Milk chocolate rice pudding with blueberry compote and hazelnut streusel

This dessert can be made almost entirely in advanced and uses BC blueberries and hazelnuts. It can be simplified to be an every day treat since the rice pudding alone with some fresh blueberries and toasted hazelnuts is delicious. However, the extra flourishes and textures make an impressive twist on a childhood favorite.

Blueberry Compote:

  • 3 cups BC blueberries
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 3“  Lemon rind (no pith)
  • 1/3 cup Vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
  • 4” Cinnamon stick, broken
  • ½ tsp Ground cinnamon

In a medium pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to medium and gently simmer until it is reduced by half. When it is done, the sauce will coat the back of the spoon and the texture will be syrup-like. Take out the lemon rind and cinnamon sticks. Place the compote in a container and refrigerate until cooled completely. This can be prepared ahead and will keep for 4 days refrigerated.

Chocolate Rice Pudding:

  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup Water
  • ¼ tsp Sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cup Whole milk
  • 1 ¾ cup Whipping cream
  • 2 Vanilla beans, cut and scraped of seeds
  • 1/3 cup Vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
  • 120 g Milk chocolate, preferably Valrhona

Combine rice, water and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to medium and gently simmer until the water is almost all evaporated. Stir every few minutes. This will take approximately 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm milk, 1 ¼ cup whipping cream, sugar, vanilla beans and its seeds until just under boiling. Cover and steep until rice is ready.

When rice ready, add the warm milk mixture and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to medium and gently simmer, stirring every few minutes until you achieve the consistency of a very loose porridge and the cream is thickened. This will take approximately 15-20 minutes. Pick out the vanilla beans and add the milk chocolate. Mix until thoroughly combined. Place the rice in a container and refrigerate until completely cool. When it is cooled, add up to ½ cup of whipping cream to loosen the mixture to the desired consistency. We prefer it to be creamy but not gelatinous, with the texture of the rice still intact in a cream much like a thick crème anglaise. This can be prepared ahead and will keep for 2 days refrigerated.

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Streusel:

  • 5 tbsp Softened butter
  • 5 tbsp Raw sugar
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp Hazelnut flour, toasted
  • ½ cup  All purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Sea salt
  • ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup Whole BC hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped.
  • 80g (approx ½ cup) Milk chocolate, preferably Valrhona
  • 1/3 cup Hazelnut butter
  • 1 tbsp Butter

Preheat oven to 325F. Cream the butter with sugar until combined. Add hazelnut flour, flour and salt and mix to combine.  Separate roughly into quarter-sized pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned along the edges. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Place on a rack and cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, melt milk chocolate, hazelnut butter and butter in a double boiler. Break up and add streusel. Gently fold until combined.  Spread out onto the parchment-lined sheet pan and place in freezer to harden.

Assembly & plating (optional):

  • Small mason jars
  • Dried corn flowers
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Dried blueberries
  • Cinnamon stick cut into 1” slivers
  • Candied hazelnuts (recipe included)
  • Ground Cinnamon for dusting

Into a small mason jar, fill 1/3 with rice pudding. Add approximately two tablespoons of blueberry compote on top. Sprinkle a few dried blueberries on the compote. Top with rice pudding matching the height of the bottom layer. Top with streusel and candied hazelnuts. Decorate with fresh blueberries, a stick of cinnamon, cornflowers and a dusting of ground cinnamon. Assembly can be prepared hours in advance and refrigerated. The candied hazelnuts must put on prior to serving.

Candied Hazelnuts (Optional):

  • 16-20 Whole BC hazelnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup Granulated sugar

Heat sugar in a dry pan on high, swirling the sugar by tilting the pan. As the sugar heats, the texture will become like wet sand and the edges will begin to melt.  Continue to melt all the sugar making sure to dissolve all the crystals. Once the sugar begins to brown, the process will be quick, keep swirling and cooking until the sugar achieves a tawny-mahogany color. Immediate remove from the heat and add the whole hazelnuts. Coat the nuts in caramel and take them out with fork. Place each on parchment or silpat to cool and harden. This can be prepared ahead and will keep indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place in a sealed container.