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Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Puddings & Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding With Poppy Seed Lemon Muffins


I got to say, social media and the way we interact is pretty phenomenal. And I mean that in all possible ways. I do love it. Being able to connect fast and furiously with people. Meeting new and interesting folks all the time. Being able to exchange links to pictures, recipes, news almost instantly. I like hearing my phone send me a little ring-a-ding "you got mail". Really I do!

Tapioca Puddings & Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


Last week, I posted on Flickr a photo of tapioca puddings and lemon poppy seed muffins I was taking to our neighbors for dinner. I linked that to Twitter and then closed the computer and went next door. My phone in my pocket. Then my phone had a party. All by itself. It started ring-a-dinging with intensity. Tweets back and emails started coming in asking me to please share the recipes for the puddings and the muffins.

To tell you the truth I had not really planned on it but I had made more than enough to share with more friends. Here. One spoonful deep in that dessert, one whiff of lemon and poppy seed later and I was secretly giddy to have an opportunity to sample them again.

Rhubarb


The Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Puddings are so good. Soothing. Little beads of tapioca rolling off your tongue. Smooth. Rhubarb and raspberries gently cooked until just barely soft. The distant scent of cherry blossom extract. The perfect crunch of lightly roasted pistachios.

And the muffins. Ah…gobbled up in a flash. Good thing I tend to cook and bake like my grandmother. Doubling a recipe, or more, is just a normal thing happening here. What can I say? I love to give and see the smile on someone’s face when they receive. The lovely part with these muffins is you can built upon the base any way your heart desires. Oranges, instead of lemons, nuts instead of poppy seeds, vanilla, rose, caramel…anything.

Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding


Quite a few many events are shaping up for this Spring and Summer (actually up ’til January…ugh!) that have me jumping up and down with excitement! I will make sure to keep everyone updated on workshops or conferences.

Right now I must get the house and studio tidied up a bit since Taylor is coming tomorrow and staying a few days to shoot the promo video of my book "Plate To Pixel". I heard the book was officially shipping out next week! I am extremely nervous but glad we practiced a little a few months ago. Remember this? I can’t believe this is all happenings. Months of hard work just about to see the light!

Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding With Poppy Seed Lemon Muffins


Another fun little tidbit that I forgot to post here: last month the printed issue of Elle Magazine published a feature "Cooking In Code" for which I was interviewed along with Heidi of 101 Cookbooks and Molly of Orangette as well as Eddie Gehman Kohan, Krista Garcia, Amanda Kludt. Extremely honored. Well, now the online version is live on the Elle magazine website. Click on any of our pretty mugs and you’ll be able to catch up on our interviews.

Ok…now I must really go clean the house for Taylor. I’ll try to post sneak peeks of the shoot with Taylor throughout the weekend. Should be fun!

Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding



Raspberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding With Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins:

Serves 6

For the pudding:
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup raspberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup small pearl tapioca (not instant)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cherry blossom extract (or rose, or vanilla)
Toasted pistachios for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, raspberries and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, to a simmer, add the honey and stir briefly. Cover the saucepan and let cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover and check the fruit. If there is a lot of liquid, cook a bit longer over low heat, uncovered until very little liquid remains at the bottom of the pan. Let cool to room temperature and then divide evenly among 6 ramekins or glasses.
In a separate and large saucepan, combine the tapioca, milk and honey over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and let the mixture cook until the tapioca looks translucent (about 20-30 minutes). Let cool to room temperature and divide in between the ramekins or glasses with the raspberry/rhubarb mixture. Top with chopped pistachios.

For the lemon poppy seed muffins: (makes 12)
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 cup yogurt
zest and juice of one large lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon coconut oil (or melted butter)
1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the inside of 12 muffin cups with muffin liners and grease slightly with melted butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and honey until smooth. Add the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, coconut oil and whisk until combined. Add the millet, brown rice, and potato flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds. Whisk until fully incorporated. Divide evenly between the muffin liners and bake 15-20 minutes.

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.

Cardamom Tapioca Pudding, Roasted Rhubarb And Strawberry Syrup

Tapioca Pudding-Copyright┬ęTartelette 2008 I know my mom is going to say "Ah! Finalement" (Ah! Finally) when she reads this post. You see it is not uncommon during our phone conversations for me to say "Oh, by the way, I saw this really cool ingredient, gadget, linen, etc…on a French site and I am having it come to your house so you can bring it next time you come visit or pop it in the mail with the next care package. Hope it’s not too much trouble!" There is usually a pause, sometimes a sigh, followed by "where the heck did you find this? What don’t you sleep at night for a change?"

The explanation is easy: B’s muscles unwind when he falls asleep by severely twitching which provokes him to jerks and send his knee(s) in my ribs or his arm across my face. One black eye and a many bruises later we both agreed that it was safer for me if I let him fall asleep first and then sneak in the bed half an hour later. Most of the time, I turn the computer on and start browsing….and find things I "need" for baking. You’ve been there, "surfing" the Internet…How long is your baking wishlist now that you’re blogging?!! That’s how I found a bunch of cool syrups one night that I "wanted" for baking. Flavors like cotton candy, pain d’epices, candy apple, lavender, and this strawberry syrup I used with the Tapioca Puddings. A few clicks and a phone call to the parents and they were on their way.

