I am having a love affair with rice pudding. I never thought I'd write those words; for some reason, I have long associated rice pudding with terrible school dinners, despite never having partaken in that particular childhood tradition myself. There's just something in the British consciousness that is wary of rice pudding. Or maybe that's just me? Either way, I was sceptical when Paul bought me home a tub of Naughty but Rice Salted Caramel Rice Pudding from the supermarket - he'd clocked the salted caramel part, which is usually a surefire way to my heart, but didn't know of my aversion to all things rice-like. However, I was hooked after one bite and became determined to make my own version.
Deliciously creamy and comforting, with a swirl of that addictive salted caramel. It's everything a good winter pudding should be. It's incredibly calming to make, standing over the stove, stirring until the fragrant vanilla pudding has thickened and softened. The pan needs to be watched - you don't want the milk to boil over. However, after reading Simply Nigella, I will never again apologise for asking you to spend a little time in the kitchen. The twenty minutes it takes to complete this recipe should be a joy rather than a chore. If you want to do so, you can make the salted caramel in advance and then reheat in a saucepan whilst you make the pudding, but both are simple to make so you can easily whip them up at the same time. Any leftover caramel sauce can be kept in the fridge to sneak spoonfuls of throughout the week.
For the rice pudding
- 100g pudding rice (or arborio risotto rice, if you can't find pudding rice)
- 400ml whole milk
- 200ml double cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the salted caramel sauce
- 75g unsalted butter
- 50g soft brown sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- 125ml double cream
- pinch of flaky sea salt, to taste
For the pudding
- Place all of the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the rice has softened and the pudding has thickened. If the pudding thickens too quickly and rice remains uncooked, add a splash or two of milk at a time until you get the correct texture and consistency.
For the salted caramel sauce
- Meanwhile, place the butter, sugars and syrup into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Swirl occasionally to combine the ingredients, where necessary.
- Once the mixture has melted (about 3 minutes), add in the cream and a pinch of sea salt. Stir together and taste, adding more salt if needed. Cook for another minute.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a jug for serving.
- Divide the pudding between four bowls and serve with a generous swirl of salted caramel sauce. Keep the sauce on hand whilst eating for top ups!