Eggnog n’ Orange Rice Pudding

Not to sound like a broken record, but my life has been totally nutters lately!

Between school and work, I’ve been volunteering my time and meager pastry-making skills in a high-volume kitchen in downtown Vancouver these past few days.

Walking into the place, I was definitely nervous — cuz when I say “high-volume”, I’m not kidding around!

They have a frying contraption that’s the same size and shape of a bathtub, a cooking pot that looks like a coffee cup for the Jolly Green Giant, too many ovens to count, and a whole crew of hard working staff.

I’ve been piping a lot of chocolate mousse, making cheesecake batter and tiramisu cream, torching rows and rows of crème brûlée, rolling yule log cakes, scooping Christmas pudding, and helping take some pressure off a really kind and experienced pastry chef.

Just having the opportunity to get a foot in the door at a place where so much is happening so fast has been incredible.

I was thinking the other day that I wasn’t ready for this type of intense work, but then I read a good quote: “Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises, because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.”

There have been some moments when I’ve totally felt frustrated to tears and just wanted to go home (like when I almost ruined a bunch of roulade because I forgot to sugar the top of the sheet cake and then it stuck to the pan when I flipped it over), but sticking things out and overcoming frustration builds character!

I can do this!

Anyways, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned while working in a real kitchen is that “real world” pastry isn’t really complicated after all.

I mean, it is and it isn’t — making cheesecake is still making cheesecake, it’s just that you’re making cheesecake for 500 people instead of 5 people, y’know?

One of the other aspects of pastry that I’m really interested in is the plated dessert.

Last weekend I made a fancy-pants rice pudding that, instead of the usual slop in a baking dish, easily became a very elegant plated dessert — a lil’ whipped cream, a sprinkle of toasted almonds, a cranberry here and there, and voila!

This rice pudding is a little on the sweet side (the original recipe called for nearly 2 cups of sugar), but I cut down the sugar by almost 60% to compensate for the sweetness of eggnog and candied citrus.

You can always adjust the sugar at the end of mixing everything up — start with about half a cup if you’re worried, and then taste and add from there, keeping in mind that food will usually taste a little less sweet after baking.

Eggnog n’ Orange Rice Pudding

Ingredients

Rice Pudding

  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 1/2 cup arborio (risotto) rice, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup candied orange peel
  • 1/3 cup Marsala wine

Caramel

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F — set aside 8 small ramekins or one 6-cup capacity oven-safe dish.

In a medium-sized saucepan combine the eggnog, arborio rice, orange zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and scraped vanilla bean seeds and pod.

Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, stirring often, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. By the end of 15 minutes, the rice mixture should resemble porridge. Remove the vanilla bean pod.

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, and, in the meantime, make the caramel.

In a small saucepan over high heat bring the sugar and caramel to a full boil — you may swirl the pot to dissolve the sugar, but do not stir it!

Cook until the sugar turns a pale amber colour, then quickly take the caramel off the heat and immediately pour it into the bottoms of the waiting ramekins.

Once the rice porridge mixture has cooled, whisk the eggs and sugar together until smooth.

Whisk the eggs and sugar into the rice porridge, followed by the sliced almonds, candied orange peel, and Marsala wine.

Scoop a half-cup (125ml) of rice pudding into each prepared ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking tray and put the tray into the oven.

Bake for 40 ~ 45 minutes, or until the middle is set and no longer jiggles when nudged.

Allow the rice puddings to cool on a wire rack for an hour. When ready to serve, run a knife around the inside edges of the ramekins to loosen the rice pudding inside, then carefully invert onto a serving plate.

You can serve these rice puddings either hot or cold, but I think they’re best when warm and served with a bit of something sweet and creamy!

The best part about this dessert is how it looks fancy when it’s actually really simple. Yum!