Now that Sprig is in full swing, I can’t get enough rhubarb. Every trip to the store and a couple of pounds end up in my cart, it’s like I am on auto pilot. My preferred method of cooking is to cut it large cubes and cook it down over the stove and stop the heat when I can still get some chunks. I can’t describe the feeling of biting into it when it is cooked that way. The mellow bite of flesh that gives out on your tongue, while your taste buds are tickled by the sourness of the fruit quickly followed by a hint of sugar. I like sour tastes so I have a tendency to go light on the sugar when I cook the rhubarb down. I also took opportunity of the oven being on one night I was cooking the cheesecake for the Daring Barker challenge to cut large cubes of it and roast it with a sprinkle of sugar at 325F. The end result was allright, a little bit too "stewed" down for my taste…but who cares? It’s rhubarb!!

I like rice puddings a great deal but there was this little container of small bead tapioca left to be used and in an effort to organize the pantry (and I hate to throw away) I used it instead for the puddings adding a touch of cardamom to the milk while it was cooking. Some tapioca or rice pudding recipes call for an egg custard but that always seem a little too rich for me so I skipped that one. Once cooled down, I spooned into glasses, topped it with the rhubarb and added a splash of the strawberry pie syrup my parents sent me. I understand you may not have the same syrup I sued available but you can substitute you favorite syrup with these like grenadine, reduce pomegranate juice, blueberry, etc…Seemed like the perfect pairing, strawberries and rhubarb. We’ve been feasting on these for the last couple of days feeling pretty happy and virtuous after an insane amount of cheesecake chocolate pops!!

Tapioca Pudding-Copyright┬ęTartelette 2008
Cardamom Tapioca Puddings With Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberry Syrup:

For the puddings:

1/3 cup tapioca

2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)

1/4 cup sugar

6 cardamom pods, crushed with the back of a knife

1/4 cup fruit syrup

In a heavy saucepan combine the milk, and cardamom pods. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat, let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the pods. Return the milk to the saucepan and add the tapioca, and 1/4 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens up, about 10 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.

Roasted Rhubarb:

2 cups diced rhubarb, large chunks (1 inch)

1/2 cup sugar

Put the chunks of rhubarb in a large roasting pan and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake at 325F until the fruit barely starts to give when you press your fingers in one piece, 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Divide the pudding among 4 glasses or dishes and top with the rhubarb. Drizzle one tablespoon of syrup over each glass. Serve at room temperature.

Toffee Butterscotch & Tapioca Pudding


Every month I get a little surprise in the mail, Cuisine at Home magazine, courtesy of my dearest Lisa who got me a subscription for my birthday last year. I am usually very bad with food magazines, letting them pile up on the bed stand until they become one with the floor…not good. This one is a no fuss-no muss kind of magazine and their dessert recipes are always so mouth watering…it is difficult to resist!!

I was wondering why the postman was taking a break by our mailbox and I went to check on things, he was reading my magazine and looked up at me with a big smile on his face. "You have got to make this" he said, pointing at the Toffee-Butterscotch Pudding in the latest edition. I had to agree that it looked mouth watering, and it had two of my favorites Heath Toffee Bar and tapioca. I am addicted to the toffee bar and crumble it up on top of everything lately such as cakes, cookies and my afternoon yogurt. Over the past year I have become quite fond of tapioca puddings, creams and bubble teas, nutritious and filling, it is as versatile as rice for puddings.

The recipe was very easy and straightforward, but if course I had to make it richer by adding a small handful of toffee bits inside the pudding. I used the same 8 ounce preserving jars that I used previously for chocolate pots de creme, that way I could take one down to the mailman the next time he came. It’s like a sweet surprise as you dig your spoon into it! I don’t eat candy that often so this is like a candy addiction to me which is a good thing actually because I am sending this off to Candy Recaper as my entry to Sugar High Friday.


Toffee Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding, adapted from Cuisine at Home:

Serves 4

1 can evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup whole milk
3 Tb instant tapioca
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tb. unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup tofffe bits (such as Heath)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. sugar
toffee bits for garnish

Warm the evaporated milk in a saucepan until it comes to boiling point. Reduce the heat to low and keep it warm. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk, tapioca and salt. Let stand 5 minutes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat, add the brown sugar and cook until the sugar melts and starts to foam, about 4 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the warm evaporated milk, stirring until smooth. Be careful as it will bubble like mad.
Add the tapioca mixture and bring the pudding to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring constantly for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove form the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Pour half the pudding among 4 serving dishes, divide the toffee bits evenly on top, pour the remaining half of pudding. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it to the surface as to prevent a ski from forming. Let stand or chill until serving time. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks with the sugar and garnish the puddings with it. Garnish with more toffee bits.