One of the reasons why I’m so passionate about food is because it’s an amalgamation of art and science. While cooking is traditionally viewed as a creative pursuit, understanding the science behind food and cooking helps unlock new avenues of creativity while being able to effortlessly maintain a nutritionally balanced diet.
Food – Delicious Science is a new show that follows a science journalist and ethnobotanist around the world in search of answers to questions about the taste, biological function and psychological triggers that make eating, such a pleasurable pursuit.
The first episode, covers the brain, delving into why we crave certain foods. I won’t spoil the show for you by giving away the details, but since chocolate is the most craved food in the world, I couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy the first episode than to have a big bowl of this crave-worthy chocolate rice pudding on hand.
To make this glorious comfort food, I borrowed techniques from my Risotto Milanese, and my Chocolate Pudding. It does take a bit longer to make than regular chocolate pudding, but the decadent pudding, accented with al dente grains of rice is well worth the extra effort.
I’ve added a splash of almond flavored Amaretto at the end, but you can leave this out or substitute other liqueurs like Grand Marnier, or Chambord. Enjoy the pudding and stay tuned for the upcoming Taste and Body episodes of Food Delicious Science and a recipe to go with each one.
About Food – Delicious Science
Food – Delicious Science is the scientific story of the food on your plate. Michael Mosley and James Wong present a celebration of the physics, chemistry and biology that lies hidden inside every bite. Premieres Wednesday, May 17 at 10:00pm | Check local listings
Chocolate Rice Pudding
- 5 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted cultured butter
- 1/2 cup short-grain rice (such as sushi rice, or Arborio)106 grams
- 5 ounces dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Amaretto (optional)
- Toasted sliced almonds (for garnish)
- Add the milk and unsweetened cocoa powder to a pot, whisk to combine and heat until hot, but not boiling.
- In another pot, add the butter and sugar and heat over medium heat until the sugar has melted and is bubbly. Add the rice and coat with the caramel.
- Add the hot milk one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until most of the milk has been absorbed before proceeding with another ladleful of hot milk. Repeat for 30 minutes.
- Add the remaining milk and stir to combine. Turn down the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture is very thick and the rice is tender.
- Add the chocolate a handful at a time, stirring and fully melting the chocolate between each addition.
- Finish the pudding by adding the cream and amaretto and stirring to combine. You can adjust the viscosity of the pudding by adding more milk if it's too thick. Top the rice pudding with toasted sliced almonds to garnish. Serve hot, or let the pudding cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.