Black tapioca pearls are often used in a Taiwanese drink called ‘boba’ or bubble tea, which is a milk-based drink with a handful of the gelatinous black pearl balls at the bottom of the glass – sucked up through an extra-wide straw.
Black tapioca pearls are also used in South Asian desserts, boiled up with coconut milk until they take on a jellybaby-like consistency. The tapioca pearls are gelatinous spheres made from a natural starch extracted from a cassava shrub and brown sugar, unlike white tapioca pearls which do not contain sugar. This brown sugar gives them their dark colour as well as their caramel flavour.
To cook the black tapioca pearls bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the pearls and wait until they rise to the surface. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes until soft, stirring regularly. Transfer to a bowl of cold water for 20 seconds. The black tapioca pearls are then ready to add to boba tea and desserts.
Ingredients: Tapioca starch, water, starch acetate, hydroxypropyl, distarch phosphate, caramel, xanthan gum, sodium diacetate, sodium dehydroacetate, food flavour
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