Monday, October 19, 2009
I am the first to admit that when it comes to ‘alternative’ cooking, I don’t have a clue. Which is why I was intrigued when I received an email from Clare at Mark Communications offering to send me some samples of a new Carnation product – Soy Creamy Cooking Milk, created to cater for anyone with special dietary requirements. It is both lactose and gluten free, low fat, and also suitable for vegetarians. It’s the only soy-based product available in Australia suitable for cooking purposes. But what does it taste like?
It took me a little while to actually decide what to make with the product – maybe a panna cotta or a creamy pasta dish. I finally decided on tapioca pudding, a delicious dessert that can be flavoured in any way you can think up. I chose to use some warm spices – a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, fresh ginger and vanilla bean to infuse the Soy Creamy Cooking milk before adding the pre-soaked tapioca pearls.
Surprisingly, it didn’t have an overwhelming flavour and the spices worked exceptionally well with the subtle nuttiness of the soy. To make it extra special, a few chopped dry figs (or other dried fruit would work as well) and a scattering of roasted nuts on top made it a perfect dessert that anyone can enjoy. Thanks again to Clare for sending the samples and pushing me out of my comfort zone! Carnation Soy Creamy Cooking Milk is available in supermarkets nationwide for RRP $2.85.
Spiced Fig and Tapioca Pudding
• ½ cup tapioca pearls
• 1 x 375ml can Carnation Soy Creamy Cooking Milk
• ¾ cup soy milk
• 3 cardamom pods
• 1 cinnamon stick
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• 3-4 thin slices fresh ginger, peeled
• 55g caster sugar
• Pinch of salt
• Dried figs, chopped
• Slivered almonds, or hazelnuts or pistachios, chopped and roasted for 5-10 minutes.
1. The night before you plan to serve the pudding, place tapioca pearls in a bowl with some cold water, using enough to allow to pearls to expand. Leave to soak overnight.
2. Drain and set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine the Carnation soy cooking milk, soy milk, cardamom, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and seeds and the ginger. Bring to the boil, then cover and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
4. Bring back to the boil, add the sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved. Add the tapioca. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring constantly until tapioca is tender and well cooked.
5. Serve warm in ramekins or small bowls scattered with dried figs and nuts.