Tips: Risotto is usually a savory rice dish,
but here it becomes a dessert. Very rich, not too sweet, and with
a solid chocolate impact, this is Italian-style comfort food
to serve after a light meal on a cold or stormy night. Youll
need medium-grain arborio rice to make this, which I can find in
local supermarkets (some is sold as risotto); Ive
tried both an imported brand and a brand produced in the US, and
both worked well. Note that the recipe uses an approximate amount
of water. As an agricultural product, rice can vary considerably
between crops, and you may need a bit more or a bit less than I
This is cooked in a 10-inch diameter by 2-inch deep, heavy-bottomed,
nonaluminum frying pan on top of the stove, and I have an old wooden
paddle that is perfect for stirring it (use any comfortable, sturdy,
wooden spoon). While youre cooking the risotto, stir almost
constantly. The liquid you add must be very hot, if not actually
boiling, and it is important to add a small amount at a time. I
have seen recipes specifying liquid additions in 1/2 cup amounts,
but my additions are smaller (I dont have a lot of patience,
and smaller liquid additions get absorbed much more quickly). Serve
this with very lightly sweetened whipped cream and some good espresso.
You might be up for hours afterward, but at least that way you can
get in some exercise to burn off those calories! This is best when
freshly-made, though it can be refrigerated overnight and reheated
gently the next day.
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1-1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules
- 1 cup whole milk
- About 2-1/4 cups water
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup arborio
- 1 Tbsp. dark rum
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
In small bowl, combine sugar and salt. Set aside near stovetop.
In medium heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolates. In small saucepan
over low heat (or in microwave) heat cream until very hot; pour
about half of hot cream over chocolates. Let stand a minute or two,
then stir or whisk gently until smooth. Gradually stir in remaining
hot cream. Stir in coffee granules. Set aside near stovetop.
In separate small, heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum pots, heat milk and
water over low heat. Stir milk occasionally until very hot; when water
boils, shut heat off but keep pot covered and on the burner. Meanwhile,
in 10 inch diameter by 2-inch deep heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum frying
pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add risotto (dry). Stir often with
wooden paddle or spoon for 2 to 3 minutes (youll see the risotto
begin to sizzle slightly in the butter).
Add a small amount (no more than 1/4 cup) of the very hot milk.
The milk should sizzle as it hits the hot pan. Stir the mixture
until the milk has been almost completely absorbed into the risotto.
Continue adding small additions of the hot milk and stirring them
in, cooking and stirring until each addition has been almost completely
absorbed before adding the next. Its not necessary to stir
vigorously or beat the risotto, just stir continuously; occasionally,
scrape down the sides of the frying pan with a heat-resistant rubber
spatula. Youll notice that the risotto begins to look creamy
very early on, and that not absolutely all of the liquid will absorb
in as you stir. The risotto should be maintained at a strong simmer,
so adjust the heat under your pan accordingly as necessary.
When youve added all of the hot milk and stirred it in, begin
adding the very hot water in small amounts, again cooking and stirring
until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding
the next. When theres only half a cup or so of water that
remains to be added, test your risotto. Drop a bit onto a clean
spoon, cool slightly, and eat it. It will be very bland, but youre
really checking for consistency here. The rice should be al dente;
it should not be crunchy, but neither should it be soft through.
You may need to add a bit more or less water; if you need to add
more than the specified 2-1/4 cups, add it by small amounts and
heat it before you add it.
When your rice is al dente, stir in the sugar and salt. The mixture
will thin out a bitOK. Stir for several minutes until the
sugar grains have dissolved. Reduce heat to very low; stir in chocolate
mixture until well-blended (risotto will thicken substantially when
chocolate mixture is added). Turn off heat and stir in rum and vanilla.
Cool for a few minutes before serving (or, cool slightly, then chill,
covering tightly when cold). To serve, spoon risotto into wine glasses
or decorative cups. Top with very lightly sweetened whipped cream.
If risotto has been chilled overnight, it will be very thick. Reheat
in heatproof bowl over simmering water on low heat (water should
not touch bottom of bowl), stirring often until warm (alternatively,
reheat in microwaveable bowl at 50% (medium) power for short intervals,
stirring well between each, until warm).
Yields: Scant 4 cups, 6 to 8 servings.
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