It’s funny how palette perception and preference can change over time. As kids, our favourite ice cream flavour was Neapolitan – swirly layers of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. While the chocolate layer, artificial as it was, could pass for chocolate, the strawberry part tasted more ‘pink’ than fruity. Made popular by ice cream makers in Paris at the beginning of the 19th century, this multi-coloured frozen dessert was moulded into blocks and served in slices. Nowadays, I prefer my gelato scoop heavily fruited and laced with a berry liqueur, if possible. After an extended separation, I thought I’d revisit this childhood classic by making a Neapolitan chia berry pudding. It tastes real and vaguely familiar but thoroughly chocolatey and berry-licious.
I’d like to say our weekday mornings are calm and serene. In truth, they’re like everyone else’s – a bit of a scramble. Everyone over 40 makes a beeline for the Nespresso machine, ramming one purple capsule in after another. With the aroma of caffeine wafting through the 4.30am air, the day seems somewhat hopeful. Then come the teenagers. Heading straight for the fridge and yanking it open with urgency, as if immediate feeding where a matter of life and death. And when their gaze falls on these frosted chia puds, bleakness is replaced with gratitude.
Besides being easy to prepare, chia puddings are also super convenient for grab and go breakfasts. I make up a large batch the night before and mix in whatever fruit is to hand. For these chia puddings I used blueberries, but raspberries and blackberries are as good. Essential to a neapolitan chia berry pudding, is a chocolate layer. I like mine intensely rich and tasting severely of chocolate, so I whisk in a generous amount of good quality cocoa powder. Then simply layer up the flavours in glass tumblers and top with frosted berries.
Neapolitan chia berry pudding
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 400g tin (400ml) coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (For non-vegans, can be replaced with honey)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup fresh berries, pureed (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries)
- Frozen berries, for topping
- Using a ballon whisk, combine the chia seeds, coconut milk, vanilla, salt and maple syrup in a bowl.
- Divide the mixture into three separate bowls.
- To one, add the cocoa powder and to another, the pureed fruit. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Layer up into tumblers and chill overnight.
- Top with frosted fruit or fresh, if you prefer, just before serving.
For more healthy breakfast ideas, take a look in here: