Sunday, 31 October 2010

Chocolate Rice Pudding

Cravings. We all get them. Salty, savoury, sweet.. chocolate. I actually don't have a huge appetite for chocolate - although I do start craving those bite-sized chocolate bars that are everywhere this time of year. I can't even buy them to give out, I'd eat them all. This year the neighbourhood kids get all sorts of jelly candies like Fuzzy Peach and Swedish Berries and whatever other ones Maynards has in their huge box - and a bag of Doritos. Well, chips are handy for lunch boxes next week.

So, what to make when Kim challenges us to submit to our chocolate cravings this week? Well, I happened to notice that earlier in the week she made chocolate rice pudding. That I do crave. Rice pudding is the ultimate comfort food - and I wanted some.

You don't really have to measure carefully with rice pudding, you will be adjusting the milk and cooking time anyway - it takes as long as it takes for the rice to plump up well beyond polite risotto texture and deliver its starch to the creaminess of the dish.
I loved the orange liqueur component, in fact I added a splash more - and I topped mine with a chocolate-covered orange peel that my daughter gave me and also some puréed strawberries - yum!

Chocolate Rice Pudding, Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008
for I Heart Cooking Clubs, Chocolate Cravings

    6 to 8 servings


    * 5 cups whole milk
    * 2/3 cup Arborio rice
    * 3/4 cup sugar
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
    * 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    * 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    * 1 1/2 tablespoons orange liqueur
    * 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the milk, rice, sugar, and orange zest. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the bean to the saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the vanilla bean. Stir the cocoa powder and orange liqueur into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon the rice pudding into serving bowls. Cover and refrigerate for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and up to 1 day ahead.