The last time I summarized my recipes, I noticed the “desserts” section was a little thin. I wouldn't say that was intentional, but maybe subconscious, since most of my dessert techniques are pretty lacking. Especially compared to Julia who can bake from scratch, create and modify baking recipes to become amazing, make and dip truffles, write calligraphy in chocolate, make meringues and custards and even fresh marshmallows. Plus she makes the absolute best, most perfect chocolate chip cookies in the world. As attested by just about everyone who has ever tried one (or ten) of them. All these skills, and many more even, really dwarf the things I can do, so I often don't really bother. Who would?

Well that creates a little problem when I want to treat her to something sweet, something chocolate or something rich and creamy. But I can do a few things still – like melt chocolate in a double boiler and follow directions on a package – and I'm a conceptualizer at heart, so it was not a problem recently when I endeavored to make Julia a dessert that would impress even her.

So what can I make from a package? Brownies? Blah, too rich, too much fat, just too much. Chocolate pudding? Blah, too boring. Tapioca pudding! Now there's our winner! One of our personal favorite puddings can be easily made from a package (the one I found was Kraft brand), and super easily at that. It essentially involved boiling the tapioca mixture with low fat milk, a beaten egg, some sugar and vanilla and then letting it set. It's cool (pun intended) – the dry granules from the package actually become gelatinous and tapioca-like not during the boil but during the cool down.

But this tapioca pudding, albeit tasty and easy, was not a creation. It was simply a preparation. But who has ever had chocolate tapioca pudding? Now that would be a creation!

So I started simmering some water and set up a glass bowl on top of the simmering pot to create a standard double boiler. I took some milk chocolate chips and some dark chocolate chips and placed a mixture of the two into the double boiler along with half a cup of low fat milk. Then I stirred the chocolate until it was melted and kept adding milk a little bit at a time until it was the consistency of a thick liquid, perhaps like the consistency of butter milk or heavy cream (for reference).

Once my chocolate was melted and ready, I removed my tapioca from the fridge and carefully folded the chocolate into the pudding. This was not an exact science. I added in chocolate until the tapioca pudding was sufficiently chocolate-colored and yet still of the same tapioca pudding consistency. To be honest, I used most of the chocolate, which can NOT be a bad thing.

What we got was a deliciously rich-tasting, creamy chocolate tapioca pudding (read: awesome). Not something either of us had had before or heard of before, and it served the purpose of a wonderfully-pleasing dessert. So I guess in the face of adversity, this was a victory for me. Maybe I'll try dessert endeavors more often from now on. Or I'll just leave it to the pro.

No comments: