There cannot be anything more traditional than arroz con leche, rice pudding, and this is eaten all over Spain and Latin America. Sweet and creamy, made with rice, cooked in whatever type of milk or cream you prefer, particularly wonderful with coconut milk, then flavoured with cinnamon and lemon, this is always a winner, and to transform it into a delicious cake, is pure magic. Some gelatine and egg whites to create a firm cake that can be cut into pieces, and you’ll be wanting to make variations of this time and again.
You may have your own tried and tested recipe for rice pudding and that is fine but the traditional recipe is simple enough.
First pour 1 cup of water and a tbsp. of vegetable oil into a medium saucepan, together with the cinnamon stick and lemon peel and 1 ½ cups of milk. Cover and heat on high, and bring to a boil. At this point add a cup of rice and cook for about 15 minutes, or when you feel it’s ready. Once rice is cooked, remove and discard cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Turn heat down and dissolve the sugar.
While rice is cooking, whisk 235 ml of whipping cream and three gelatine sheets in a jug, although you could also dissolve the gelatine in the rice pudding mix when it cools a little, then beat 3 egg whites into stiff peaks and fold all the ingredients in.
This time round I made a biscuit base using 140 g of digestive biscuits and 70 g of unsalted butter and pressed this into a cheesecake tin. To give it some bite I stewed some apples, although you could use any fruit, or simply just a bit of jam, and then layered this over the biscuit base. The last step was to slowly pour the rice pudding mix into the tin, press it down lightly and let it go into the fridge until it sets. Just follow the gelatine instructions for timings as these vary but usually between one and two hours is enough to set although it’s great really well chilled.
Once set, gently ease out of the cheesecake tin, sprinkle with more cinnamon, and decorate as you wish. Well worth the effort!
Text And Photography By Mark Montovio
Article provided by Globe Magazine Gibraltar