Baking with B: Classic Rice Pudding with Fresh Raspberries

If any of you follow me and the saga of my porch garden on Instagram you’ll know that I have a couple of raspberry plants that over the summer have produced the occasional fruit. (To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations to begin with so I was happy I got any berries at all.)

Well, wouldn’t you know, mere days before October arrives, these little plants decide to wake up and grow raspberries like there’s no tomorrow. They’re pretty teensy and tart, but there’s a fresh crop coming out each day. However, I still didn’t have quite enough to bake with so I had to rack my brain to figure out what I could do with them.

Enter rice pudding: one of the greatest desserts to make when you have practically nothing in your pantry and you’re craving something sweet. It’s creamy with a hint of vanilla and it’s the perfect delivery method for sweet-tart raspberries (although really, I think any fruit will do).

Oh, and did I mention it’s actually pretty easy to make? See what I mean for yourself…

Classic Rice Pudding with Fresh Raspberries (makes approx. 4 servings)

(loosely based on the recipe found here)

3/4 c. uncooked white rice (short or medium grain is best)

2 c. milk

2 tbsp vanilla custard powder

1/3 c. white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp butter

raspberries, to taste (or fruit of your choice)

Note: I used vanilla custard powder in this recipe because it gave me such a rich, creamy vanilla flavor. The original recipe suggests adding 1/2 tsp vanilla extract at the very end, which is perhaps a little more traditional than my method.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 c. of water to boil. Add rice and let simmer on low, covered for approximately 20 minutes.

Whisk custard powder in with milk until dissolved. In a separate saucepan, bring 1 1/2 c. of milk to a slow boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding. Add in cooked rice and sugar, stirring to combine. Let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until texture becomes quite thick.

B’s Tip: I suggest adding the sugar last to your mixture because I added it first while the milk is still heating up. That’s ok, too, but if you’re not watching it (and I wasn’t) the sugar will end up caramelizing and burning at the bottom of your pan, making it hotter than you really want it to be. On the bright side, I ended up with all these really delicious flakes of burnt sugar scattered throughout my pudding. It was a lemons-into-lemonade kind of situation.

Stir in remaining 1/2 c. milk (you may want to give it a slight whisk beforehand) and beaten egg. Stir to combine and let cook for two minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let pudding sit for 10 minutes before serving. Scatter with raspberries (or fruit of your choice.

Rice pudding can be served hot or cold, but I prefer it slightly warm because that’s when the texture feels just right. (So creamy! So vanilla-y!) If you’re not a fan of rice pudding because all you’ve had is the gelatinous, cold stuff from the grocery store, I ask you to try this recipe and reconsider. It may have a reputation as a dessert for the elderly, but I think you’ll find it’s actually delicious for all ages.

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Chocolate Beet Cake

Aarrggh! I gave the secret ingredient away in the title already. You may wish to be less forthcoming than I have been- beets have a bad rap for being so red, so earthy-flavored, so…beet-ish. However, when they’re mixed with chocolate for some reason it just works. (I’d like to know more about the person who came up with that idea.)

I don’t often foray into baking with vegetables (except this time) that but that lonely can of beets in my cupboard (plus my friends’ insistence that it could not be done) inspired me to make a Chocolate Beet Cake and honestly? It’s kind of marvelous. Don’t trust me? Try it yourself! It’s been loosely adapted on this recipe I found here.

Chocolate Beet Cake (makes 2 9-inch round cakes)

3/4 c. butter

2 c. white sugar

3 eggs

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c. milk

1 14-oz. can of beets, drained and rinsed, with 1/2 c. of beet juice for reserve

1/2 c. reserved beet juice

First, you gotta puree those beets. Use your blender, slap-chop, whatever- just get ‘er done. Me, I went the old-fashioned way, simmering the beets in a saucepan on the stove until super moist before going at them with my hand-blender. Set aside beets aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar before adding eggs. Beat until thick and frothy. Slowly start adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time, alternating with the milk until fully combined.

Remember those beets? Stir them in last, then the beet juice you’ve saved from the can. Grease and flour two 9-inch round or square baking pans and pour batter into pans. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick or a knife comes out clean when inserted.

B’s Tip: You know what they say about buying good-quality cocoa powder? Yeah, I laughed too, but I wasn’t laughing after a friend gave me some of hers to use in this cake. It honestly makes a world of difference so if you can afford it (or if it’s a special occasion) I highly recommend using the best you can find for this recipe.

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Garden Herb Scones

Guys, I know you think I’m all fancy-like but when I say these scones do not take up a lot of time it is the absolute truth. You’d think a treat associated with something as fussy as a tea service would be complicated but they are not. The hardest thing about baking these is going to be deciding what you’re going to put in them. I used fresh herbs from my garden (because they’re running amok, please, someone come help me) but you could put in grated cheese, raisins, nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruits…see? I told you it was going to be hard.

Garden Herb Scones (makes approx. 12)

4 tbsp butter, softened

1 egg, beaten

1/4 tsp salt

2 c. flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

5 tbsp. milk

fresh herbs, finely chopped (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Beat butter and eggs together until creamy; set aside. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, alternating with the milk. Mix in your herbs (in this case, I used rosemary, basil and sage). Using your hands, form a ball shape then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use your fist to flatten the tops gently, but not enough to take away that nice rounded edge. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve as soon as they’re cool enough to eat!

B’s Tip: Nobody’s perfect, and sometimes your measurements may be a little bit off. Adding the milk a little bit at a time allows the batter to form without getting too slimy or wet. If you find you’ve reached the perfect consistency before you’ve added all the milk, you can stop right there. Mixture still feeling a little dry? Go ahead and put it all in!

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.