By admin | December 8, 2011

BY AINE CARLIN

Traditional puddings often get a bad rap. Unfairly so I think, because for me there’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of creamy rice pudding or a helping of fruit crumble doused in custard with a scoop of ice-cream on the side – am I the only one that must have both?

Just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy all that fantastic old fashioned food. In fact, most of it is very easily veganized. Take this tapioca pudding for example – all it requires is a quick switch from cows milk to oat milk and voila, you’ve got yourself a fully charged vegan friendly dessert that might as well contain dairy – to the naked eye at least. When cooked slowly the oat milk, sugar and tapioca pearls take on an almost condensed milk-like quality. I’m positive most people wouldn’t recognize the difference, which, when you’re trying to encourage a plant based diet, is crucial.

Familiarity is key when first embarking on a vegan lifestyle. You don’t wake up one morning craving a kale smoothie, so take it slow and ease yourself in. There are substitutes for everything imaginable on the market now but I believe making your own is the way to go, a there is a danger of relying too much on vegan convenience products. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy!

With all that said, it is so nice to treat myself once in a while to a full on pudding and recently I’ve been thinking a lot about tapioca. Done wrong, tapioca can be vile and if this has been your experience I think you might just be ready to have your mind swayed. In my opinion it’s time for a tapioca revival – vegan style! Are you with me?

Lovingly stirred, chilled and paired with poached rhubarb this really is a surprisingly modern and effective twist on a classic.

Rose-Infused Tapioca Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup tapioca pearls
2 cups filtered water
3 cups oat milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp rose water

Method:

  1. Soak the tapioca pearls in the filtered for an hour or overnight if you prefer.
  2. Combine the oat milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan (quite important – I used my le creuset) and bring to the boil. Remember to stir frequently to avoid the bottom of the milk being scorched – once this happens it’s game over and you’ll have to start again.
  3. Drain the tapioca pearls and add to pan. Turn the heat right down and now begins the stirring. Simmer gently for at least 45minutes ensuring to stir constantly. Just like a risotto if you fail to stir it will severely impair the taste.
  4. After 45minutes it should have reduced considerably and the pudding should be thick but not stodgy – remember it will firm up in the fridge. There’s no need to add cornstarch (cornflour).
  5. Take off the heat, pour in the rose water and stir thoroughly to disperse throughout. Cover tightly and leave to stand for at least 15minutes. You could have a bowl immediately if you prefer it hot.
  6. Place the warm tapioca pudding into glasses or small bowl. Cover to avoid a film from forming and chill for several hours before eating.

Poached Rhubarb Recipe

Ingredients:
1 large rhubarb stalk
3 cups water
11/2 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Wash and cut the rhubarb diagonally.
  2. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Add the rhubarb and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes and then remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Bring the syrup to a running boil until is reduces right down. You want about a 1/2 cups worth of syrup give or take. Allow to cool completely before pouring over the rhubarb.
  5. Chill in a container for several days for maximum flavor. Can be used in a multitude of dishes, including as a topping for vegan ice-cream, yogurt, cereals, porridge and puddings.

Photos: Aine Carlin

Aine Carlin is a vegan blogger who specializes in vegan recipes. She also has a keen interest in vegan fashion and is currently training to be a stylist where she hopes to promote cruelty free clothing and beauty. You can find more of her vegan recipes and vegan friendly fashion over at www.peasoupeats.com

For more great recipes from Aine, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

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