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Vanilla Tapioca And Milk Chocolate Lime Cremeux

Vanilla Tapioca and Milk Chocolate Lime Cremeux

Update 6/18: You can head over Simply Hue written by the adorable Vicki to read a little interview she did with me about work, dessert, inspirations and passions. Then come back here for dessert, ehehe!

Thank you for all the good vibes you sent throughout the weekend, they were truly uplifting. You can trust that they are already bottled up and ready to be used for the next phase of whatever this is we are in. One sure thing for Bill and myself right now is that our marriage is stronger than ever, our couple and friendship thicker than glue. If a dessert could define it in a nutshell, it could well be these verrines of Vanilla Tapioca and Milk Chocolate Lime Cremeux.

Can I be annoyingly tacky by saying that our relationship is as comforting as vanilla tapioca pudding? Will you believe if I added that it has this sexy layer of milk chocolate cremeux to it? And that we still find a way to add a little spice and humor to life like adding lime to chocolate? I can, I am and I stand by the comparison. It certainly got B. to say outloud "These are so good! Will you marry me? Again?"

Tapioca Pearls and Chocolate Cremeux

I did smile at that one because at that precise moment I was reading a very interesting email and knew he’d giggle with me. It was a marriage proposal. From a reader. Oops! A "back-up" of some sort. A quite funny note actually ending in "you know, just in case things don’t work out for you guys" that just about made me bust my sprained rib again. He looked at me, grabbed my shoulders and pretending to be mad exclaimed "who have you been baking for? Ha ah!!" followed by "are there anymore of those tapioca chocolate thingies?" Yep, that’s him, my man, never losing sight of what’s important!

I did make those little pots with him in mind knowing that where I could not fix what was broken, I could certainly ease his worries for a brief moment. Chocolate is always a good start, wouldn’t you say? Milk chocolate to be exact. He loves it, I love it. Can’t get enough of it but we are picky about it and usually keep the good quality kind for special occasion. Now is a special occasion.

Vanilla Tapioca and Milk Chocolate Lime Cremeux

A milk chocolate cremeux is the most perfect way to say "you’re smooth man, I love you". Add a bit of lime zest and you round it up with that little touch of sass that keeps things interesting. He loves tapioca pudding, I love riz au lait made with arborio rice, which is a little bit more toothsome this way. I found a pleasant compromise by using large tapioca pearls instead of the fine grained kind but both work equally well here.

Hard to describe the pleasure of digging your spoon in such a creamy chocolate layer before the contrasting layer of tapioca and vanilla. As if it was possible to be improved upon, a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche on top actually makes them even better. That little bit of acidity is perfect to set off the creamy chocolate and round up the touch of lime.

Vanilla Tapioca and Milk Chocolate Lime Cremeux

One year ago: Cherry Orange Blossom Cakes

Vanilla Tapioca With Milk Chocolate Lime Cremeux:

Makes 6 to 8 depending on your serving dishes.
Note: it is best to prepare this the day before and let the cremeux get a bit firmer in the fridge overnight. Not quite a pudding, not quite a cream but the perfect cousin to both.

For the vanilla tapioca:
1/3 cup (60gr) large tapioca pearls
1 cup (250ml) water
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (12gr) sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeded

For the milk chocolate lime cremeux:
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
zest of one lime
5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
4 oz (120gr) good quality milk chocolate, chopped

Prepare the vanilla tapioca:
In a medium bowl, soak the tapioca pearls in the water for an hour. Drain and discard the water. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the tapioca, milk, sugar and vanilla to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until the tapioca looks translucid. Remove from the heat and place a piece of plastic wrap right on top to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Once completely cooles, divide the tapioca in between your serving glasses or ramekins.

Prepare the chocolate cremeux:
In a large saucepan set over medium high heat, bring the cream and lime zest to a simmer.
In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and sugar until pale. Once the cream is hot, slowly pour it over the yolks and sugar, stirring constantly to prevent curddling. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium low heat until thick ( a bit thicker than creme anglaise but more fluid than pastry cream), stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pot. Let stand a couple of minutes then stir until completely smooth and the chocolate is completely incorporated. Let cool to room temperature and divide the mixture evenly on top of the tapioca. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until slightly firmer, preferably overnight.

