Bake the Book: Vanilla Rice Pudding with Cherry and Rum Syrup

[Photograph: Chris Terry]

Sweet presents probably the simplest rice pudding recipe you've ever seen. An entire vanilla pod and a lake of milk and cream are responsible for the main flavors, with a cherry rum syrup swirled on top. Only having one dish to clean would be the best part, if it weren't for the stunning vanilla-cherry-rum swirl.

Tips: "Pudding" rice is the grain requested by this recipe, which is a bit confusing if you haven't made rice pudding before. Arborio rice, or sushi rice (basically short-grain rice) will work well, because they'll release more starch into the milk as they're being cooked, resulting in a thicker pudding that has a texture not unlike risotto.

Tweaks: Dried tart cherries, not just cherries, make a fantastic cherry and rum syrup. They can be found in the bulk aisle of Whole Foods, or in the dry goods section of your local supermarket. As for the pudding, it tastes best made with full-fat milk, but because of the double cream, you could probably get away with 2%.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Sweet to give away.

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