cinnamon and matcha rice pudding

cinnamon and matcha rice pudding | A Brown Table

Can someone be passionate about pudding? I want to say, yes because I am. Puddings are one of those comforting desserts that I've always looked forward to, even as a kid I'd have them on my mind at school waiting for that bell to ring so I could rush home and indulge in spoons of chunky goodness. Even now without the restraints of school, I'm still a huge sucker for a good bowl of pudding. The holidays are a time to indulge a little and in that spirit a pudding is a must and this time with a different kind of Christmas pudding!

cinnamon and matcha rice pudding | A Brown Tablecinnamon and matcha rice pudding | A Brown Table

A holiday themed pudding can be many things but I think it should be comforting and rice puddings though pretty simple fall right into that category. To give this rice pudding a holiday touch, I infused matcha and cinnamon into my favorite almond milk from Califia and dunked a whole bunch of fresh ripe raspberries on top. One of the great features about their milk, is it's ability to withstand heating which is great when during cooking. Serve it warm or chilled, it's great either way.

cinnamon and matcha rice pudding | A Brown Tablecinnamon and matcha rice pudding | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing this rice pudding that you might find useful,

  • Though I've listed instructions on how to prepare basmati rice here, you can skip this step if you already have boiled, plain, unsalted cooked basmati rice. When blending the rice into the almond milk, don't overdo it, you want to achieve a tiny grainy texture just like tiny bits of chia seeds. 
  • *Sugar-adjust the sweetness of the pudding to your liking, I like it less sweet but if you want it sweeter add more sugar. You can also play around with the type of sweetener you use.
  • Avoid adding cinnamon powder to the matcha pudding while it is cooking. Infusing a cinnamon stick in the almond milk will get the job done without changing the color of the pudding. 
  • To keep with the spirit of the holidays, I've used fresh raspberries but any other fresh berry or fruit might work here.
cinnamon and matcha rice pudding | A Brown Table
cinnamon and matcha rice pudding | A Brown Table

cinnamon and matcha rice pudding

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

1 cup basmati rice

2 cups water, at room temperature

2 tablespoons matcha powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or tapicoa starch

2 tablespoons sugar (*see kitchen notes)

1 inch piece cinnamon stick 

a few fresh ripe raspberries for garnish

a little extra cinnamon powder, freshly grated for garnish

1. Rinse the rice under cold running tap water. Place it in a medium-size saucepan and cover it with the water. Bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil and then reduce to a medium-low. Cover with a lid and cook the rice for about 20 minutes until the grains have become tender. Open the lid and continue to cook on medium-low until almost all the water has evaporated. Remove from stove and keep aside until ready to use. 

2. In a thick bottomed saucepan add the matcha, cornstarch, and sugar. Pour the Califia almond milk and whisk vigorously to mix. Add the cinnamon stick and heat the contents of the saucepan on medium-high and allow to cook for 5 minutes with constant stirring. Remove from stove and discard the cinnamon stick.

3. Add the cooked rice to the saucepan containing the almond milk mixture. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, pulse the contents of the saucepan a few times to break the rice grains into small tiny bits. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook on high heat with constant stirring for about 2 -3 minutes until the mixture has thickened (the consistency should resemble a thick custard). Remove from stove and pour the pudding into individual serving jars or a large bowl. Cover with cling film to prevent the formation of any film on the surface of the pudding. This pudding can be served warm or chilled. Garnish the pudding with a little extra freshly grated cinnamon powder and a generous helping of fresh raspberries.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia and all opinions stated here are purely my own.

pumpkin sage kulfi

Pumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown Table

I love frozen desserts, it's no secret that I'll be glad to eat them at any given time of the year, regardless of what the weather decides it wants to do. Everyone has their comfort food and desserts, frozen ones are just one facet of food that can provide that satisfying feeling of goodness.  I've been dreaming of concocting a kulfi recipe this year, one that would be a little "fall-ish" and also have some sort of herbal infusion in it. This pumpkin and sage kulfi ticked of all those requirements in my little head stuffed with food fantasies.

Pumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown TablePumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown Table

Not to be confused with ice cream, a kulfi is a frozen Indian dessert. There's no churning and no scooping, it's either shaped in molds or cut into slices with a knife before serving. Kulfi also has a different texture than ice cream which is why I'm always kind of hesitant to describe it as an Indian version of ice cream, I'd like to think of it as holding it's own ground in the world of frozen desserts. 

I started off by infusing a little bit of Califia unsweetened almond milk with fresh sage leaves and then folded in some pumpkin puree. I used Califia because for one it tastes fantastic and two, it doesn't curdle on heating which becomes important when boiling the kulfi base. Working with the milk is easy and my favorite part (besides gorging on this pumpkin sage kulfi) has to be the herb infusion stage. All that sage in my hands being chopped and then being dunked into the almond milk, that's good stuff!
Pumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown TablePumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown TablePumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing this kulfi at home,

  • You need to boil the base to get rid of the water content and the pumpkin purée and cornstarch both help to aid in the process of binding the water molecules during freezing.
  • You can cut back on the sugar to about 1/2 cup if you don't like it too sweet. I like brown sugar here because pumpkin and brown sugar are a match made in culinary heaven!
  • Don't expect ice cream when you eat kulfi, it's a milky frozen dessert with a firmer texture because it is not churned. You will also see a few tiny ice crystals when cut through it. 
  • You don't really need fancy molds to make kulfi (I don't currently own any), I use my trust worthy mason canning jars. They work great as long as they are freezer-safe and have shapes that allow you to release the kulfi before serving. 
  • Here's a little tip to cut the fresh sage leaves: I bundle the leaves up together and then roll them up before cutting them into thin strands. 
  • I tend to thaw kulfi a little before serving, it helps with the release and softening of the dessert.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia and all opinions stated here are purely my own.

Pumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown Table
Pumpkin Sage Kulfi | A Brown Table

pumpkin sage kulfi

yields: 6 servings 

ingredients 

2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, cut into thin strips

1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened pumpkin purée

3/4 cup (5 7/25 ounces) brown sugar

1/2 cup (2 ounces) almond flour

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

a little extra fresh sage leaves for garnishing

1. Take 1 cup of the almond milk and pour into a small thick bottomed saucepan. Dump the sage leaves into the almond milk and bring to a boil on a medium-high flame, stirring occasionally. Reduce the flame, stir and cook for another 1 minute. Remove from stove and strain the liquid. Discard the leaves and keep the strained almond milk aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the pumpkin purée, rest of the almond milk (reserve 2 tablespoons of the almond milk for later), and the 1 cup of almond milk previously infused with the sage, until smooth. 

3. Transfer the pumpkin- almond milk mixture to a large thick bottomed saucepan along with the sugar and almond flour. Bring the contents to boil on a medium high flame, stirring often and boil for about 4 minutes until the mixture begins to get thick. In the mean time, take the 2 tablespoons of reserved almond milk and the cornstarch and mix in a small bowl to form a slurry. Remove the saucepan from the stove and quickly whisk in the cornstarch slurry and place the saucepan back on the stove. Be careful to ensure no clumps form. Continue to boil the contents of the saucepan for 2 minutes until it forms acquires a thick custard like consistency. Remove from stove and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Stir the contents of the saucepan and equally divide the liquid into six clean freezer proof molds or six 290mL canning jars, leaving approximately 1/2 inch space at the top. Cover the surface of each jar with cling film and freeze them for at least 2 hours or until frozen. To serve, allow the jars to sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the kulfi to loosen, flip the mold/jar over a serving plate to release. If the kulfi is still to hard, thaw it for another 5 minutes and then run a little hot tap water on the outside surface of the jar to release. Garnish with a few fresh sage leaves before serving.