TH and I love tapioca and tonight was definitely a tapioca night - rainy and windy. I don't mean that wierd tapioca that is made by Jello and is not only full of big irregular glutinous chunks and tastes of cornstarch and fake vanilla that they plopped on your lunch tray in elementary school. It is my opinion that a real homemade tapioca is something to be celebrated. Smooth, not too sweet and real with the small pearls. I make a chocolate version, which I like when it is still warm.
Here is the classic recipe with my own notes:
3 T small tapioca (INSTANT)
1/3 cup sugar (I use only 2-3 T)
2 3/4 cup milk (1% is fine)
1 egg (beaten)
1 t vanilla
2 T dutch processed cocoa (I used the new Hershey's Special Dark, but any is fine)
In a pan (heavy bottomed) combine milk, egg, tapioca and sugar and stir together. Add in cocoa and whisk it in. This is where using a bigger pan is a good thing. Let the mixture sit for at least five minutes to combine.
Over medium heat with constant stirring, bring the mixture a boil and let it continue to boil for a minute. The balls will start to rise and the whole thing will start to thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into containers and enjoy hot or cold.
Note: The Hershey's Special Dark cocoa purchase was sort of a mistake. I was surprised when I opened the container and saw its color. Its quite dark and may not translate well in some recipes, but in a brownie, delish.