Tapioca has been given such a bad rap. Growing-up I thought it was a dessert only fit for the geriatric crowd or for those toothless folks who could barely gum down the most liquid food form. I tried Kozy Shack tapioca when I roommate of mine bought some and I was hooked (I strongly believe that was the biggest contributor to my freshman weight gain). The Chocolate Espresso Tapioca Pudding with Kahlua Whipped Cream is for Black Friday, intended to give those early morning shoppers the jolt of caffeine they need to navigate those unruly crowds. I am not really a Black Friday type of gal, but this dessert arrived just at the right time, day light savings. Falling back an hour used to be something that I looked forward to, as everyone appreciates an hour more worth of sleep. With a toddler who has an internal clock that will wake her at the same time, time changes be damned. I am trying to look on the brightside, waking up at 4:00 a.m. allows me to get so much more done!
This was my first attempt at making tapioca, and the directions on the back of my package called for much more time spent soaking and cooking the pearls then what the Baked Occasions recipe specified. I am assuming the Occasions recipe is a slightly fast/rushed version of the standard. I soaked the pearls for thirty minutes, and then add the egg yolks, milk, and cream bought this up to a boil. I only cooked this for an additional 12 minutes, and it just wasn’t enough time. After sitting overnight in the fridge, my pearls were still al dente and it was a soupy mess, but a delicious mess. It tasted like a melted chocolate coffee milkshake with the addition of some small tapioca pearls. I did not make the Kahlua whipped cream, as I just couldn’t justify the extra calories.
I didn’t think of this as a baking disaster, rather a lesson. Since I still have a giant bag of tapioca pearls, I think next time I will cook them to the bag’s specifications: soaking the pearls overnight and cooking them for longer. However I will still add the coffee and chocolate, as I found it sexified tapioca. The coffee taste is fairly strong, so maybe not for those who are not coffee fans, although this one may win them over.