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Sunshinemom June 16, 2009 um 2:49 pm

Your pictures are inspiring as always! Who knew lovely desserts brings back up proposals? Just goes to prove that the way to any man's heart is ONLY the stomach:). What did you do to sprain your rib? I hope you are well now! These verrines look great, and the bottom layer is what we call 'sabudana kheer/payasam'. I am was so amused to see that it found its way into a Tartlette creation:).

Keep your chin up, whatever it is!

Finla June 16, 2009 um 3:21 pm

I am not surprised you get e.mails asking if you will marry them. If i was a guy i would also e.mail you with the qustion, by seeing just the dessert you make.
Hi hi i am sure lots of women who wants to be aasked by thei boyfriends wiill rush into the kitchen and make this if they are going to be like your dear husband.
Don't they say french men are real charmers, well you have a real Irsih charmer there 🙂

Now to the recips i have seen somewhere in the shop tapioca pearls should look for them.

Anonymous June 16, 2009 um 3:34 pm

how many does this make? These look INSANELY YUMMY & BEAUTIFUL!

chocolatecup June 16, 2009 um 3:37 pm

wowo. this is soooo interesting:)definitely gonna make this for the men in my life:) daddy and the bf. okkokok. brothers too.

Amanda Nicole June 16, 2009 um 3:41 pm

I love tapioca, and I love your marriage analogy. I think making these will cheer me up, too 😉 Thanks for sharing!

Cupcakes In Heels June 16, 2009 um 3:42 pm

my hubby will want to marry me again if i make him this vanilla tapioca and milk chocolate lime cremeux! where did you come up with such unique combos? they look so delicious! thank you so much for sharing =).

Manggy June 16, 2009 um 3:47 pm

Ahahaha, I love this. It's like, Yes! I'm reallyreallyreallyreally happily married. But how will our lives ever be as exciting again without surprise marriage proposals sitting in our inboxes? 😛 Ah, I guess we will have to make up for it with good dessert, right? I'm sure this verrine fits the bill! 🙂

Anonymous June 16, 2009 um 3:50 pm

where do you find the tapioca pearls?

Lucy Vaserfirer June 16, 2009 um 4:32 pm

I was tickled to read that your husband feigned anger at the thought of you baking for another. My husband says those exact words to me!

I do hope that whatever your hardships may be, they pass quickly. Last time I was too consumed by my own problems to say so. Your posts have a way of brightening my day (no matter how lousy it may be!). So now, I’ll send some smiles back your way!

Sunshine June 16, 2009 um 4:34 pm

So where can one find tapioca pearls? I'm not sure any of the local grocery stores sell them here. Must try this, want husband to propose again…

Claudia June 16, 2009 um 4:45 pm

I love it!


Helene June 16, 2009 um 4:52 pm

oneshotbeyond: serving size included in the recipe part.

Sunshine & oneshotbeyond: I can;t vouch for the grocery stores in your area but I found mine at a regular grocery store. I am pretty sure any healthfood store would carry it too and it's cheap.

maybelle's mom June 16, 2009 um 4:53 pm

Glad to hear everything has gotten a little more sorted and your husband is a real romantic.

anna June 16, 2009 um 4:59 pm

This sounds wonderful and it sounds like you two are perfect for each other! What a sweet tribute.

Dominique June 16, 2009 um 5:08 pm

Somptueux! c'est le seul qualificatif que je trouve pour tes photos! La recette? je salive déjà…

Irene June 16, 2009 um 5:18 pm

Reading your post a year ago reminded me over again how corageous and strong you are. I don't know if it helps, but A. and I are sending you good vibes from Los Angeles. There is a story about King Solomon, how he had the burdens of his people on his shoulders, and every time things got too difficult to handle, he would look at his ring, on which was inscribed "This shall pass," and it would make him feel better. One particularly difficult day, he got so frustrated with the words, he threw the ring on the floor. But then, thinking about it, he decided to pick it up again. He turned it over and the words said, "This *too* shall pass." This too shall pass, my dear.

Helene June 16, 2009 um 5:23 pm

maybelle's mom: things are as crappy as can be but they do level out for a while before crapping up again later. In those moments, I turn to him and hope I am as solid as he is.

Irene: Thanks for reminding me of that story!

Kristin June 16, 2009 um 5:48 pm

All I can say is OH MY and I like have to have it right now…but still working so I will have save this recipe for later! LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

Maria June 16, 2009 um 5:54 pm

What a wonderful dessert and story. Our one year anniversary was on Sunday and I just love being married. Life is so much better when you are with the one you love.

veron June 16, 2009 um 6:12 pm

This dessert definitely had me at hello. I love tapioca pudding and with the vanilla bean simply luxurious. For me, whenever the hubby makes his kebabs I always say…"Now I remember why I married you" he..hee..

Butikpartim June 16, 2009 um 6:15 pm

Wow,it's wonderful! I like it:)

onesilentwinter June 16, 2009 um 6:45 pm

i adore the first photograh!

MyKitchenInHalfCups June 16, 2009 um 6:49 pm

Just so Helen!
Now is the most special!

mycookinghut June 16, 2009 um 8:20 pm

Miam… this is soo nice.. I am sure it's good.. I love tapioca pearls!

Aimée June 16, 2009 um 8:42 pm

Oh me oh my, my hat is off to you and the way you turned tapioca pearls into something so seductive. I'm sure you'll have many marriage proposals to choose from once this gets out!

Jen Yu June 16, 2009 um 9:23 pm

I'm there! With spoon in hand ready to dig in 🙂 Those look awesome. And I do mean AWESOME because I love tapioca in creamy things and I never make it myself because I would eat it all up. I think you, like many of us, cook and bake as a way of expressing a sentiment – usually love or "I like you" or "hey, I hope you feel better". Just that yours are ten times better looking than anyone else's! hee hee! Big hugs for you and B. We are rooting for you. We are always here for you. xxoo

Nutmeg Nanny June 16, 2009 um 10:58 pm

Oh wow that looks amazingly delicious:)

♥peachkins♥ June 16, 2009 um 11:02 pm

I must say that this is a must try if it gets husband to propose again and if it gets you marriage proposals..

Great combination!

Jo June 17, 2009 um 12:12 am

I'm glad to hear that note about you and B. I think in all relationships, there are ups and downs and eventually both come out stronger than ever. I'm really surprised with this recipe posting – it seems to be a blend of western and asian dessert. We call the tapioca pearls in this part of the world as "sago". It's very commonly used in local desserts and cakes (kuih) and is absolutely delicious. Love the pictures as always.

Arwen from Hoglet K June 17, 2009 um 12:58 am

I love your description. Comforting, sexy and a little spicy is just how you want your desserts and relationships to be!

Kim June 17, 2009 um 1:13 am

Having met both you and your husband, I must say that you are a cute couple! God Bless you for getting another marriage proposal from your husband, though I suspect he says that to you quite often. Not a fan of Tapioca, but I want a dish of this Helen! Not as romantic as your story, but…. just last week, my husband actually said thanks, when I served a fabulous chocolate cake.

Valérie June 17, 2009 um 1:17 am

Hehe, I also have a special chocolate cream dessert recipe I keep for emergencies and special occasions. There's just something about chocolate cream, isn't there?

I hope things are well again for you very soon…

Lori June 17, 2009 um 1:50 am

Tapioca sure is comforting. Good to know you have a man that is so comforting. I always appreciate the stability and comfort my husband is always there to give. What a gift.

Helene June 17, 2009 um 2:55 am

Jo: tapioca pudding is a very common dessert in the South but the small bead kind is mostly used. I tend to prefer a bit more bite that's why I used the large pearl one. Compromise, compromise 🙂

Unknown June 17, 2009 um 4:24 am

I'm a lurker from SE Asia and love your posts. What amazes me most are your recipes that have ingredients that are bountiful here (coconuts, mangoes, chocolates and tapioca!) and we have not thought of combining such. And also the photos are jaw dropping!

