Feather in Your Cappuccino: Cappuccino Tapioca Pudding with Cardamom Brulee Recipe

FACT: Pudding is delicious. So why is it that so many home bakers, undaunted by baking cakes, cookies, or even pie crust, are scared to make it?

Could it be they're scared of the dreaded scrambled eggs effect of adding eggs to the hot liquid? Or is it just that it's so much easier to add cold milk, mix, chill, and serve? (Bless you, instant pudding!)

Well, in the new book Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One by Joe Yonan, one of the goals is to stress that pudding is something you can (and should) do at home. Don't believe me? Here's a recipe that the publisher was kind enough to share! Sounds good to me!

Cappuccino Tapioca Pudding with Cardamom Brulee
Makes 6 (1/2-cup) servings
  • 3 cups milk, preferably low-fat
  • 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 egg yolks, whisked to combine
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  1. Pour 1 cup of the milk into a heavy saucepan. Add the tapioca and let soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the remaining 2 cups of milk into a mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, sprinkle the espresso powder over, let it sit for a minute or two, and then stir to dissolve.
  3. Whisk the espresso-milk mixture into the tapioca mixture, along with the egg yolks, salt, and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Over medium heat, slowly bring the mixture just barely to a boil, stirring constantly; it will take 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat until the mixture is barely simmering, and continue cooking the tapioca, stirring occasionally, until the beads swell up and become almost translucent and the custard thickens, another 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Spoon the pudding into 6 individual 1/2- cup ramekins and wrap each in plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled. It will keep it the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  5. When you are ready to eat, unwrap one of the ramekins of pudding (thaw it first if frozen), and sprinkle the top with 1 teaspoon of the remaining sugar and a pinch of cardamom. Use a small culinary blowtorch to caramelize the sugar on top, keeping the torch moving so you deeply brown but don’t blacken the sugar, then eat.

Reprinted with permission from Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One by Joe Yonan copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photo credit: Ed Anderson © 2011