Tag Archives: pudding

Almond milk rice pudding with lemon zest and cinnamon

A warming and regressive pud, perfectly pitched against the cold and grey weather that is still lingering on in the April month… This will comfort your soul and make the world suddenly feel like a cosy and reassuring place! Don’t sue me if it fails though: can’t be held accountable for freak weather…

I love the spanish style rice pudding my grand-mother used to make for us, but I made mine with almond milk for a change and it fitted beautifully. Lately, I have enjoyed using almond milk for its subtle taste as much as its health benefits. It was delicious in Panacotta and today it sings away in humble rice pudding.

Soft, pillowy rice pudding covered in warming cinnamon

Soft, pillowy rice pudding covered in warming cinnamon

Ingredients list:

  •  Almond milk (or full fat milk) 1L
  • Round or short grain rice, 170g
  • Zest of one lemon cut in big strips
  • Ground cinnamon, 1tsp
  • Brown sugar (or vergeoise) 140g
  • Butter, 50g
  • Vanilla bean, one scraped

Warm the milk in a pan and sprinkle the rice and spices and the lemon skin. When I peel the skin off my lemon (organic and unwaxed for this), I like those strips to be large and uneven: this is proper family food, not dainty party pudding.

Turn and check the rice often but the cooking should take about 45 min to an hour- sometime I put it in the oven for 1h30 at 150degrees. Towards the end, you add the sugar and the butter and mix it all in.

Alternatively, you can use a Thermomix and here is the step by step- this produces a lovely soft and pillowy result:

First insert the butterfly whisk and add the milk, rice, lemon zest, vanilla and cinnamon.

Cook 45 min at 90° speed 1.

The great advantage of course of the Thermomix over the oven version is you don’t have to watch it : just set the timer and go for a half hour run!

When you come back:

Add the sugar and butter and cook 10 minutes at 90° speed 1.

Remove the butterfly whisk and turn into a serving dish to cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve at room temperature or cold the next day.

It’s heavenly! A spoonful of it and you get this happy, contented-baby, feeling all around the table… Regressive possibly but so good…

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Light Agar posset with almond and orange blossom

Perfect for Red Nose Day

Perfect for Red Nose Day

The trouble with the British posset or the italian pannacotta is that they are full of cream and sometimes I want a pudding that is a little bit lighter than most. I have been experimenting with Agar Agar lately and – with a bit of trial and error- I managed to get some small successes!

This silky Agar pannacotta with orange blossom water is one of those: A fresh and creamy combination of almond milk, almond butter and orange blossom with the undertones of an oriental pudding ; recalling visions of elaborate flower’s water possets in overflowing banquets such as those described in The Arabian nights.

The story of Sharazad is my bedtime read at the moment and I am deeply enjoying plunging into a language as rich and expressive as a persian carpet…

The recipe itself come from a book on Agar recipes given to me by a kind friend and written by Cléa of Cleacuisine. Agar Agar has many health benefits and is a clever ingredient for anybody conscious of their waistline… I post this for the group of friends who came to cook with me yesterday and all enjoyed the taste of this dessert. Thanks for being so supportive and fun, I had a lovely time sharing tips and novel ingredients with you all!

Ingredients list

  • White almond butter (in health shops), 160g
  • Agave syrup, 10 tsp
  • Rice or almond milk, 400ml
  • Agar Agar powder, 4 small teaspoonful or 4 g
  • Orange blossom water, 2 Tbsp
  • A few drops of bitter almond essence

Mix the almond butter and the agave syrup in a small bowl.

Heat the milk until just below boiling point,then dissolve the agar powder in it and let it simmer for 30 seconds.

Mix in the sweetened almond cream until melted. Add the orange blossom water and a few drops of bitter almond essence to enhance the almond fragrance. This is also the reason why I use almond milk if I can rather than rice milk.

Pour into 6 individual pots or jars. Let it cool and reserve in the fridge until serving time. It is not necessary to take them out of the pans but you can if you wish. For a friends dinner I would probably serve them with a fresh raspberry and passion fruit sauce but that would raise the sugar content and I am so pleased those little desserts are sugar and dairy free I would not want to compromise tonight!

They are heavenly virtuous and that is what I want right now…

Spoon in and have your private Sharazad moment…

View of Istanbul and its port

View of Istanbul and its port

Gato mallorquin

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Gato” means cat in Spanish but here it is Mallorquin for “cake”, after the french “Gateau”! We love it because it brings nice holiday memories of bringing back a “gató” from a shopping excursion into Palma and sharing it on the terrace with a cup of steaming tea while planning the next day trip. It is so light that you almost don’t think you are indulging. It only takes three ingredients and all you need is a whisk…

Gato Mallorquin, as in Palma de Mallorca

Take three ingredients:

  • Eggs, 9
  • Caster Sugar, 300g
  • Ground almond, 300g

Separate the eggs and whip the whites until firm. Then start adding the sugar slowly until you get a ‘meringue’ style mixture.

