The first time I made rice pudding was with my Aunt Sue. I was about 12 years old and one summer night, she opened up her Joy of Cooking and proceeded to make a massive pot of it. After pouring the pudding into the biggest bowl we could find, she decided that it was too hot to put in the fridge and that we should let it rest on the counter. So we went into her bedroom for the air conditioning and the TV, and the next thing we knew it was morning. We bolted into the kitchen and after a long pause of staring at the bowl and wondering if should just forget about the last 10 hours that the pudding percolated in the 85 degree weather, we threw it out. That was the last time Auntie Sue ever made rice pudding.
While I've always liked the cool feeling of a chilled rice pudding, I wanted to try something new and go for a warm version—mostly because I don't always have the patience to wait for a pudding to chill. This happened recently. I decided I wanted rice pudding now, except there was one snag—I was out of long grain rice. With only medium grain rice (which is starchier and stickier than long grain) in the pantry, I decided to risk it and go ahead anyway, not knowing what the outcome would be.
I cooked the rice in my normal amount of milk, stirring frequently to make sure that the rice didn't stick to the bottom. After 20 minutes, the rice soaked up the milk but the grains needed some more cooking. So I added a bit more milk and kept stirring. 10 minutes later I had a perfectly thickened, creamy rice pudding...or should I say, risotto? I mixed in some chocolate and ladled up a bowl for myself. Eaten warm, the chocolate flavor is at its best and the grains of rice are soft but with a touch of chew. And for you super chocoholics out there, go ahead and guild the lily with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.