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To obtain a soft and proper rice pudding, it is not possible to use our daily rice. You need round rice, also called noodle rice. Italian round rice like risotto can also work because their common point is to absorb liquids more optimally than long grain rice. The round and very white grains of round rice have a high starch content, which allows the cooking milk to bind and thicken so that the rice pudding is creamy to taste. For milk you have two options. Or whole milk whose fat, even low, will improve the texture of the dessert, or raw milk, which will give you the taste of childhood rice pudding. There are also plant-based versions of rice pudding, and they can work based on taste, although the texture will still be a little too runny. Also reduce the amount of liquid in a plant-based recipe (150g of rice per 800ml of plant-based milk). For example, use coconut, chestnut or almond milk and garnish with exotic fruit, oil seeds such as chopped pistachios or peanut puree.
Making rice pudding is extremely simple. Basically, put the milk and vanilla in a saucepan. As soon as it boils, add the rice and cook for about 40 minutes over low heat. Use a container that is not too large to avoid too rapid evaporation. The proportion, depending on whether your rice pudding is more or less soft, ranges from 100 to 150 g of rice per 1 liter of milk. Stand next to the pan and cook gently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom, which would give an overall burnt flavor. Sugar is added at the end of cooking because it hardens the rice. It is used as desired, generally 50 to 100 g, because once cooked rice is served with an additional sweetener (like brown sugar here).
Cinnamon, brown sugar and caramel
The vanilla you use is traditionally a pod split in half and scraped (put whole in the rice). The pod is removed only when the cake is cooked. You can also use vanilla powder. But be careful not to be fooled: in the supermarket you will find two products, vanilla powder and vanilla powder. Vanilla powder is the whole dried and blended pod, that’s what you buy. Vanilla powder is the pod emptied of its seeds, already used and then moistened and emptied of its flavor, then dried and powdered for resale.
Many people add cinnamon sticks while cooking – great idea. The brown sugar at the end is very Belgian-Belgian, but you can also opt for a Breton salidou-type caramel. To prepare it: 200 g of sugar, 100 g of semi-salted butter, 200 ml of cream and 1 tbsp. to s. of maple syrup. Heat the sugar and butter until an amber caramel is obtained. Add the cream and mix until a homogeneous preparation is obtained. Add the maple syrup. All the toppings are possible on the rice pudding: lemon zest, orange or grapefruit, lavender, rose, orange or violet blossom, ginger, rum, saffron, cardamom, cane or pomegranate molasses, dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, etc.), almonds, fresh fruit (banana, apple, peach, raspberry, strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb compote, etc. depending on the season), honey, chocolate, jam, fruit syrups or coulis …
A very traditional variation of rice pudding is its baked version. The result is a very satisfying rice pudding. For this, you need 110 g of round pastry rice, 1 l of whole milk, 80 g of sugar, 2 halved and scraped vanilla pods and 1 cinnamon stick. Preheat the oven to 160 ° (th. 5-6). In a rectangular pan, for example a baking dish, put and mix all the ingredients. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the rice there for another 30 minutes so that it can absorb some more milk. Wonderful.
Rice pudding with coconut milk and caramelized apples with blond brown sugar
1.2 l coconut milk I 250 g of rice with round pastry I 75 g of cane sugar I 2 vanilla pods
For the apples: 2 apples I 25 g of semi-salted butter I 25 g of brown sugar I 1 pinch of cinnamon
Bring the milk with the split and scraped pods to a boil. Add the rice and cook for 30 minutes. Add the brown sugar, continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla and let it cool so that the rice absorbs the milk. Meanwhile, peel and core the apples, cut them into cubes. Brown them in a pan with the semi-salted butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Place a bed of caramelized apples in the molds, pour a ladle of hot rice over them and cover with the diced apples and brown sugar.