This tapioca is my family in a mug. The recipe tastes like Tembleque but looks and feel like traditional tapioca. Tembleque is a traditional Puerto Rican dessert – one of the many my Abuelita adored. I can still hear her, when daintily snacking of sweets saying, “Oh you know, this is so good, its not too sweet.” She said this about almost anything….and believe me they were very very sweet at times! Her favourite might have been ginger snap cookies but whenever I eat any dessert with coconut milk/cream/etc. I can’t help but think of her.
This recipe is also representative of my grandpa – a German immigrant who loved all things ‘hearty’. I swear I only ever saw him eat foods that were representative of his motherland or traditional 50’s hearty style meals. Think meat, gravies, pates, fried bologna sandwiches, rich cheeses…I could go on. Tapioca is a dessert that I think of when I think of older desserts that have kind of gone out of style. This isn’t an imitation made with Chia seeds…or some crunchy granola, fat free version -not that there is anything wrong with that! I love me some crunchy, healthy, goodness- this is real tapioca with just enough of a twist that I could leave out the egg yolk, cream, butter, and milk.
So here we have it. 50’s stick to your ribs meets Puerto Rico in a mug. I hope you enjoy the flavours as much as I did.
~2 cups coconut milk
~1 can coconut cream
~1/8 teaspoon sea salt
~1/3 cup small tapioca balls
~1/3 cup granulated stevia or cane sugar
~2 tablespoons coconut manna (optional)
~Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
1) Add coconut milk, coconut cream, sea salt, and tapioca balls to a medium sized pot. Mix together well and allow them to sit there for 30 minutes.
2) Turn on heat to medium, add sugar, and stir regularly until brought to a low boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 12-15 minutes stirring frequently to keep from burning on the sides of the pot. Regularly scrape down the edges as you cook. Once done turn off heat and slowly stir in coconut manna.
3) Spoon out tapioca into little mugs or ramekins -2-4 total depending on your serving size- and allow them to chill in the fridge until cook. Serve with a lil sprinkle of nutmeg on top.
Note: If you don’t use the coconut milk you can always use almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc.. Be weary of the sugar content in these drinks. Its not going to hurt you or anything – however milks with added sugar can take this dish to a sickeningly sweet dimension….maybe even one that my Abuelita wouldn’t like.
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