1. Food

Decadent Chocolate Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce

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Creamy, custardy and rich, this chocolate rice pudding recipe takes comfort food to a new level. It's the kind of dessert that you crave when you want to be especially nice to yourself and those you care about. The caramel sauce is optional, but it makes a delicious touch. You can also serve the pudding with whipped cream or heavy cream poured over the top, and it is also mighty fine just served the way it is.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cooked medium or long-grain rice, cooled
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • Orange Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup very hot water
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Stir in the rice and chocolate. Pour the custard mixture into a 1-1/2- or 2-quart casserole.

2. Place the dish in a large baking pan set in the oven on a rack. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the baking pan until it comes halfway up the side of the casserole.

3. Bake the pudding, uncovered, for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.

4. While the pudding is baking, make the caramel sauce. Combine the sugar and orange juice in a heavy, medium sauce pan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until the mixture turns a golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully stir in the hot water and the butter until the mixture is smooth.

5. To serve, spoon the warm or room temperature pudding into bowls and drizzle with the some of the caramel sauce.

Recipe Notes

• The rice pudding can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can reheat the pudding before serving by covering the dish with aluminum foil and baking it at 300°F for about 15 to 20 minutes, or just until warmed through.
• The caramel sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerated, covered, for up for to 3 weeks. If you'd like, rewarm the sauce in a saucepan over low heat before using. The sauce is also great served over ice cream or chocolate pound cake.
• You can also bake this pudding in individual 8-ounce custard cups or ramekins, in which case you should reduce the baking time to about 20 to 30 minutes.

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