Delicious, affordable and full of warm, traditional flavours but definitely not your usual pudding – get your guests talking with this head-turning dish that serves as decoration too.
If you’ve ever wondered about the logic of serving warm dessert in a country that celebrates the festive season at the height of summer, you’ll appreciate this innovative dessert. Developed by food editor Carmen Niehaus for Spekko Rice, it’s made with Spekko Saman White Rice and Spekko India Gate Basmati from the Himalayas. These two rice variants are two of four in the Spekko range that count amongst what rice experts call the best rice in the world. And now you get to experience it in a whole different way with this divine dish.
Ditch the gingerbread and heavy puddings and say hi to an inspired Christmas Pudding Wreath. Spekko – Rice doesn’t get better than this.
Festive Rice Pudding Wreat
For the rice praline
125ml (1/2 cup) sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) water
250ml (1 cup) cooked Spekko Saman White Rice
125ml (1/2 cup) chopped almonds
For the wreath
500ml (2 cups) water
500ml (2 cups) whole cream milk
4 bags citrus chai rooibos tea (OR a piece of orange peel, 2 pieces stick cinnamon, 1 slice of fresh ginger, 2 cardomom pods, and 2 cloves, preferably placed in a muslin cloth)
200g Spekko India Gate Basmati Rice
Pinch of salt
1 can (410g) condensed milk
100g mixed raisins
100g red glacé cherries
50g roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
100g luxury Christmas cake mix
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
7ml (1 11/2 t) gelatine, soaked in cold water
Any or all of the following will work: Cinnamon coils, fresh or tinned cherries and fresh mint.
- Spray a silicone ring cake pan with cooking spray.
To make the praline:
- Spray a baking tin or marble surface with cooking spray. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat till the sugar has melted. Cook without stirring till a golden caramel colour has been reached, swirling the pan from time to time. Cool the pan in cold water immediately to stop the cooking process.
- Quickly add the rice and nuts, mix and pour out onto the sprayed marble or baking tin and leave to set. Once set, break into long shards. Keep aside.
To make the wreath:
- Combine the water and milk in a saucepan, add the teabags or loose spices and orange peel and heat till just under boiling point. Squeeze out the liquid from the teabags, remove the bags or spices and peel. Also reserve 60ml (1/4 cup) of the tea mixture.
- Add the rice and salt and bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the condensed milk and raisins and continue simmering for another 5–7 minutes till the rice is just tender. Stir in the cherries, nuts, luxury Christmas cake mix and vanilla essence.
- Mix the soaked gelatine with the reserved tea mixture and stir till the gelatine is smooth.
- Add a few spoonfuls of the cooked rice mixture to the gelatine, mix well, then add the mixture to the rest of the rice mixture in the saucepan. Mix well.
- Spoon into the cake ring and leave to set, preferably overnight.
- Unmould onto a platter and decorate with the praline rice shards, bundles of cinnamon coils, fresh mint and fresh or tinned cherries.