Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TWD: Arborio Rice Pudding, Black, White (or both)


I chose the "both option" since I knew I was going to have to double the recipe anyway to satisfy my family of sweet-tooths. I was eagerly anticipating this recipe because I haven't ever made rice pudding, and hadn't even eaten it since I was oh, about twelve years old. My Mom made it for us occasionally when we were growing up, but I haven't had the opportunity to have it since. On the surface, this recipe looks extremely easy, with only a handful of ingredients even if you include the chocolate. But, as I'm sure you are aware, looks can be deceiving.

I made one change from the recipe because I wanted to and another change because I had to. For the first, I decided that I would make the "white" part white chocolate as opposed to just a simple vanilla. I was frankly surprised that this wasn't what Dorie had originally in mind when she wrote this recipe (just seemed to make sense in that the "black" part was to be chocolate). As for the necessary change, read on.

When I read over the recipe, the thought of only using a measly 1/4 cup of rice to 3 1/4 cups of milk was unsettling. I wondered if it might be a misprint, but I went ahead and trusted that Dorie knew what she was talking about. I wish I had read the comments over at the Tuesdays with Dorie site first (I will remember to do that from now on as it is always full of great advice). Suffice to say, my pudding didn't quite come out right.

The recipe says to parboil the rice for 10 minutes and then cook it in the milk and sugar mixture for 30 minutes until 80-90% of the milk had been absorbed. After 30 minutes of simmering, it tasted delicious but looked nothing like rice pudding and everything like rice soup. The rice was tender and I just thought there was no way it was going to soak up that much milk. I added white chocolate to half and bittersweet to the other half and covered them with the skin-preventing plastic wrap. By this point, it was getting late so just I threw it in the fridge for an overnight stint and hoped fervently that things would set up. Alas, this was not the case. In the morning I simply had cold rice soup.




By now, you'd think that I would have remembered to go to the TWD site to figure out what was going on, but no, I didn't. My necessary recipe change was to put each batch back into a pot and add some cornstarch (2 tbsp per pot) to thicken them (bring to a boil and cook for an additional minute). This worked like a charm but kind of diluted the flavor. Of course, it was after this additional step that I consulted my fellow TWD bakers and discovered what I did wrong. Although the recipe calls for 30 minutes of simmering, many others found that if allowed to simmer another 15 to 30 minutes more, the pudding thickened nicely.


All in all, I have to say that this rice pudding was pretty tasty, despite my doctoring with the cornstarch. The white chocolate was far and away my favorite of the two and I'll definitely be making it again and next time, I'll try to be more patient. Thanks Isabelle of Les gourmandises d’Isa (a French food blog - oh, la, la tres magnific!) for choosing this delicious recipe. Check out the other TWD bakers here.

Be sure to check in next week for Thanksgiving Twofer Pie!

19 comments:

n.o.e said...

That cornstarch idea was inspired - never in a million years would I have thought of that. I'm pretty well addicted to the TWD P&Q feature. It has saved me several times! I'm glad you liked the white chocolate version. I wasn't a huge fan of the chocolate either.
Nancy

Andrea said...

White chocolate sounds wonderful, what a great idea! I had the same experience you did but we just ate the rice soup :)

Peggy said...

I thought of cornstarch too as I cooked and cooked and cooked. But luckily I did resort to the TWD comments and mine turned out okay. It took forever to cook though. I think the white chocolate sounds really good!

Audrey said...

We're twins! Wasn't white chocolate nice in this? And yours looks like pudding - I have a nice fuzzy photo that hides how soupy mine was! Oh, well, at least we know why now...

Jamie said...

Your pics look great, I wish I liked rice pudding! Do contact Hannah, she is a gem!

Flourchild said...

Ya my pudding looked like liquid on the first round. This recipe was a little stressful! I only had one person like it in my family.

Cathy said...

You know, I always forget about the P&Q too! And when I do remember, it's usually because I've already screwed something up. I have got to start remembering to head there BEFORE I start baking! Your rice soup picture looks SO familiar to me (and I remember tasting it and thinking, "you know, this isn't half bad!") Awesome thickening idea! And your white chocolate idea is pure brilliance -- I KNOW that we would love that.

BTW -- my niece is going on 12 and has been all about Limited Too! Last time I saw her, she had on an Abercrombie t-shirt so I thought, hmmmmm, I can maintain my standing as the "cool aunt" if I get her something from Abercrombie for Christmas (although doing that probably will not make me the cool sister-in-law). I think I've seen our future, and it is very loud (but not half bad looking, gotta say).

chocolatechic said...

So many people had rice soup.

The white chocolate sounds great.

pinkstripes said...

The white chocolate sounds delicious. I wish I thought of putting my rice soup back on the burner.

Matt's Kitchen said...

Puree it and make it into a smoothie!

I admire your inventiveness in trying to thicken it. There has to be a better recipe out there for rice pudding!

Natashya said...

I tend not to read the p&q section too, but I might start after this one!
Very committed to give it a second go!

Engineer Baker said...

Mmm... rice soup... The cornstarch idea was stellar though.

Kimberly Johnson said...

Brilliant idea to use white chocolate!

The Food Librarian said...

Love the white chocolate! Both look fantastic.

Linda said...

i like the sound of white chocolate! Nice job saving the pudding w. cornstarch.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Great idea to try fixing it with cornstarch. I didn't check the P&Q either and wish I had. White chocolate sounds like a great idea.

dharmagirl said...

very clever food rescue:) mine's still a little on the soupy side, but tasty too.

i love the idea of white chocolate!

Teanna said...

Cornstarch! What a great idea! That's the mindset of a true baker! And the white chocolate sounds so good!

Cathy said...

Hi Laura, it's just me again, coming to see if you saw the new Twilight movie this weekend. Just kidding (but did you see it?) I actually just wanted you to know that I've passed an award on to you -- it's over at my blog! Hope you're having a great weekend!