Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hey There, Pudding

The weather this weekend has been teasingly Springlike, but that has not stopped me from craving homey, Winter comfort food. I've been thinking about rice pudding for weeks. The super creamy texture, the warm scent of cinnamon and vanilla just begs to be enjoyed on a cold evening wrapped up in a warm blanket. Or maybe on an early Spring day with the windows open. Oh heck, I could eat rice pudding any time!

My first rice pudding was made a few years ago for Christmas. I used Ina Garten's recipe for Rum Raisin Rice Pudding. And I expected it to be a humble addition to the dessert table, passed over in favor of chocolate cakes and apple pies, but the rice pudding was the hit of the day. Yes, everyone loves rice pudding.

This weekend I decided do something a little different with my rice pudding. I always have some Taza chocolate in the pantry, and I've been trying to come up with the perfect vehicle for the discs of Cinnamon Chocolate Mexicano. Definitely the right match for a cinnamon -scented rice pudding.

I used arborio rice for this recipe. It makes creamy risotto, it makes creamy pudding. And I know they're pricey, but using a whole vanilla bean is very important. The extract is just not the same.

Be sure to cook this over really low heat for a long time. Low and slow is always the key to creaminess. You could use another good quality bittersweet chocolate for this recipe, but I highly recommend Taza if you can find it.

Mexican Chocolate Rice Pudding
serves 4 - 6
1/2 cup arobrio rice
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved and beans scraped
1 cinnamon stick, halved
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 x 2.7 oz. package Taza Cinnamon Chocolate Mexicano chocolate, or 2.7 - 3 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Stir together rice, milk and sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir in vanilla beans and pods, and add cinnamon stick.
  • Bring rice mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When rice is thick and creamy, remove from heat. Add a spoonful of rice mixture to a bowl with beaten egg to coddle. Stir egg into pot with rice, return to heat and cook 2 - 3 more minutes.
  • Stir in chocolate until melted and well combined.
  • Serve warm or chilled.

1 comment:

  1. love that you are still craving winter foods, because I just wrote a post on soup! I'm not crazy after all. this looks delish. very creative!!