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28 thoughts on “Eggnog n’ Orange Rice Pudding

  1. What an interesting idea, incorporating egg nog into rice pudding. I have Marsala on hand…

  2. IamSimplyTia says:

    Talk about decadent! Your rice pudding looks amazingly delicious. YUM. I’ve never had rice pudding but the flavor combination matched with your inviting photos just makes me want to gobble yours up or at least try making it at home! Thanks for sharing.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks!

      I used to not like rice pudding, but I figure that’s just because I wasn’t eating the right kind. If you’re going to start somewhere, you might as well start here. 😉

  3. That looks soo good! I’ve never had rice pudding but I love eggnog so I imagine I’d like it. I agree with you about the opportunity quote. So so true!

    • Christine says:

      Sometimes getting ahead in life is about biting off more than you can chew and trying your hardest to swallow it anyways.

      I can’t believe you’ve never had rice pudding — you’ve gotta try it! Just don’t try the store-bought stuff… it’s not nearly as good as making your own.

  4. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    This looks delicious! I love plated desserts too. Not just the figuring out the plating, but making all the different components is so fun.

  5. Brandon says:

    I love plating any food in general, I think that is the most fun in cooking, figuring out how you want the end result to look! …and I must say, this rice pudding looks pretty good! To be honest, I don’t even like rice pudding, but I have been playing around with the idea of making it lately. If I don’t use your recipe, I will at least borrow the idea of using eggnog in it! Great idea!

    Brandon from theyummybits.com

  6. This is probably the most unusual and delicious dessert I have seen in a while. Lots of delicious flavors melded together here. Also, the plating does look amazing- that toasty pudding with creamy topping. You are welcome to create in my kitchen anytime. Simply delicious. Sharing this post with my friends-buzz buzz!

  7. Oooh! Great idea! This sounds and looks so amazing! I love anything infused with citrus.

  8. Cucina49 says:

    Oh my gosh, that looks awesome! I’ve saved the recipe to my file and am thinking about trying it out for the holidays.

  9. Rachael says:

    This looks heavenly and has such Christmassy flavours, yum.

  10. I love rice pudding. I have a recipe from my great-grandmother that is wonderful. I love your version with the eggnog and orange. What a delicious & flavorful twist; perfect for the holidays!

  11. Shannon says:

    this looks delicious!! I think I want to try this!!

  12. I am honestly not a huge fan of eggnog, but this recipe makes me want to buy it by the cartons by the dozen 🙂

  13. bananamondaes says:

    I’ve only ever cooked rice pudding in a massive container and it never looks pretty or tasty. This looks amazing. The caramel and the eggnog is such a great idea.

  14. Thats a great deed by doing volunteering work, hopefully I can do this in the near future. This pudding with eggnog is something new to me but I always make sure I have plenty of eggnog during Christmas, you know that buzz after a couple of glasses makes me feel good once a while.

    Very nice combo with it you have done and I simply like anything with orange flavor too.

  15. Ruth says:

    We are big fans of rice pudding – and this is a great twist on the traditional one! Very festive!

  16. Thank you for posting this recipe, becaust it looks divine. I grew up eating rice pudding that my grandfather made from scratch, so I appreciate a good rice pudding. The addition of orange is great!

  17. Hello Angry Cherry. Join the party: I’ve just been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award. so I am passing the nomination on to you. You get a link in my next blog post (out by tonight, I hope). Cheers! — Sharyn

  18. Elies_Lie says:

    The eggnog rice pudding looks lovely & delish as a dessert on a christmas day…
    amaze and thumbs up for ur volunteering “job” on the “high-volume” kitchen!
    a great way to celebrating christmas early 🙂
    tq for sharing story and recipe! ‘)

  19. This rice pudding looks incredible! So wonderful and elegant!

  20. peasepudding says:

    The rice pudding sounds yum and does look fancy pants too! Sounds like you are having fun in the kitchen, I remember the first time I had to cook with the giant fry pans and tilting pots, it’s a whole new world.

  21. Madison says:

    This website has a lot of very useful info on it. Cheers for sharing it with me.

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