Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sweet Seduction

Entice your tastebuds (and your lover(s)...) with my Caramel Rice Pudding this Valentine’s Day. 
For an extra sensorial pleasure I use risotto rice for its creamy texture. My first preference is the Carnaroli variety because I find it to be lighter in consistency than other types of risotto rice. 
Grain-based sweeteners combined with a touch of maple syrup yield a rich caramel flavor, and high-quality olive oil creates a decadent, buttery richness. Garnish with your favorite fresh berries and a sprig of mint to enhance the refreshing quality and balance the sweetness. This dessert is both beautiful and delicious but will not give you a sugar headache-- definitely something to celebrate! I have served this dessert at dinner parties to my non-macro, non-vegan, sugar eating friends and it was even a hit with them. To me, this is the ultimate compliment.

Happy Valentine's Day, I love you all!

Mini desserts served at our New Years Party

Caramel Rice Pudding
This recipe is similar to traditional rice puddings which are usually made with milk or cream. By using the risotto rice I achieve a creamy texture without the use of any dairy or dairy-like substitutes.
Please note that the success of your pudding depends upon using quality ingredients and taking the time to cook the rice properly. If you have a special bottle of olive oil hiding in your pantry, break it out to use in this recipe. 

1 cup organic carnaroli risotto rice
5 cups water
1 cup apple juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon organic olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed orange juice

Heat the apple juice and water together in a stainless steel stockpot (to cook the risotto).

Heat a little olive oil in a heavier style pot. Add the risotto rice and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
Ladle the warm liquid over the rice; add the sea salt and stir. Allow the liquid to begin to absorb into the rice almost completely before adding additional liquid.
Continue to ladle the liquid into the rice and stir after each ladle is added. You will be cooking the rice slowly over a low flame. When you reach the consistency and texture you desire turn off the flame and add the fresh orange juice. Gently fold to blend all the ingredients together.

Note: If you want a more creamy texture use the entire amount of liquid. If you like the rice to have more texture use a little less liquid.

Caramel topping :
½ cup brown rice syrup
½ cup barley malt
1 Tablespoon of water
2 -3 drops of Umeboshi vinegar
1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed orange juice

Put the water, rice syrup, and barley malt in a saucepan.
Add the umeboshi vinegar and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Gently heat the mixture until it begins to boil around the edges of the pan.
Turn the flame off. Add the fresh orange juice and mix well.

To serve:
Add a small amount of the "caramel sauce" into a serving dish.
Add the rice, then top off with a little more sauce.
Add some fresh berries and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.