Tuesday, November 18, 2008

{TWD} Cardamom-Scented Arborio Rice Pudding


Spoon foods are big around our house: cereals, soups, and especially puddings. Making cooked puddings, however, has never worked out very satisfactorily for me. Water baths and I are not on particularly good terms, and that is a very common step to many pudding recipes.

So one day about 10 years ago when I spotted some packaged pudding in the dairy case sporting the claim that it was "better than homemade" I didn't hesitate to pick some up. What did I have to lose? It wasn't hard to better my homemade. Anyway, this stuff, Kozy Shack pudding, turned out to be really delicious, far better than anything I'd ever made, and water bath-free. (As an aside, Kozy Shack has lots of great flavors; the tapioca is especially good.) At this point Kozy Shack is the standard by which pudding is judged around here; some might ask "Is it as good as homemade?" but we ask, "Is it as good as Kozy Shack?"

When Isabelle of Les gourmandises d’Isa picked Arborio Rice Pudding, White, Black (Or Both) for this week's TWD recipe, I was game. Since joining the TWD group, I've tackled pie crust, caramel, creme brulee, and even yeast. The best news of all: this is a stovetop recipe, no water baths necessary.

Wikipedia provides this fascinating view of the long history and near-universality of rice pudding:

Rice puddings are found in nearly every area of the world. Recipes can greatly vary even within a single country. The dessert can be boiled or baked. Different types of pudding vary depending on preparation methods and the ingredients selected. The following ingredients are regularly found in rice puddings.

  • rice; long or short grain white rice, brown rice, black rice, basmati, or jasmine rice
  • milk; (whole milk, coconut milk, cream or evaporated)
  • spices; (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger etc.),
  • flavorings; (vanilla, orange, lemon, pistachio, rose water etc.),
  • sweetener (sugar, brown sugar, noney, sweetened condensed milk, fruit or syrups)
  • eggs

Rice was first cultivated in Asia. Over thousands of years, various pudding recipes have developed in the Eastern Asia. Some include fruit and honey, while others are far simpler consisting of only rice, water and sugar.

...

In Europe, rice pudding with goat's milk was first used by the Romans for medicinal purposes. For this reason, the first written records of rice pudding occur in medical texts. Medieval European sweet boiled rice pudding often was made with almond or cow's milk. Rice pudding appears in 1542 in the then Danish town of Malmo. However, rice was an imported luxury item reserved for the rich. Baked rice puddings featuring elaborate spices and other ingredients appeared in the 17th century. In the 18th century, rice pudding began to replace rye porridge and barley porridge at festivities in Scandinavia. Over centuries, the European recipe has been simplified, resulting in the modern dish often criticized for its blandness.

Although lots of folks might think it bland, I find a simple vanilla rice pudding to be appealing and comforting, in a way that only a cold pudding can be!

cook's notes

-This was another week where reading the P&Q section was an enormous help. For one thing, Dorie herself wrote in (from somewhere in Southeast Asia, no less) to correct a typo in the book's cooking time: the pudding should cook for 55, not 30, minutes.

- Despite this correction, I was a bit nervous about the prospect of milk soup, so I rounded the 1/4 cup of rice (but it was still less than 1/3 cup. I also used a bit less milk - just under 3 cups. I kept the same amount of sugar as the recipe.

- Although the book gives a chocolate option as well as the classic vanilla flavor, I knew I wanted to keep it plain and simple. I figured I’d just add a tiny bit of my new favorite spice: cardamom. Along with a hint of citrus. So while the milk was coming to a boil, I added three green cardamom pods and ½ tsp of lime zest. Before I added the rice, I skimmed out the pods and the zest (which conveniently float). The milk smelled out of this world.

- The pudding thickened slowly. I tried to keep it “bubbling” - not boiling too hard, and not simmering too gently. It looked great at 55 minutes, but by 58 minutes (when I took it off the heat) it was a bit too thick.

- Once the pudding was cooked, I divided out 1/8 and stirred in some chopped bittersweet chocolate – it was easy enough to give myself a taste of Dorie’s “black” variation. {edit: I put 3/4 tsp of vanilla in the rest of the pudding}

- The pudding really cooks down, and I spooned it into three small bowls to refrigerate.

the verdict

The first thing my husband said when he tasted his pudding was, "Is this hard to make?" Already angling for another batch! And then he uttered the fateful words: “It’s better than Cozy Shack.”

