Chocolate Rice Pudding
Riso Nero di Pasqua (pronounced RI-soh KNEE-ro dee PAS-kah) is a Sicilian Easter recipe, and since the black color comes from chocolate and not squid ink, this dark rice is a dessert! The inclusion of orange gives it a lighter feel than chocolate alone.
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 6 ounce good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup finely chopped mixed candied fruit
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream (optional)
- Vegetable oil spray
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place almonds on the baking sheet and toast nuts for 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Remove nuts from the oven, chop coarsely, and set aside.
2. Grease the inside of the slow cooker liberally with vegetable oil spray or butter. Combine rice, half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, orange liqueur, chocolate, candied fruit, orange zest, and a pinch of salt in the slow cooker. Stir well.
3. Cook on Low for 5 to 7 hours or on High for 21/2 to 3 hours, or until rice is soft and the liquid is thick. Stir in heavy cream. Serve hot, warm, or chilled, topped with ice cream or whipped cream, if using.
Note: The pudding can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered with plastic wrap.
Variation: Substitute Amaretto or other almond-flavored liqueur for the orange liqueur, and omit the orange zest.