I never was much of a sweets girl, until I moved to Paris. During my year back in the states, I've slowly reverted back to my preference for the savory over the sweet - with a few exceptional cravings. Dark chocolate, mascapone/cream cheese frosted cakes (see carrot, red velvet...), gelato and pudding can still get me every time. And when it comes to pudding , rice pudding and I have had a long, loyal love affair.
But if my fondness for riz au lait was only intensified by my Parisian meals at the likes of chez l'Ami Jean - it did not reach it's pinnacle until I tasted black rice pudding as a random dessert special at the little-known Bao Noodles (one of my family's favorite no-reservation-required NYC restos). Savory and sweet, this was a dessert that could easily double for breakfast (which is exactly my kind of dessert). And when I finally came around to inventing my own healthy(er) recipe, you betcha that this warm dessert graced my breakfast table cold (and shockingly, was more delicious as a leftover).
Black rice pudding(dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar-free)
1 cup black rice (rinsed and soaked overnight) 4 cups liquid (I usually do a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio of non-dairy milk and water. 1:1 if sweetened, 2:1 if unsweetened. Coconut milk works really nicely.) 3 dates, chopped into small pieces (Dates are a healthy(er) substitute to refined sugar) A splash of vanilla extract
1. Start by boiling your liquid. I’d start 3.75 cups. (You can add more water later)
2. While the liquid is boiling, re-rinse your soaked rice. When liquid is near-boiling, grab a new pot. Put the rice in this pot over a low flame, and add about half of your liquid.
3. As time goes on add the rest of the liquid gradually, and test for texture (should be a bit chewy, but not mushy, when done).
4. About 30-40 minutes into cooking, add a splash of vanilla extract and your chopped dates.
Total cook time – about 45 minutes to an hour.