When I saw the ingredients for the January edition of Mystery Dish, the first thing I thought was “fancy, fancy.” Allie from Baking a Moment gave us a list of the following to work with: champagne, strawberries, oranges, beets, filet mignon, lobster, cream, chocolate, rosewater, and rice. Though the list at first glance is fancy, my first thought was comfort food. It must be the cold weather.
As I was thinking about what to make, I noticed rice sitting all lonely at the end of the list. I’ve never had rice pudding, so I looked up a few recipes and decided to give it a whirl. Ben is a HUGE rice addict, so we always have tons of rice in the pantry. Instead of the milky, raisin-filled, old-person-stereotype rice pudding, I wanted to use chocolate to fancify things a bit. As I researched chocolate rice pudding, I decided to take an international spin on things and make an intriguing Filipino chocolate rice pudding called Champorado. When I found out it is traditionally served for breakfast, I was sold. Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please!
This pudding is warm, comforting, and chocolately–though it’s surprisingly NOT rich. Some kinds of oatmeal I make feel richer than this is. The recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, which certainly helps create an uber chocolate flavor without any feelings of heaviness or overindulgence. I also added a little bit of orange zest to bring a citrus zing to the dish. Chocolate and orange together is absolutely DIVINE! Another way this dish stays a lighter is the pairing. You might have noticed that bacon on my plate.
Traditionally, Champorado is served with hot, buttered rolls and salted dried fish, creating that perfect blend of salty sweet balance in a meal. Since I was fresh out of salted dried fish [aka I've never eaten salted dried fish before] bacon was my natural alternative.
Each bite of this pudding is comforting and delightful. It’s so versatile and can be served hot, lukewarm, or cold. Though I highly recommend it for breakfast, I think it would make a fun dessert too. I definitely will be trying more rice puddings in the future now that I know they aren’t just for old people! Thanks, Allie and Mystery Dish for broadening my horizons once again. Scroll down for more recipes from this month’s Mystery Dish!
one year ago: Buffalo Pretzels
two years ago: Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
three years ago: Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce
Champorado [Filipino Chocolate Rice Pudding] [from Chow]
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- 1 cup rice [short grain white sticky rice recommended, but I used long-grain white rice and it was fine]
- 5 cups water
- 6 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate [I used a 70% cacao variety from Scharffen Berger]
- 1/3 cup sugar
- zest of one orange
- milk [regular, evaporated, sweetened condensed], for serving if desired
Rinse rice in a fine gauge mesh strainer under running water for 1-2 minutes, until water runs clear. Then place in a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, until rice is tender, much of the water is absorbed, and mixture thickens, about 15-20 minutes.
Melt chocolate in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring and checking often to ensure chocolate does not burn. A double boiler would be another option too.
When rice has thickened, add chocolate, sugar, and orange zest to pot and stir together. Simmer for another 5 minutes until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and serve as desired–immediately [hot], cooled off the heat for 30-45 minutes [lukewarm], or cooled off the heat, then refrigerated [cold]. Serve with milk as desired.
Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.
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