For the last three years I’ve suffered from insomnia, something that got particularly bad over the last six months. This is why this blog went defunct and the reviews blog slowed to a trickle. I’ll get into the details of that later for various reasons, but for now I’m going to reboot this blog with a recipe I made up last night. Also for reasons I’ll explain later, my tolerance for sweetness in foods has gone way down in recent weeks. I wanted a little bit of dessert last night, but I didn’t want something that was too sweet. Now that I have energy thanks to being able to sleep again, it occurred to me to just make some tapioca. I was originally going to make the coconut-milk-flavored tapioca recipe that’s on the back of the box, which is one of my favorites, but apparently we ran out of coconut milk. So I concocted latte tapioca instead. I recommend serving in small amounts—it isn’t terribly sweet, but it is somewhat fatty and starchy, and it’s definitely rich. Also, I have to give credit to the “Let’s Do… Organic” small pearl tapioca box recipe for some of the basic proportions with which I started.
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 Tbsp small pearl tapioca
- 2 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar, or 3 Tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup concentrated cold-brewed coffee*
- dash of cinnamon (probably not more than 1/2 tsp)
*Basically, soak a larger-than-usual amount of ground coffee in cold water overnight, then drain through a coffee filter. Or, you could probably increase the whole milk to 1 cup and use 1 to 2 tsp instant coffee crystals.
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together all ingredients. Place over medium to medium-high heat and bring just to a boil. Simmer, whisking constantly, for about 20 minutes, or until the tapioca pearls are softened and the mixture has thickened somewhat.
Remove from heat, pour into a bowl, and allow to cool for a bit at room temperature. You could also place the bowl in an ice-water bath, stirring occasionally, if you’re in a hurry. Refrigerate until chilled. You can press plastic wrap lightly down onto the surface to keep a skin from forming, or you can just remove the skin (or eat it—it tastes great, it just isn’t entirely pretty if you’re serving this to guests).
I have four books that I’ve read and plan to review over the next week, and have two books immediately lined up to read next, plus three cookbooks to review. Then there’s the medical saga to tell, and roughly three years’ worth of productivity to catch up on. I apologize if you’ve been trying to reach me by email and haven’t gotten a reply—it’s going to take me a while to get to everything.
Back soon—really this time!
Note added in 2015: I’ve come to appreciate tapioca made with egg for that luscious mouth feel and a better texture. I’ll have to re-work my recipe and post it again later.