Again? Already? But Eva just made the incredibly promising if unsuccessful coconut-lime-cardamom Tapioca Pudding!

I actually signed up for this day at L’s request, since he apparently has fond memories of tapioca pudding.  That was long before I realized there would be back-to-back tapioca blogs.  So as my day approached I thought it only fair to attempt a different Tapioca concoction, and leave L’s pudding for another day when you all won’t have to read about it.

I was using StumbleUpon the other day and completely at random a tapioca cheese bread recipe popped up.  What are the odds of that?  It seemed like fate.  So today I had some high hopes for some cheesy, puffy goodness. Please take a moment to at least glance at the fateful recipe.  Honestly, this blog won’t be the same without the context.  It’ll only take a second – you don’t even have to read it – just look through the photos.

So I couldn’t find tapioca flour.  No problem, I had read that it’s fine to grind up tapioca pearls.  Initially I thought it would be best done with my beloved mortar and pestle.

This technique made a very satisfying crunching sound.  That’s about it.  So I turned to my trusty blender.  It did occur to me that a coffee grinder would be better; sadly ours is integrated into our coffee machine so it seemed unwise to use it.

I hope the walls in my apartment are pretty thick.  Because I know I would be a wee bit annoyed if a neighbour decided to pulse their blender erratically for… I don’t know – half an hour?  Forty-five minutes?  I tried to give my poor blender lots of breaks to cool down, but the blogosphere waits for no woman.  I like the way the reflections on Mr. Blender make it look like he’s sweating buckets.  If blenders could sweat he surely would have been.

Eventually I admitted the hopelessness of the situation.  I strained out the coarsest bits and found that I had about half the necessary amount for the recipe.  Much of what I retained was still too coarse to be considered flour, but I was running out of options.

I considered making a half-recipe, but I had already grated my cheese and measured out my milk, and I didn’t especially want to bother with splitting out half of the one egg.  So I decided to substitute all-purpose flour for the rest of the tapioca and cross my fingers.  I had, after all, read that a 1:1 ratio was appropriate for tapioca/wheat flour substitutions.

The recipe recommended Queso Fresco, and it just so happens that the store downstairs sells locally made mexican-style cheeses, so I happily followed their advice.

As instructed I poured the whole mess back into my poor abused bender.  According to the photos that accompanied the recipe I should have gotten a fairly thin liquid.  Um, no.  I got a big thick pasty mess.  My blender (which has always served me well) groaned agonizingly for a few seconds before I dumped everything out and mixed it by hand.  I’m afraid I smelled smoke.

By this time I knew my results were disastrous, but what else could I do but forge ahead?  I spread the dough into the muffin cups and stuck them in the oven.

After the alloted 15 minutes they were obviously still raw.  I reduced the heat to 300 and gave them another 1/2 hour.  The results were mouthwatering, if you like gummy on the inside and hard on the outside.  Actually, the flavour was pretty good if you could keep from gagging at the texture.

So, as it stands, the score is Tapioca: 2, 365Foods: 0.  And I think I need a new blender.  If anybody dares to try that recipe let me know how it goes.  Those puffs look delicious!  I’ll trade you some cheese pucks.

~Sage

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