pearls since I always feel like I never get enough of the squishy bits in my tapioca.

I got home. I was *so* excited; I was going to have tapioca for dessert. WRONG! The damned things had to soak in water over night. Who was it that talked me into getting the freaking large pearls?!? (Initial thwart) Ok, so I had to use patience... I checked those damned pearls every hour on the hour just in case they were ready at any point before bed.

The next morning, I did the whole bit: warmed the cream, separated the eggs, beat in the sugar, scraped out the vanilla bean caviar (added the leftover bean to some vodka for homemade vanilla extract), and whipped up the egg whites til they were stiff - by hand. I was following the directions to a 'T' and everything was going beautifully. I folded in the egg whites to the "hot tapioca mixture." Needless to say my tapioca is a little curdled. :( My mom informed me that I was supposed to wait until the mixture cooled to fold in the egg whites so I guess the directions were wrong. (Twice thwarted)

Thankfully it is still mostly pretty and, more importantly, tastes heavenly. Since I am eating it all myself and not feeding it to company, I can look beyond its mottled appearance. The pearls were perfect balls of tapioca and were completely soaked and cooked through and their texture was wonderful. I was generally content (at least with my tapioca).

Its day two of the tapioca and I am kind of confused. The perfect tapioca pearls from yesterday had developed hard centers overnight! They arent crunchy as they had originally started out, but they are decidedly less gelatinous. (Thrice thwarted) I am not certain what is going on with it. It still tastes good so I am continuing to eat it, but now it definitely needs to be chewed which is just weird. I guess big balls just arent worth the trouble. hardee-har-har? oookmaybenot

Also, just in case you were wondering, you shouldnt freeze tapioca. I stuck a tester size in the freezer thinking that it might just happen to be the best thing ever. It was gummy and doesnt rank high on my list of frozen delights. (Thwarted for a fourth time?)


SteamyKitchen said...

maybe you can use the rest of the tapioca in this recipe:

i normally use small tapioca, but i'm sure you can adjust recipe to use your large pearls.

Beverly said...

Sarah, I think your tapioca pudding looks DELICIOUS! The pic looks like it belongs in a food magazine, so don't be too hard on yourself. :)

Tapioca is tricky, though. A lot of Asian desserts center around tapioca (plus I also love tapioca pudding), but I've always been too chicken to tackle it myself. You do have to soak it for a hugely long time, and the bigger the tapioca pearls, the likelier it is to become crunchy. Way to go for making it yourself!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah! Miss you! I thought maybe by now, I'd have seen tons of new pics up on the blog. Have you tried the pasta extruder yet??

Big Hugs! Jeannie

Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions