Please tell me I’m not the only one saying, “ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCCINOS!” like the male models in Zoolander. Try as I might I can’t un-think it, can’t cram out the visions of the windshield washer fluid fight, can’t stop singing Wham!’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Can’t and won’t!
Here’s the thing about rice: I love the stuff. I love it with a little soy sauce and sriracha while I’m bundled in a blanket in front of the TV. I love it wrapped around fresh fish and veggies at sushi restaurants. I love it in soups and salads. My two favorite ways to eat it though are with fried chicken and cream gravy (we always used to eat it like that growing up – I miss it!) and in rice pudding. Honestly it just does not get better than that!
Let me clarify the first love though – we used to have rice instead of mashed potatoes all the time. I don’t know if it was just easier to cook rice, if it was cheaper to cook rice, or both, but my mom always served rice as the starch of choice with anything that required gravy. Fried chicken, roast beef, meatloaf, you name it. To this day I like rice better although it’s not often I get to have it with gravy (because I never make gravy. Go figure).
So when I was trying to come up with a recipe that would showcase the amazing flexibility of rice I was super torn. Gravy or sweet? Sweet or gravy? Sweet gravy?
SWEET GRAVY IT WAS HARD!
I ended up going for sweet because I didn’t have any flour to help make gravy, and I – ahem – was in a chocolate mood that day. I desperately searched my pantry for inspiration in rice pudding and found a box of cocoa powder and a fresh orange. DONE AND DONE.
While I’ve never been a fan of those chocolate-covered oranges, I really do love chocolate and orange together when I’m the one in control of the ingredients. I love how European it makes me feel – the bright simplicity of the orange mixed with the deep intoxicating chocolate just makes me imagine that I’m traipsing through Tuscany or something. That’s the beauty of rice too – it’s this amazing chameleon ingredient. Regardless of where it’s grown it has this international appeal and always goes with everything! Kinda like the little black dress of starch if you will. RiceSelect™‘s Jasmati® is a long grain American grown jasmine rice. It has the same sweet, enticing aroma and subtle nutty flavor of exotic Thai jasmine rice. The grains are snowy white, soft and tender and hold up well is so many dishes!
The thing I love about this rice pudding is that it’s not sickeningly sweet. The Jasmati rice keeps a great texture (no mushiness please), and the orange and coffee add the perfect amount of bitterness. The two different types of chocolate make for one decadent chocolate rice pudding!
ORANGE MOCHA CHOCOLATE RICE PUDDING
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups strong brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup RiceSelect Jasmati rice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 4 oz 60% cocoa chocolate, chopped
- zest of one large orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the milk, coffee, rice, brown sugar and salt in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 30-40 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost completely gone. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder, butter, chopped chocolate, orange zest and vanilla extract. Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve cold or at room temperature!
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