Risalamande is one of those pudding recipes that gets rice lovers giddy with excitement. This delicious, creamy dessert is beautifully balanced with a fruit sauce of your liking.
You can best enjoy the risalamande served hot, but I also like it cold. I recommend having a dessert wine or a bottle of port at hand with this recipe. Especially, if you have guests over and you want to finish your dinner with a big finale.
Risalamande is definitely a holiday dish that gets you into the Christmas spirit. You might have come across it if you traveled through Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. I hope you enjoy making this risalamande and let me know which fruit sauce you went for.
what is risalamande
Risalamande was originally derived from the French ‘riz a l’amande’, which stands for rice with almonds. It is a sort of a milky rice pudding, stirred slowly and then mixed with lots of whipped cream and fresh vanilla.
Some people top the risalamande with almonds, however the traditional way is to mix it in the pudding. Next, you should serve it with a Danish cherry sauce ‘kirsebærsovs’ on top.
So, as you can see, risalamande is a Danish recipe. It’s traditionally served for Christmas. In fact, every house in Denmark is bound to serve risalamande on Christmas Eve. It’s an absolute must! However, it’s not unusual to eat it throughout December. Especially at social gatherings with family and friends.
the almond quest
There is actually a little game built into this dish that you can try out as well. In Denmark, they put one entire almond into the serving bowl. Whoever gets the almond in their portion wins a prize. Usually, some sort of chocolates.
Also, part of the fun in this little game is to not reveal right away if you get the almond. This way the others at the table will have to go for second portions and keep looking for the almond. If you go for this tactic, you must be careful not to chew into the almond.
If you can’t present the whole almond intact you can’t claim the prize! Usually, people literally get quite fed up. Try it out with your friends and family; the kids will get a kick out of it.
types of rice
Overall, the type of rice you select from making this risalamande is crucial. If you don’t choose the correct rice, you won’t achieve the right consistency. Here's a short explanation about the different types of rice, so you don’t choose the wrong type. In short, please don’t use these under any circumstances:
- Basmati – too fragrant and wrong texture
- jasmine – too fragrant
- easy-cook rice – too mushy
- brown rice – wrong texture and colour
- Arborio rice – too creamy and thick in texture
You can use long-grain rice, but I fully recommend finding a special type of rice that is used for rice pudding or desserts, called pudding rice. Short grain white rice will also do.
add more flavour
What’s best about the risalamande is the creamy, vanilla goodness. Should you use vanilla essence or vanilla beans? Personally, I always recommend using fresh vanilla beans.
It's quite therapeutic slicing the vanilla bean open and scraping out the seeds. The smell of the fresh vanilla comforts me and makes me impatient for the end result. Here's how to extract vanilla bean seeds.
Take the tip of a sharp, pointy knife and run it down middle of the bean. Use your fingers to spread the opening. Take the tip of the knife and scrape as much as you can. Don’t leave out any corners.
Generally, there are a lot of vanilla seeds hiding in the sides. You can add as much vanilla into your risalamande as you want. If you haven’t found any fresh vanilla, just use vanilla essence.
The same principle goes for the amount of almonds you put it. I like to use skinless, flaked almonds. Make sure you crush them properly. Add as much as you want.
Once the risalamande is ready, use any type of fruit sauce as topping. The traditional recipe calls for cherry sauce. However, you can choose any type of jam. I would recommend a sauce with a more acidic fruit to complement the sweetness and creaminess of the risalamande.Print