I am reading a helarious book these days. Truly funny, and refreshingly well-written. I just spent the past half an hour reading it out loud to my less-than-book-wormy boyfriend, who actually sat on the couch next to me, listening attentively. Whether he did that to indulge me, or whether he actually found it as amusing as I do, well, we’ll never know. I heartily suspect the latter, though – yes, the book “Watching The English” by Kate Fox is THAT amazing.
Why am I reading it, you ask? I have an oral exam in cultural studies coming up, focussing on Great Britain, and I figured, I might as well pretend to be reading something additionally to my usual workload for university. Turns out, I really enjoy the book! I’m guessing I’ll be finished by the end of the week. 🙂
What I don’t enjoy whatsoever, though, is English Linguistics. Anyone who has ever tried to get a grasp on it – you know what I’m talking about. For anyone else: let’s just say that the fun of knowing, speaking, writing, singing etc. in English really goes flying out the door once you start analysing each and every phrase, word, letter, as well as the structure, varieties, historical development, and communication sequence. I absolutely despise it, and therefore fear it immensely, knowing that I will have to take an exam on the subject no matter how fiercly I bash on it. I actually checked out the mock exams for the first time today, and it took all I had not to start wailing uncontrollably out of anger, anxiety, and, well, sheer desperation. You think I’m exaggerating? Let’s talk again once you’ve taken one of those exams.
To cheer myself up, I made myself a sweet lunch today. I rarely do so, but I needed a quick sugar fix when I came home at 2om from university, after I had met with my study group trying to figure out whether Jesus died on the 14th or 15th of April in the Year 30. Yup, as you can see, I am dealing with loads of indesputably relevant and important issues on a daily basis. If I figure out how to fix the world, everyone and everything in it, I’ll let you know!
Back to my lunch: I have told you about my Spelt-Semolina Porridge before, and I would have made that, but I was all out of plum sauce, and I had recently bought some rice pudding rice, so I figured I’d make some. The great thing about rice pudding is: it is extremely filling, making it suitable as a whole meal, but it’s also sweet, and if you vary the serving sizes and toppings, it works as dessert, breakfast, or even a snack. I love versatile dishes like that. And, to top it all off, it can be made within 20-30 minutes, as well as the berry sauce I whipped up from scratch:
This is wholly vegan, gluten- and nut-free! If you prefer to use a nutmilk, it should work just as well.
Homemade Soy-Vanilla Rice Pudding Drizzled With Berries
for the rice pudding:
- 500ml soy milk (see option below)
- 2 tsp. raw cane sugar
- lemon zest from 1/2 organic lemon
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 125g rice pudding rice (you shouldn’t use basmati rice for this, as it won’t thicken up as well – risotto may work)
Option: Try using a 400ml can of coconut cream plus 100ml water instead, and you’ll get an insanely creamy rice pudding!!!
for the berry sauce:
- a bowl of frozen berries (200 – 300g) (whichever you have sitting in your freezer; I used strawberries and raspberries, which turned out quite well, as strawberries added a nice natural sweetness!)
- 75-100ml of water (depending on the type of berries, and how runny you like your berry sauce, you may need more or less)
- 1 tsp. brown sugar (optional)
1. Pour all the ingredients for the rice pudding in a small pot, and start heating full heat. Once the rice pudding starts to boil, allow to boil for 30 sec., stirring vigorously, and then turn down to lower heat.
(Side note: Some people like to add a tsp. of butter/margarine to make the pudding creamier – which I would probably do if serving it as a dessert, or if I have to store it in the fridge for a while, as it really thickens up the longer you store it)
2. Allow the rice pudding to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The pudding may stick to the bottom of the pot – adding butter/margarine fixes this. I usually just ignore the lowest layer, and concentrate on the creaminess above it. 🙂
3. Once the rice pudding really thickens up (after 20 minutes), you can turn off your heat completely, put on the lid, and allow it to thicken even more by keeping it on the turned off hotplate (which will still be warm). Once it looks like the picture above, it’s done – or taste it, and see if the rice corns are to your liking.
4. As you are waiting for the rice pudding to thicken up, place the frozen berries in a pot and start thawing/heating them.
5. As they start melting, add a bit of the water, making sure the thawed berries don’t start burning.
6. Once all the berries have thawed, add your sugar (optional), and bring to a boil. Depending on how you like the thickness of your sauce, keep on high heat for up to 15 minutes: the longer you allow it to boil/simmer, the more water will evaporate, and the thicker your sauce will be. I took it off the heat after about 10 minutes.
If you dislike chunks, you could now blend it; I loved having the whole strawberries in there, so I left it as is. If it seems too sour to you, add some more sugar/other sweetener. You could also experiment with spices, for example cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom, allspice…anything that will get you closer to your desired taste. If you do start experimenting, start with very small amounts, as these are all strong spices!
If you feel like the berry sauce is too much work, you could simply enjoy the rice pudding “naturally”, or sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon and powdered sugar. The options are endless here…add some nuts, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, nutbutter, jelly/jam, raisins (you can add raisins as you are cooking), banana, or anything else you feel like! Enjoy warm or cold, both tastes delish!
Let me know your favorite versions: what toppings are you gonna try?