Rice pudding - A classic in a league of its own
February 11th, 2014

I think I already mentioned that we we’re lucky to attend an Olympus photography workshop (upon invitation) in Ireland a few months ago. And while I’m a dedicated Nikon user when it comes to shooting food, said experience did definitely wet my appetite for the new generation of mirror-less cameras.

Rice Pudding

Shooting on various locations in and around such a breathtaking sight like Castle Leslie was an experience in itself. We were able to test Olympus’ new baby, the mirror-less OM-D E-M1, with every lens one could possibly dream of and their team showed us countless features of this little marvel.

Rice Pudding

While we love to use great technology, I wouldn’t consider us the perfect techies to deliver a proper camera review of the OM-D E-M1, so you’ll be much better of reading Steve’s  comprehensive review about the camera and the workshop. That said, I really wanted to put the camera to my very personal test (Olympus agreed to provide the camera for a recipe shoot, no compensation whatsoever) and shot today’s recipe with it. So… have you noticed a difference?

Rice Pudding

It was an interesting experiment for me, as I realized how much I got used to my Nikon cameras over the years. I hardly think anymore when adjusting settings and found it particularly tough to focus more on the camera itself than on the object of desire (aka food). So the extra brain cycles, certainly in the beginning, are to be expected, especially since the camera is feature-laden to the brim.

I shot these photos as JPGs (not RAW) and spent less than 3 minutes on post-processing them all (mostly white-balance), which perfectly showcases the camera’s potential:  It offers an amazing array of presets, filters and settings, so if you are not to keen on post-processing, there’s not much this little thing (as in size) cannot do for you. It comes as no surprise, that I will continue to shoot food with my dear SLRs. But… wait, this is a HUGE BUT,… travel photography is a completely different topic and we’re already contemplating to purchase something smaller and the E-M1 might just perfectly fit the bill.

Rice Pudding

Whether you recognized any differences in today’s post’s photography or not, the accompanying recipe has the same purpose as every recipe on delicious:days – simply to make you food-happy. It is filed under “winter comfort food” in my private recipe repertoire and it’s my absolute favorite rice pudding to date: Coconut milk, white chocolate & blood orange. Skip at own risk.

Start by preparing the blood orange syrup: Juice the blood oranges and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a small saucepan (I got 300 ml out of 5 Moro oranges). Add the sugar, then slice the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add bean and the seeds as well. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let simmer until reduced and thickened to your liking, which may take up to 30 minutes. (the last time I made this syrup I used 35 g caster sugar and 35 g preserving sugar (1:1), which helped to reach the desired consistency in less than 20 minutes)
Remove from heat and refrigerate – with or without the vanilla bean – until thoroughly chilled.

Rice Pudding

Combine coconut milk, milk and the pinch of salt in a huge pot, then bring to a boil. Add the rice and let simmer over low to medium heat - stir regularly to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom - until the rice is tender with just a little bite, 20 to 25 minutes. If the rice has already soaked up too much of the liquid, add more milk or coconut milk – like a good risotto the final rice pudding is supposed to have a silky, creamy texture.

Rice Pudding

Now add sugar and the chopped white chocolate or white chocolate couverture discs (I used Valrhona Ivoire Feves) and do a little taste test – if you like your rice pudding sweeter, now is the time to sugar to taste. Remove the pot from the heat.

Pour into bowls and serve with the chilled blood orange syrup. Or fill into little glass containers and keep in the fridge until hunger strikes you.

Rice Pudding

Coconut white chocolate rice pudding with blood orange syrup

Recipe source: own creation

Required time: 30-40 min

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Ingredients (yields 4-5 small servings):

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Blood orange syrup

~5 Moro blood oranges (you need 300 ml strained juice)

50-75 g sugar, more to taste (optional: half of it can be preserving sugar 1:1)

1 vanilla bean

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Rice pudding

800 ml coconut milk (or 400 ml coconut milk, 400 ml 3,5 % milk), more, if necessary

a pinch of salt

150 g short grain white rice

25 g caster sugar (more to taste)

50-75 g white chocolate

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