I agree that it has fantastic flavor, and the rice was a perfect balance between firm and soft. I wouldn’t mind experimenting with a few other (subtle) flavorings, but my husband loves it exactly this way. I will cook it just a tad shorter next time so that it will be creamier.

Homemade that tastes better than Cozy Shack! Who knew?

You can find the recipe for this delightful confection on pages 412-413 of of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home to Yours, or in Isa's post (recipe in French and in English!) You can also hop over to the Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll and click on the blogs of 359 other bakers to see how they cooked up the Arborio pudding.

47 comments:

A.L.E. said...

aha this looks amazing!

Also, Mom, I remember back in the day when I was sick as a dog at Grandma's house and you came in with a Kozy Shack pudding, so excited about that slogan, and I basically had to eat it all at that point

Which is to say I hope I get some of this pudding when I'm home for T-giving

Audrey said...

Kozy Shack may be the be all and end of all pudding, but I'll bet THEY never thought of cardamom and lime. That must be an amazing combination of flavors! It looks great.

n.o.e said...

a.l.e., you can even help make some when you're home for Thanksgiving!

Deb said...

Oh yes, cardamom and lime...what a heavenly combo! It was a yummy pudding, wasn't it.

Cristine said...

So happy you loved it!

Marie said...

Ohhh, I wish I had gotten that message from Dorie. I definitely had somewhat of a soup, but a delicious soup nonetheless!!! Yours looks fabulous! I love the idea of cardamon and lime. wowser!

Danielle said...

Yours turned out very nice. I am not a huge fan of rice pudding so I skipped this Tuesday's event.

Jin Hooi said...

looks great !!!Glad to know u like it

Steph said...

I like how thick your pudding got.. the thicker, the creamier! I agree, rice pudding should be served cold and without too many flavourings.

Peggy said...

You consult Wikepedia too! We have some of the same history on our blogs. Like minds, huh? I always enjoy reading about the origins of things. Somehow I think others will too. I didn't try the chocolate, but yours looks delicious. And now I'll be looking for Kozyshack Pudding though I doubt I can find that at the lame stores here in the South! You did a beautiful job as always. And the cardamom was genius.

Laura said...

Ohhh, cardamomm - I bet that was good! I sure wish I had read those posts from the TWD site before I made mine (won't make that mistake again!).

MacDuff said...

Oh, Kozy Shack and I are bosom buddies. We spoon in bed. Get it? Spoon. Ha ha ha.

Your pudding looks lovely as always. I'm happy it came out for you, and you're giving me the impetus to make it again! Well done!

Candy said...

I love it too. Reminds me of when my mom would make rice and brown sugar for me for breakfast.

Maria said...

I have never had Kozy Shack, I guess I am out of the loop on that one:) Your pudding looks fabulous!! I love the cardamom!

Flourchild said...

Your pudding turned out great.One person in my family liked it!

Mary Ann said...

I think yours looks alot better than mine. I didn't know what to expect! I love the sound of the cardamom flavored one. That would be perfect, since I am completely in love with it. I will probably make this again, so I might get to try out your flavor combination!

Peggy said...

Me again - thanks for the update on Kozy Shack. I definitely shop at Publix and I can check it out!

Cathy said...

I know where to come when I need some creative ways to use up my precious cardamom stash! Better than Kozy Shack? There can't be higher praise for rice pudding! You are right, the "bubbling" was the key, which I didn't figure out until the second time I made this. Yours looks perfect!

P.S. Y'all get Paste? I'm impressed!!!

Anne said...

Wow- that looks wonderful! I love the addition of cardamom and I'm so happy your husband liked it even better than Kozy Shack. That's a successful week! :)

Christine said...

Definitely better then Kozy Shack. Great choice of flavoring your pudding looks great!

chocolatechic said...

I have never heard of Kozy Shack, but I have seen it mentioned quite a bit today.

So glad your hubbie liked it.

Marthe said...

Glad you liked it!! I'm afraid I don't do rice pudding, so I'm making the brioche-raisin-snail-thingies you all made before I joined!

Melissa said...

