Rice Pudding Birthday Cake

This weekend I’m “home” visiting my parents as it’s my dad’s birthday weekend. It’s been a great two days in Vancouver – dinner out, junk store shopping, working out (“a family that works out together, stays together” as my dad jokingly reminds us), and taking in a local play at the Portland Armory. And, to top it all off, the weathers been pretty decent too! 

But, of course, the most important activity was my dad’s birthday party!

If my dad is anything like yours, he’s a hard guy to shop for – more so now that he exclaims, “I already have too much stuff, don’t give me any more!” Well… I racked my brain far and wide and decided the best gift would be an edible one! So yesterday afternoon I decided to pull out my Joy the Baker cookbook and make him one of his favorite desserts: rice pudding!

It’s a fairly easy recipe but, being honest, it does take at least an hour to make – and that time involves lots of laboring over the stove to make sure the rice doesn’t burn and the milk doesn’t curdle. But it was worth it to see the smile on his face as he blew out his rice pudding birthday cake – the little boy in him was full of glee!

Here’s the recipe I used, noting my modifications in italics. If you haven’t discovered rice pudding take the plunge, it may be a strange looking dessert but it is a delicious one!

Joy the Baker’s Brown Rice Rice Pudding

4 cups water
1 cup brown rice (I substituted white rice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split open (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract) (I used the extract)
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of ground cardamom (I used nutmeg)
1/2 cup dried sour cherries (or any dried fruit you fancy) (I used raisins)
Rinse brown rice in a strainer under cold water for 30 seconds. Set aside.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in brown rice and salt. Turn flame down to medium and simmer rice, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, drain rice and water. Let rice sit in strainer for 10 seconds and then return to the pot you cooked it in (not over a flame) and immediately put a tight fitting lid on the pot. Let rice rest and steam for 10 minutes. (Place rice in fridge – I made the rice in the morning and came back to make the second half of the recipe in the afternoon).
Once rice is cooked, place it in a bowl and set aside. Add 4 cups of milk, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, pinch of cardamom and vanilla bean to the pan. Bring to a very low boil, stirring often so the milk doesn’t burn. Add the cooked rice, butter and cherries to the hot milk. Stir often. Don’t ignore the milk or it might boil to furiously and curdle. Simmer until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl or serving dishes to cool (I put the dish in the fridge to cool quicker). Serve cold or at room temperature.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s