Friday, February 18, 2011

Coconut tapioca pudding with caramelized bananas

I love tapioca pudding--even the super gloopy kind. How about you? I imagine you must be willing to give it a chance if you're still reading this. I know many are turned off by its weird texture, but that's what I like about it. It's certainly not the flavour, as tapioca really doesn't have much. You won't find any vanilla, eggs or milk here, because this is not your granny's tapioca, or at least not my granny's. It's made with small pearl tapioca, not instant, and flavoured with coconut and topped with bananas. Mango or pineapple would also be wonderful here, so just use what you've got. I originally developed this recipe for Food52, where it was an Editors' Pick. I don't really know what that means, but I think it means someone liked it. I hope you do too.
tiny bubbles...

Serves 3-4

2 cups water (you may need to add more, depending on your brand of tapioca and how loose you like it)
4 pods green cardamom, cracked but whole (optional)
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup thick coconut milk (skim from the top of an unshaken can), plus extra for serving, if desired
  1. Bring water, cardamom and salt to a boil in a medium pot.
  2. Add tapioca, and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to keep mixture at a gentle boil.
  3. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently as it tends to stick. Tapioca is ready when most of it turns clear, without a white dot in the centre.
  4. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add thick coconut milk and stir in. Divide amongst dessert bowls and let stand while you prepare the bananas. It will thicken as it cools. Serve slightly warm. Do not refrigerate, as it will turn to glue!
Caramelized bananas:
2 bananas, ripe but firm, quartered
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
  1. Heat butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bananas, cut side down. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Turn when browned and brown other side.
  2. Place bananas atop tapioca and drizzle with pan juices and/or extra coconut milk to serve.


Cupcake said...

Oh my youngest would LOVE this! Bookmarked!

Valérie said...

I don't have a problem with tapioca's texture (I love it in soups), but I've never had tapioca pudding. In fact, I'm not very knowledgeable about pudding in general. The caramelized bananas look delicious, though!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

I do love tapioca pudding, maybe not as goopy as you but with some smoothness. Coconut milk makes it so exotic, great job and congrats on the editor's pick

Valerie said...

If all tapicoa pudding looked like this, I'm sure I would love it!

Those bananes are calling out to me. :D

RamblingTart said...

Coconut is a fantastic addition to tapioca, Mary. :-) I LOVED this growing up. We called them Fish Eyes. :-)

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! And, I love the caramelized banana topping!

Jennifurla said...

I love this, the topping & texture.

Anonymous said...

This looks yummy! It reminds me of a Thai dessert. I would eat the tapioca with mango and the caramelized bananas with ice-cream!

tasteofbeirut said...

This is a dessert that my kids would have adored! Love the idea of adding the bananas and the cardamom; can't think of a better creamier and delicious end to a meal/

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

This brings me back to being young - this looks delicious and what a unique recipe it is!

Brownieville Girl said...

Tapioca reminds me of school dinners - but I'd be willing to give this a try, I love the combination of flavours.

Cakelaw said...

I will admit that the weird texture of tapioca turns me off, but your photos make it look oh so good. Now the caramelised banans - I would gladly have those any day.

Elaine said...

Hi, Mary! I thought I would visit and see what you have been up to. Your tapioca pudding looks so delicious! I love, love the tiny bubbles. :)

Rosy said...

WOW! This is a delicious looking recipe. Your photos make tapicoca look amazing.

Anne said...

Oooh this looks so awesome Mary! I've never made tapioca but used to have it at my Grandma's when I was little. This recipe is the motivation I needed to try it, now I need to find the tapioca (I'm going to have to ask, I wouldn't even know which aisle, so silly!)

A Canadian Foodie said...

So how does one develop a recipe for Food 52? Did they ask you to do it? Just curious as they are often looking for recipe testers. I love tapioca for the same reasons you do - and the flavour. Mine didn't even have fruit, but it had vanilla and cream or at least, whole milk. It had the flavour of a creme Anglaise and I loved squishing the little pearls between my teeth. Still do. I love the sizes you can get now, but still stick with a fairly small one when making mine. Your variation is stunning and sounds very yummy, too!

Deb said...

This was delicious! Loved the delicate floral essence of the cardamon with the sweet browned sugar bananas. Perfect. Had a very exotic flavor. A keeper for sure.

Anonymous said...

I love caramelized bananas. They're GREAT on oatmeal. Tapioca? Not so... Well... Yeah, I like tapioca too. ;)