The cardamom sounds great! I've actually never had Kozy Shack pudding, so I'm clearly missing out. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

Matt said...

I have cardamom pods in my cupboard. I will definitely try them next time. I agree with you about the delicious simplicity of vanilla. I wasn't a fan of the chocolate version. I also agree with you about the Kozy Shack standard that this recipe had to meet!

leanne said...

Oh your rice pudding looks so good! I think the recipe is so much better than Kozy Shack.

Fit Chick said...

OK, maybe I will try to make the rice pudding, but will use the cardamon and lime. Glad yours turned out so well and it sounds like you will be making a lot more!

Engineer Baker said...

Sounds like a winner! Nice job.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never had rice pudding. It looks really nice though!

It looks like you might want to save it for your daughter. :)

And thanks for the kind words on the stockings. I don't feel like such a failure now!

kim said...

yum, it looks nice and thick and delicious :) cardamom sounds great! i do like kozy shack, but this was definitely better (judging by the flavor of my soupy version!)

Jodie said...

At least your husband appreciated it! It looks good (or, as good as rice pudding can look)! :)

Isabelle said...

il est bien réussi :)j'adore la cardamome !

dharmagirl said...

I've never heard of Kozy Shack pudding!

What a lovely idea to use cardamom for a subtle flavoring. This recipe is a wonderful base for playing around.

Katrina said...

Glad it turned out so well for you! Looks good. Wish I would have liked mine. Oh well, I'll bet next week's pie will be fantastic!

Kayte said...

Everyone sure enjoyed this pudding this week...I am definitely in the minority with this one. Yours looks very great...how creative you are each week!

AmyRuth said...

Love that Mother/Daughter Duo... adding to the memories. Neat that your husband is so enjoying all these Dorie renditions. Love that! Thanks for sharing Cardamom uses with us, cuz I love it. Those little pods are gold. Glad it was a success and enjoyed by the family.
AmyRuth

Di said...

Your flavor combination sounds delicious! I don't like the rice pudding, but I may have to try that combo in something else. I'm lucky enough to be able to get small amounts of cardamom in my bulk spice section.

The Food Librarian said...

Yes, this IS better than Kozy Shack and in your home! (Although I will pick up Kozy Shack in a second!) Great looking pudding.

Carol Peterman said...

Cardamom Lime sounds so good. Can you ever go wrong with cardamom? I did have one other version of the puddings I made that was cardamom, orange, and honey with goat's milk. That actually went wrong, but not because of the cardamom. The goat's milk got a bit gummy; it was too sweet and over infused with orange. Good thing I had four back up versions. Way to go with your pudding beating out Kozy Shack in a family vote!

Cakelaw said...

I like the sound of cardamom and citrus flavouring - and good ol vanilla rice pud is good. I like your black'n'white bowl at the end - it looks delish!

HoneyB said...

Ok, so I LOVE Kozy Shack and so does my oldest son. Now I guess I will have to make this and share it with him since it is better than Kozy Shack! :)

the Spaz said...

I had to laugh when I read your post; I too, compare homemade puddings to their delicious Kozy Shack counterparts! Your flavor combo definitely sounds much more original and interesting than anything Kozy Shack could ever concoct. :)

Pamela said...

LOL about your husband! I love when the first thing they want to know was how tough it was for you. Like we don't know what they're up to?? Great job.

TeaLady said...

Nancy, U are too much. Glad this worked out for you. With the cardamom I bet it was fantastic. That is one of my favorite 'flavors'. I guess I will have to break down and try, even if I can't find arborio rice. Loved the history. Great job.

Linda said...

Your flavor combo sounds really delicious! Who knew that there so many Cozy Shack fans (including me). Your pudding looks fantastic!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Nothing beats homemade, and yours with cardamom sounds heavenly! I should have read the p&q beforehand. I've learned my lesson!

Annette said...

Wow, adding cardamom and lime sounds heavenly. I'll try that in the future. I'm with your husband, this pudding is a winner!

Debbie said...

Love your blog... and I am having fun with TWD. It is cool getting to see all the different outcomes with the same recipe. I am letting go of my perfectionism and just enjoying the process. It's really good for me.

I also loved this recipe... especially the smell of the milk cooking. So soothing.

debbie