Rice pudding is one of my favorite comfort food dishes. I almost always save leftover steamed rice, whether it is homemade or came from leftover Chinese takeout, so I know that I can whip up a batch when the mood strikes me. I usually make my rice pudding with vanilla and simply let the flavor of the milk shine through in the finished pudding, but if I’m looking for something even more indulgent, I bring some Nutella into the picture.
This Nutella rice pudding is made simply be stirring some Nutella into a batch of what would otherwise be plain rice pudding. The rich chocolate hazelnut spread adds a tremendous amount of flavor, leaving you with a very decadent dessert. To enhance the color of the pudding, as well as highlight the less-sweet chocolate notes of the Nutella, I added a small amount of cocoa powder into my rice pudding mixture. The thickness of your finished pudding will be influenced by the type of rice you use and I would recommend using a starchier, shorter-grain rice for the best results, but just about any rice will do the trick when the craving hits.
Now, I have to admit that I don’t find chocolate rice puddings to be quite as attractive as vanilla puddings, but a little bit of whipped cream – regular or Nutella flavored for any big Nutella fans out there – solves the problem nicely and dresses up the dessert. I used Nutella whipped cream on this batch, but even plain, unsweetened whipped cream can add a nice bit of contrast to a finished dessert in this case.
Nutella Rice Pudding
1 cups leftover cooked rice
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp Nutella
Combine cooked rice, milk, half and half (use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream if you do not have half and half), sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat so the mixture doesn’t boil. Stir regularly with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan, until just about all of the milk is absorbed (about 45 minutes) and pudding has thickened. Add the vanilla and sift the cocoa powder, and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in Nutella.
Divide pudding into 4 small serving dishes, cover and cool to room temperature. Chill for at least 1 hour, or longer, before serving.
Garnish with whipped cream – plain, lightly sweetened or Nutella-flavored (see recipe below).
Makes 4 servings.
Nutella Whipped Cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
1 tbsp Nutella
1 tsp hot water or coffee
Whip heavy cream to soft peaks in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, place remaining tablespoon of Nutella. Add 1 tsp of the hot water or coffee to the Nutella. Whisk together until Nutella has dissolved. Fold Nutella mixture into the whipped cream and spoon it on top of puddings.