May 17, 2012

Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Roasted Strawberries and Mangos

I've been thinking lately about the reasons for blogging. What moves so many to have a food blog or about any other subject. But food is our common ground here.

There's a TV ad going on here about Internet Day. I laugh so hard every single time I see it, which is a few a day. If you know spanish you can watch it here. It's about a young guy who works in a boring office, and instead of doing the work he's supposed to (graphic charts, budgets) he spends his time doing funny, crazy, dumb things to post so that all his other office mates and everyone around the world can have a good laugh and brighten their day. So, on May 17, all his colleagues do his office work for him so he can go on doing stupid videos for everyone to see online.

The reasons why someone decides to start a blog are endless and personal. I opened a post about a year and a half ago, that really got to my heart, and I thought then how good it would be to be able to participate. And eventually I did, three months ago. It is opening doors to so many things in such a short time that I don´t really know where it may take me personally. I know that I'm making friends (even if they are virtual ones) and sharing recipes and stories that someone, somewhere around the world, might find helpful or interesting or even dumb and laugh.

For me it's about sharing my vision of food and how it shapes me, not in an altruistic way, though that's part of the package sometimes. I do care to be acknowledged by having comments and visitors. But when I start thinking about a new post, and that´s really a never ending, everyday thing I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, it's about sharing something new, by way of my heritage, or an old cookbook or whatever I think is different or new. 
A way to add to the food world of whoever might be reading on the other side of the screen.

My list of to-do recipes is huge. My list of food blogs I like grows permanently. Everyday life is about jobs, friends, family, hobbies and also about food. So let's say I would need a few more hours in a day to tackle all of that. Which brings me to the idea behind this post.
Inspiration from other food blogs. There are so many I would like to visit everyday, leave a comment and read extensively… but that's hard. I read about many twists on recipes, funny stories, thoughtful insights, new flavors and they trigger ideas and feelings of my own.

So I want to write about that. A recipe inspired by another recipe, or sentence or comment on another food blog. Something that's mine, usually from the list of recipes I want to try, and that I can share but was triggered by a fellow blogger. Of course, due credit is fundamental. And that's the root of this story. Because I'm so grateful for everything that´s happening with my blog and so excited where it's taking me.

Well, enough of that. Let's do some cooking.

I had strawberries not very happy to be in my fridge anymore. I debated between a tart or a cheesecake. I also wanted to do this tapioca pudding.
While I thought it was my first encounter with tapioca, my mother told me she used to make it a lot when we were small kids. It is baby food. But with the roasted fruits on top it takes on a grown-up spin, fancy enough to serve at a dinner party.

I roast vegetables and bananas like it's going out of style but never thought of strawberries until I read these two posts. Now, I'm scared to add yet another food obsession to my list.

from Room for Dessert, by David Lebovitz

I bought small pearl tapioca like the recipe specified but it was very irregular, so it didn't cook at the same time and some remained gummy after the milk had been used up. Next time I will buy evenly sized pearls even if they´re large, like caviar.
For the roasted fruit I used part of the sugar in the pudding recipe.

Makes 8 servings


For the tapioca pudding:
3 ½ cups coconut milk
1 ¾ cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup pearl tapioca
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 egg, separated

For the roasted fruit:
1 pound (450g) fresh, hulled strawberries
1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
¼ cup light brown sugar


For the tapioca pudding:
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan cook together coconut milk, milk, sugar, tapioca and salt over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 15 to 20 minutes. The mixture will thicken and the tapioca pearls will be plump and translucent.
Remove from the heat. Add vanilla paste or extract.
With a wire whisk, vigorously mix the egg yolk into the pudding. Cool for about 10 minutes.
In a bowl, whip the egg white until it forms a soft peak and fold it into the warm pudding. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or up to 3 days.
Serve with roasted fruit.

For the roasted fruit:
Preheat oven to 350º F/180ºC

On a baking sheet spread the fruit pieces, and sprinkle with the light brown sugar. Mix lightly and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they start to soften and release their juice.


  1. We all start blogging for a few reasons, however with time it does develop into to so many benefits and it has changed me for the better.
    This pudding does look delicious! I have never really experimented with different flavors in tapioca pudding, but this blend does intrigue. Your pictures here are very vibrant and enticing as well. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I’ve had tapioca sitting on my counter for a week now that I plan on making into pudding! Yours looks so beautiful, love the strawberry topping!

    1. The roasted strawberries are a great addition, you should try them!

  3. Paula, what a moving blog post - goodness you write so beautifully. I loved reading your post so much and let`s not even talk abot that tapioca pudding with the roasted strawberries, it looks so delicious and the photos are fantastic! I must admit that I have never roasted strawberries in my life but I will now, promise.

  4. This looks amazing! I also love the inspiration I get from other food blogs. My list of recipes to try and ingredients to experiment with has grown so long I fear I might never get to them all. That's okay though because it fuels my passion for cooking and eating and for me that's what this blogging thing is really about :)


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