Chocolate Almond Tapioca Pudding Slow Cooker Recipe

Tapioca pudding is the ultimate in comfort food. I made it the "normal" way during my 2008 challenge, and have used that recipe LOTS to wow the neighborhood kids during playdates. It's easy, it makes a TON, and keeps really well in the fridge. You can make a batch on the weekend and nibble all throughout the week. 
I wanted to kick the normal recipe up a notch for the new cookbook, and after opening and closing the pantry doors a bunch of times (you do that too, right? you stare at your pantry waiting for something to pop out?) I zereoed in on the cocoa powder I was given at the BlogHer Food conference. This is Scharfen Berger---it's delicious, smooth, and kind of expensive. It's not something I'd buy on my own, especially after learning that it's owned by Hershey (might as well just buy the regular stuff!)


Anyway, I combined some of the cocoa powder with some almond extract because I was trying to recreate that yummy chocolate almond biscotti flavor. In tapioca.

because why not?

and it worked. I loved this. Adam loved this. My grandma, mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law loved this.

the kids said they liked the "normal" one better...

The Ingredients.
serves 8 to 10
2 quarts 1 percent milk (half gallon)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup small pearl tapioca (not instant)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Combine the milk, sugar, and tapioca in the stoneware insert. Stir well to mix. DON'T ADD EGGS yet!

Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours. You are looking for the tapioca to soften slightly and get a bit slimy. This is still going to be very soupy---don't get worried!

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, almond extract, and cocoa powder together. Measure out 1/2 cup of the hot milk and tapioca from the crock, and stir it into your mixing bowl. Then add another 1/2 cup and mix it together. And then another!

This is called tempering the eggs, and you need to do this so you don't end up with scrambled eggs in your pudding. Pour the egg mixture into your slow cooker and stir well to combine. cover and cook on high for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tapioca has begun to swell and thicken.

Unplug the cooker, and leave the lid off for one hour to thicken even more. Stir again and chill thoroughly in the fridge.

The Verdict.

This works. The bit of cocoa and almond really adds a great depth to a traditional tapioca pudding and tastes fantastic. I've been eating it for breakfast.

and for snack.

and sneaking spoonfuls each time I walk into the kitchen.

other stuff:
--- it's the last week you have to read about my skin! (THANK GOODNESS) I've got $100 Visa gift card up for grabs over at Totally Together Reviews.  And I wrote a bit about my typical morning routine. Which I thought was typical, but I guess it isn't?

--- if you are reading this on a feed, you'll notice that I went back to a full feed. I don't like partial feeds any more than you do. I don't like people stealing content either, but I like you all more than I dislike thieves, so I've decided to get over it.

Merry Christmas!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at December 20, 2010

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What they say about this article

  1. How crazy is that-- Last night I watched my favorite Food Network chef make tapioca pudding in the slow cooker and thought- "Tomorrow morning I'll e-mail Stephanie and ask her to do tapioca for her blog!"
    Then, I open up your page... to this!
    Wow, just, wow.

  2. Ooh this sounds yummy! I may have to try it. Thanks for all the great recipes you share. I didn't mind the partial feeds...I say do whatever you need to do to protect yourself. Have you tried using Copyscape?

  3. Hi Steph! I love tapioca pudding too! I've got a recipe in my new book as well...not cocoa though. I'm going to give that a whirl. It sounds divine.

    There's tons of buzz at my blog about *your new book* and they've been sharing favorite recipes from your blog in the comments...I've found a few I didn't know about. Can't wait to try them.

    BTW- the link to Totally Together isn't working. It's giving a 404 error. Thought you might want to know.

    Hugs & Merry Christmas to you, too!

  4. Hi Steph,
    I'm so glad you went back to the regular feed! Yay!

    This recipe sounds delish! The last time I went to Trader Joe's I got their cocoa powder, it is really flavorful and a good buy. I think I paid $1.99. I had Ghiradelli before that, it was really good too, but cost more (got it on a good sale, and have never seen it low enough to purchase again).

    BTW, I often add the cocoa powder and almond extract (sometimes with sliced almonds) to my hot multi-grain cereal, and sometimes I add shredded unsweetened coconut along with a little coconut oil (supposed to be healthier than butter) instead of the almond extract.
    Also good in pancakes!

  5. I've never been a fan of tapioca, but I've only ever had the prepackaged kind. I'm thinking anything almondy-chocolate flavor has to be delicious. Maybe this will turn tapioca around for me.

  6. Wow this sounds amazing. I really need to get cooking more things in my crockpot. I wonder if this will work with a metal insert? Also, with almond or coconut milk to make it dairy free. I'm going to give this a try. I've been wondering what I was going to do with that box of tapioca. Thanks Steph!

  7. Stephanie - when I was growing up my mom used to make chocolate rice pudding...she passed on almost 2 years ago and unfortunately, I never got her recipe. Can you tell me 1) have you ever made a good tasting batch of chocolate rice pudding (I've tried but it just doesn't taste right for some reason) and 2) could chocolate rice pudding be made in the crock pot? Feel free to email me at kritterblogdesigns(at)gmail(dot)com - or leave a message on my blog Thanks

  8. This sounds really good! I have some tapioca in the pantry right now, hmm...

  9. I have been reading your blogs for a few weeks and I have not been able to comment...but I got a new phone and I want you to know I love your blog..I always end up hungry and ready to cook. Question, I would love a good rice pudding recipe. It can be chocolate or regular. If you have one can you let me know.

  10. here you go!

  11. Oh I love tapioca! I don't know where I'm going to find tapioca that's not instant, but I'm going to start looking. Tapioca pudding is often a treat at my house, and since my husband won't eat it, I get it all for me!

  12. Time to hunt through my pantry for that tapioca I bought and never used. I love tapioca pudding. My family doesn't. More for me!

  13. YUM! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you this year. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! xo Carol

  14. Heya. it's 2:21 over here and I can't sleep, so I'm surfing on the laptop in my living room, next to the glow of the chrismtas tree. I actually ain't hatin' life right now, it's very peaceful. :) Anyway, just wanted to say good luck on the release of your new book and the link to your Totally Together Reviews isn't working from this post. I want to enter. :)

  15. Hi Stephanie,

    Just a note to wish you a Merry Christmas. This is my first year GF and we'll have 3 crockpots going tommorrow because of all your yummy recipes. You're the best.


  16. Oh this is good! I like that I don't have to think too much about it and then I get perfect tapioca pudding at the end! I will definitely be making this again.

  17. Anonymous12/26/2010

    Could this be any easier? And with the cocoa powder and almond extract, I bet it kicks the flavor up a whole bunch of notches. Can't wait to try this!

    Gluten Free Diva

  18. Sounds yummy, thanks for sharing.