Sunday, 17 March 2013

Praise the Saints!

Crema di Riso alla Menta di San Patrizio
St. Patricks Day Minty Green Rice Pudding

Good Heavens I hear you cry! Green rice pudding! Sure, but a leprechaun must've made it! Haha! Actually no- 'twas I that made this delicious little dessert today- and there was no magic involved either! It was a combination of childhood memories and adult lunacy... but it sure worked out well!

We used to get served mint custard with our desserts back in England... usually poured over a rich, dense, concrete-like chocolate shortcake... which we all absolutely adored! Feeling nostalgic today and wanting to have a little fun and create something green for St. Patrick's Day... I came up with the idea of combining the mint custard flavor with creamy rice pudding... and yes, it was every bit as yummy as it looks!

I started the rice pudding off in the usual way... a little more than twice the milk than the amount of rice, a pinch of salt and a little sweetness- in my case Stevia, but yes, as usual... sugar is of course also fine! I added just a little sweetness at this point... as I had a secret ingredient in store for later... you will soon find out, but I wonder if you can guess? After the milk had come up to the boil, I reduced the heat to a low simmer and let it bubble away for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. 

10 minutes later, the rice was slowly "getting there", but needed to be transformed into this magical leprechauns dessert concoction! The first thing I added was mint syrup- 2-3 tablespoons for this single serving. This is the kind of thing that we Italians love to drink diluted with ice water in the Summer and that the rest of the world uses in non-alcoholic cocktails ;-) Again- the reason I added so little sugar earlier is that this stuff is pretty sweet! So take caution... especially as I had a couple more things to add! 

The first addition was harmless... vanilla custard powder- which just goes to thicken the milk and add a delicate but lovely vanilla flavor. And then I added a small chunk of whit chocolate- gasp! Yes- but just one chunk, because that stuff IS sweet! But at the same time, it made the rice pudding so smooth and silky that it really did become something magical! And after 20 minutes total cooking time, my St. Patrick's Day treat was ready to enjoy! This made much more sense to me than the many foods I see on the internet, simply saturated with food coloring for the sakes of it. Nope- this seemed to make sense to me... and I hope it does for you too! Hope you give it a go and enjoy!

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