Saturday, 5 February 2011

The Rice Pudding Club 2011

Kitchen Playlist - Back in Black Redux ~ A tribute to AC/DC by Classic Rock

My Love hates milk puddings. All milk puddings. So for our ten glorious years together I have abstained from the dessert. And for the first nine years I was quite happy in doing so. Then a craving kicked in for the comforting pud. And then I heard about the whole steak tartare incident so I thought, "Well...if you are doing that whilst you're away...maybe i should see this as an opportunity to have some rice pudding!". I spoke to my pal D and we agreed the next time My Love was away we would have a rice pudding fest! So I started the research for good vegan rice pudding recipes as the last time I had cooked one I was still a vegetarian. I ended up with about 30 recipes in all, ranging from Traditional Rice Pudding to Chocolate Rice Pudding to Persian Saffron Rice Pudding. I short listed down to five recipes and texted them to D & B to make the final choices for me because I really was struggling to decide. They to had the same problem so we decided upon one traditional, Coconut Rice Pudding with Caramelized Pineapple and a Peach Phirni (to be taken away to eat the next day!!! We know our limits! lol) So yesterday late afternoon/evening my kitchen looked like a rice pudding production line and the Sock Stealer sat patiently in his bed tucked away in a corner, keeping out of the mad cooks way and also hoping for any dropped pudding to be noshed. 

Then finally the Rice Pudding Club came to order and we sat and ate the delectable puddings. We started with the traditional pudding which looked...well...beige! It was a throw everything in the pot, cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hours pudding. The result being a beige mass in the middle of the baking dish with a creamy lake around it. And a very burnt bottom to my pudding dish (Many thanks to D for all her help with the elbow grease in removing all burnt pudding of off my various dishes and pans!) But it tasted nice. It was enjoyed but all agreed in one way or another it could've been better and all made suggestions to how. I haven't provided the recipe for this pudding because it won't be my 'Traditional Pudding' recipe...I do have about 8 others to try first. lol. We had a break and then it was time for pudding 2. The Coconut Rice Pudding and Caramelized Pineapple, as My Love feels the same way about Pineapples as she does about milk pudding this one was a Double Win recipe lol. I had made a mistake with the servings with this one so instead of a pudding for 4, it was actually a pudding for 2! So we had small bowls of this topped with the pineapple. But it turned out to be the perfect amount. This pudding was quite simply...AMAZING! It wasn't over sweet and the flavours had depth and the pineapple was perfect. We enjoyed this one...very much. Were you picking up on this?? lol The third pudding was a Peach Phirni, which is a cold served ground rice pudding. D & B took theirs away with them to have today. I was very late up this morning and needed a quick breakfast so I pulled my portion of it out of the fridge and thought, "What the hell!", and tried a spoonful. Overnight this pudding had transformed into a creamy, lightly peachy, comforting bowl of heaven. I usually dislike cold milk puddings but this was beautiful and I have to say I enjoyed every mouthful. When I was making it yesterday I thought I would hate it but wanted to give it a try. I taste tested to ensure the rice was cooked and was almost hit in the head by the sweetness but overnight it had mellowed greatly. The possibilities for this recipe are great..I could imagine it made with passion fruit or mango. I hope D & B enjoy theirs when they get around to it. 

So the recipes for the Coconut Rice Pudding with Caramelized Pineapple and the Peach Phirni follow and I hope you give them a try. We already have two new members for next year! 

Coconut Rice Pudding with Caramelized Pineapple Serves 2
(Original recipe found on website posted without name)

1/8 tsp cardamom powder
200ml Light Coconut Milk (1/2 of 15oz tin)
200m cold water
40g white caster sugar
75g pudding rice
125g fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
13g light muscovado sugar (light brown sugar)
13g chopped pistachios or almonds

 Place the milk, water, sugar and cardamom into a pan, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. 

In another pan place the rice over a medium heat. Add a ladle of the milk to the rice stirring constantly until absorbed, then add more, making sure each addition in absorbed. Check the rice after all the milk has been absorbed as mine needed much longer. So I heated up some hot water and carried on the process until the rice was cooked. This probably took just over 30 minutes. But it was so worth it! Be patient. Then put a lid on the pan to keep warm. 

Put a small skillet on a heat to get hot! Toss the pineapple with the brown sugar. Then when the pan is smoking hot throw the pineapple in and cook off for about 3-4 minutes. The pineapple should be brown and caramelized. 

Spoon the rice into bowls and top with the pineapple and nuts of choice. And enjoy! 

 Peach Phirni Serves 8
(Recipe found on website by Anon)

1/4 cup long grain rice
2 cups of soya milk
3/4 cup sugar 
1 15oz can of sliced peaches in juice
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 cardamom powder

For garnish - sliced almonds, few slices of peaches, mint leaves

Wash the rice and soak in water for 15 minutes. Drain the water and place in a blender with a little milk and blend to a puree. 

Drain the peaches and set aside 4 slices for garnish. Puree the remaining peaches in a blender with the cornstarch. 

Boil the milk on medium high and let it simmer until the milk reduces to about 2 cups. (Approx 8 minutes after boiling!)

Take a 1/4 cup of the hot milk and mix it with the rice puree. Then slowly add this to the simmering milk, stirring constantly to avoid lunps forming or milk burning on the bottom. 

Cook until the milk has reduced to about half in volume and rice is cooked. 

Next add the sugar and the cardamom powder, cook for about 4 minutes on low medium heat. Then turn of the heat. 

Just after turning off the heat add the peach puree gently to the cooked rice. 

Pour the Phirni into serving bowl/s of choice and leave to cool. Then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Serve chilled. Enjoy!