Beat the yolks together and start adding to the mix.

Then start blending in the ground almonds, but very delicately and this time with a spatula. Keep turning the mix inwards until all is included without ‘breaking’ the whites too much. Most good bakeries seem to be adding a good teaspoon of cinnamon but this is not compulsory – unless of course you love the scent as much as I do…

Put in a warm oven for 30 minutes at 170°, using a large flat tin, such as a quiche one. Be careful to line it with greased paper so the cake is easy to take out. Anything with that amount of meringue can be quite sticky! And if you still think this is indulgence, think that at least you are going flour and fat-free… Serve it for tea and cake time or with a scoop of cinnamon ice-cream to end a smart dinner party. Decorate with icing sugar and try stencilling a star, as is tradition.

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The recipe in Spanish in my sketchbook.

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Ready to take to a coffee morning!

Rum baba

This is a throw-back to the Seventies! Retro cakes after vintage clothes are making a comeback in our kitchen – Rachel Khoo style – but I won’t complain because I loved rum baba as a child and I had not had one since… until I started making my own this month.

This recipe is surprisingly fool-proof but I won’t lie: it will take you a whole afternoon – only make it for people you love. Love wants time. That’s my measure of affection !

Ingredients list

  • Milk (warm), 100ml
  • Fast action yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Strong white flour (type00), 150g
  • Egg, 1 plus 1 yolk
  • Caster sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fine salt, a pinch
  • Butter, 50g

For the syrup

  • Brown sugar 600g
  • Water 500ml
  • Lemon peel
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • Dark rum, 2 Tbsp plus more to serve

Warm the bowl of you mixer with boiling water or if using a Thermomix, set it the temperature at 50 degrees.

Add the warm milk, yeast and 50g of flour.

Stir well and then leave for 15 min until it becomes foamy. It is ideal in the thermomix because you can set it on speed 1 and at 50 degrees and leave the dough to make its magic.

This is a bread recipe rather than a cake mix so the proving is really important and you need good fresh yeast powder. Always check the best before date.

Add the remaining flour, egg and yolk, sugar and salt to the mix and beat at top speed for 2 minutes. Then add the diced, cold butter and beat again for 2 minutes.

Cover and leave to rise for 45 minutes. I leave it in the warm Thermomix bowl and it pretty much should double in volume.

Brush the baba or savarins tins with oil. You can also use muffins tins or mini pudding pans. Put the batter into a jug and half-fill each mould. Cover and reserve.

While they rise – and they will!- you can make the syrup by mixing all the ingredients in a large saucepan and letting it bubble away until it has reduced a bit. Usually no less than 5 or 8 minutes. Add the rum.

Let it cool.

Meanwhile, the babas have risen just above the rim of their tins. If not, just leave them a little longer.

Put in a warm oven (170) on fan for 20 minutes.

Take them out, leave them to cool a bit then assemble the pudding by putting the babas in a deep dish and soaking them with the rum syrup. Spoon the syrup on to cover them well.

Drain the baba and slice it in two halves. Put some more syrup in the centre of both halves if necessary and a nice drop of dark rum. Reserve in a cool place until ready to serve.

Serve them with whipped cream and some fresh, seasonal fruit. My whipped cream was slightly minty and I choose kiwi slices this time. Kiwi is a good fruit for dessert because it has little flavour of its own but a pleasant acidity to offset any sweet pudding ; and rum babas are very sweet indeed…

This recipe is taken with a few twists from Dan Lepard’s new book  Short and Sweet, the best of home baking.

Gooseberry cobbler and its wild Blackberry version

A cobbler is a rough tart with pastry folded over the edges and it is an ideal summer tart because it needs no tin or special pan, just a flat sheet of grease-proof paper. It is eaten warm with whipped cream, as soon as it comes out of the oven. You can use any seasonal berries to make the filling, or use a mix of them.

I came back to England with a terrible craving for gooseberries and blackberries. Their season is ridiculously short and it is now! So here is a quick and easy way to enjoy your pickings. I gathered my blackberries by the river yesterday with my eldest son, got stung by nettles and ate lots but I made these when we got back.

Gooseberry cobbler

Ingredients list

The video link above will lead you to a video (en Français) for the most delicious and idiot-proof pastry – it is on Marmiton.org.

Once you have made the pastry, leave it to rest a few hours in the fridge.

Prepare and wash the fruit.

Roll out the pastry into a loosely round shape directly onto your baking sheet or onto a Silpat sheet.

Brush with the egg yolk then sprinkle the semolina all over. This will absorb the juice without soaking the pastry which you want crunchy and crumbly.

Pile the fruit in the middle in a pyramid shape whilst sprinkling the sugar at various stages. Now fold the edges over, delicately with the flat end of a knife. Brush these with the rest of the yolk or some milk.

Put in a hot oven for 35 min or until the pastry turns brown.

Serve hot as soon as ready.

Blackberry version