Cheesecake and Chocolate Rice Pudding

printed from melskitchencafe.com

*Note: The recipe is written to make either a full batch of cheesecake or a full batch of chocolate rice pudding. Alternately, you can make the full batch of pudding, split the hot, cooked pudding in half and add halved amounts of the cheesecake and chocolate variations to each half to make some of both without doubling the entire pudding recipe. Medium grain rice is important for this recipe. It can be found by the other varieties of rice. I haven't tried this recipe with long grain, brown rice, short grain or arborio so I can't weigh in on how those would fare as a substitution.

*Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

Pudding:

4 cups half-and-half

2 cups cooked medium grain rice

1 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten and brought to room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Variation:

6 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened to room temperature

2 tablesoons powdered sugar

Chocolate Variation:

2 tablespoons cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-process)

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Pour 3 1/2 cups of the half-and-half, cooked rice, sugar, and salt into a large 3 to 4 quart pot. Stir constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon or flat silicone spatula until the mixture thickens, 25-35 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Place the beaten egg in a medium bowl. Slowly add a spoonful of the hot pudding to the egg, whisking vigorously and constantly. Continue to temper the egg with 3-4 more spoonfuls of the hot pudding, whisking constantly. Add the tempered pudding and egg mixture into the pot of hot rice pudding, stirring quickly to incorporate. Return the pot to medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture boils.

Remove from the heat and stir in the last 1/2 cup of half-and-half and the vanilla extract.

For the cheesecake version, stir the softened cubes of cream cheese into the hot pudding. Add the powdered sugar and stir well until the cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated. Transfer the pudding to a large bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin forming and refrigerate until ready to serve. The pudding can be served warm, room temperature or cold and will keep well covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

For the chocolate version, add the cocoa, powdered sugar and 1/3 to 1/2 of the chocolate chips to the hot pudding. Stir until melted and smooth. Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin forming. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Once chilled, stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. It will keep well covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.