In these dessert parfaits, tapioca sits atop a gelee that sparkles with suspended Champagne bubbles.

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Ingredients

For the Simple Syrup (makes about 1 cup)
For the Champagne Gelee
For the Vanilla Bean Tapioca

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make the simple syrup: Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Let cool.

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  • Make the Champagne gelee: Place cold water in a small bowl; sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat 1/4 cup Champagne in a small saucepan over medium heat (keep remaining Champagne chilled). Whisk in softened gelatin until dissolved. Stir in 3/4 cup simple syrup. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and set in ice-water bath to cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes (do not let cool longer, because it will begin to firm up).

  • Gently stir remaining Champagne into gelatin, being careful not to disperse the bubbles too much. Slowly and gently pour mixture into 10 medium narrow-rimmed glasses, filling each halfway. (It is important to use glasses that taper at the top with narrow mouths, or too many bubbles will escape before the gelee has a chance to set. For best results, fill the glasses gently at the end, making sure to agitate the bubbles as little as possible.) Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

  • Make the vanilla bean tapioca: Soak tapioca in cold water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water, milk, and vanilla seeds to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Let stand for 20 minutes to infuse.

  • Return vanilla mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, and stir in sugar and a pinch of salt. Drain tapioca through a sieve, and add to vanilla mixture. Reduce heat to low, and gently simmer until tapioca starts to become transparent, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool.

  • Spoon 1/2 cup tapioca mixture over each glass of Champagne gelee. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

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