Bron June 17, 2009 um 5:45 am

Gorgeous yet again! I laughed when you said B asked you to marry him again, as J and I are always doing that too, it's truly sickening eh?! I'd like to say we are as cosy as your tapioca and cremeux, however as he is not keen on tapioca, I'm not sure I can. But it works for me! We're a happy comfortable fruit crumble and vanilla ice cream, I guess.
Love your work xxx

Meeta K. Wolff June 17, 2009 um 6:45 am

it looks like we both have our troubles at the moment helen and we are both cooking and baking to ease the worries. funnily enough i made baked sweet risotto with peaches to take my head away from chaos right now!

Mélanie June 17, 2009 um 8:08 am

I'm just so happy you are feeling better and that you see the wonderful things (and husband! 🙂 ) you have in your life. It helps you in these difficult times (which I hope will be shortly over).
I've never made tapioca, but I love riz au lait, so I'll probably will try with that combination.

Btw, I made the mava cakes yesterday evening, they look delicious. I'll now more this afternoon, after sharing them with my colleagues! (baby shower now. not the same girl as for the wedding though!)

sweetakery June 17, 2009 um 10:51 am

I just love your blog, very beautiful, very interesting & inspiring, the combinations and recipes you use are just yumm!! Amazing pictures just love it! I really get inspired by your blog!..

Anh June 17, 2009 um 11:02 am

Hat off to you for making this seductive dessert! tapioca perls and chocolate, who would have thought? 🙂

Jennifer June 17, 2009 um 11:30 am

Your pictures and recipes are at a level far beyond many! So inspiring!! Thank you 🙂

Mallory Elise June 17, 2009 um 12:22 pm

mmmm tapioca. you know it's made out of mandioca root—it is a staple here in brazil! we had it for dinner just last night! tapioca–manioc, mandioca, casava–all the same thing, is every where. though not the pearl pudding we have! isnt that funny. i love it as a crispy flour sprinkled on rice, we've made cakes, and pancakes, and cheese bread–but i love most just the plain old root boiled with some salt. your piped dollop of cream by the way is perfect. disgustingly cute 😛

angela@spinachtiger June 17, 2009 um 1:10 pm

I have the great husband, now if only I could make desserts (and take pictures like you). You are a delight.

Claude-Olivier Marti June 17, 2009 um 2:51 pm

heureusement que Flickr existe, sinon je serais passé a coté de ton blog…que de belles photos, c'est absolument splendide! Bravo

Patricia Scarpin June 17, 2009 um 6:29 pm

I know everything will be fine because you two have each other, darling! That's the most important of all.
It's a great joy for me to bake and cook for the people I love so I know how you feel, Helen. This dessert is fabulous!

Cakespy June 17, 2009 um 6:41 pm

So. The amount of LOVE that this is inspiring in my very soul…well, let's say it's a high amount. I adore tapioca and love seeing it in a sophisticated sweet treat like this.

Anonymous June 17, 2009 um 9:16 pm

I love how your personality and sense of humor shines through your blog, Helen. Thank you for more amazing photos to drool over. 🙂

cindy* June 17, 2009 um 11:27 pm

these look fantastic, but even more important…

hooray for you and b! for keeping it real…even if it is real tacky, who cares. good for you both…finding love and friendship in the same place is simply amazing.

pastry studio June 18, 2009 um 12:22 am

I love the concept of chocolate and lime but it's hard to get the balance right! This looks absolutely perfect. I grew up on tapioca and it is in it's own category. Simply beautiful. Cheers to you and B!

Poorni Pillai June 18, 2009 um 1:21 am

Well, well, so these are the hidden advantages of being a successful blogger, is it? You get back up proposals?! ha ha, cute, and the dessert looks fantastic 🙂

Brittany June 18, 2009 um 1:47 am

this looks amazing! I def. wanna try it but have no clue where to find tapioca pearls =(

Helene June 18, 2009 um 2:53 am

Brittany: I don't know where you are but I found them at a regular grocery store with other grains and hot cereals such as farina and crem of wheat. They are also available at health food store and are pretty cheap. They are also used for boba teas so I am pretty sure you'd have success at Asian stores.

Karen B June 18, 2009 um 4:48 am

I've been a "lurker" so far, but wanted to say thank you for always putting a smile on my face! Dessert always does that for me. While I comfort myself with much simplier desserts (I'm limited in time and talent), the power of a good dessert is amazing. It always gives me the strength, and perhaps the time, to step back and take everything in perspective – whether it's something I make for myself or just looking at your beautiful creations.

Baking Monster June 18, 2009 um 5:24 am

This looks sooo good!

Cinzia June 18, 2009 um 5:27 am

Your soul is amazing and it is shown by what you say and the way you say it. By what you create and how you create it. By your photos…

Only yesterday I discovered your blog (I'm still going through all the topics) and I'm amazed.

I keep my finger crossed, wishing you all the best!!!

Amanda~Weekend Host June 18, 2009 um 7:32 am

With such beautiful treats, I don't blame him for proposing to you! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. It is no secret that I'm a huge admirer of your work, so I was really chuffed to see a message from you.

Barbara June 18, 2009 um 10:53 am

Super recipe! And I have several boxes of large pearl tapioca, too.

Maybe June 18, 2009 um 11:28 am

J'étais déjà fan de la crème de tapioca, mais alors là, avec ton crémeux au chocolat au lait dessus, je fonds ! En plus, ta touche de citron vert c'est une idée très originale, j'aimerai bien goûter l'association !

Cannelle Et Vanille June 18, 2009 um 12:00 pm

love how you compared love to the tapioca pudding comfort and glue. genius and so true! i just came back from your portfolio site. congrats on that too! so many things happening and soon, it will be calm and all the craziness will pass. just how things always work out. xoxo

ChichaJo June 18, 2009 um 1:25 pm

I love the way you put desserts together…lovely elements paired with such thought and imaginations…and always a story behind it 🙂

Danielle June 18, 2009 um 11:06 pm

Your desserts blow me away! That looks amazing! I want to eat it right now!
Plus I love your photography. It adds to the mouthwatering-ness of your desserts! 🙂

Julia @ Mélanger June 19, 2009 um 10:57 am

Between you and Y, what craziness. I hope things settle down for you (both) soon. I love your posts. I love your blog. Always an inspiration. I hope to be half the baker, stylist and photographer as you one day! 🙂

Cookie baker Lynn June 19, 2009 um 2:23 pm

This is a beautiful dessert, but I'm sure your husband would be happy to marry you all over again, even without it. He's one lucky fella!

Sobaka June 19, 2009 um 5:14 pm

Very nice interview, and lovely dessert. First time posting, although I've read and loved your blog for at least a year now. Just wanted to tell you that I am smitten by your Coconut Cherry Petits Gateaux. I marked the recipe, and waited for cherry season to arrive here, and in the past week I have made these three times. Very unusual for me because I usually only rarely make a recipe more than once, especially at such a short interval. They are that good. Simple brilliance. Thank you, and warm thoughts to you in the days ahead.

The Purple Foodie June 19, 2009 um 6:38 pm

I keep coming back for your breathtaking photography. Still haven't mustered the courage to make your desserts because I fear they might not look as pretty!

Barbara June 19, 2009 um 10:35 pm

A second comment from me….tapioca with fruit on the bottom in this month's Gourmet. You are way ahead of them!!!

parisbreakfasts June 20, 2009 um 11:37 am

Food porn!
There otta be a law! ! !
Swoooon and sigh

Parisbreakfasts June 20, 2009 um 4:50 pm

Please move over Mr. Tartelette…ahem
Will you marry me Tartie?
I said it in plain view.
Why no FAB pastry chef has yet to propose to me is a mystery I'm still trying to fathom – must spend more time in Montmartre cafes next trip.
Could you PLEASE put up one of those ETSY widgets so people can see all, well at least 4 perfect images of your gorgeous work!!!

ann ju June 20, 2009 um 8:20 pm

nice pictures and great way to use tapioca. I love it. bye

diva June 22, 2009 um 4:39 pm

oh i do love tapioca. these flavours here are driving me nuts. i do wanna taste it so bad! looks beautiful. x

Engineer Baker June 23, 2009 um 12:56 am

If I ever find someone that reminds me of that dessert, I'm proposing. Right there. You've convinced me 🙂 I hope things are going well, or as well as they can. You're definitely in my thoughts.

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