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Desserts

Vegan hazelnut rice pudding with orange and dark chocolate

Vegan hazelnut rice pudding with orange and dark chocolate
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Nuts. And water. That's really all there is to nut milk. Maybe you've noticed all the dairy-free milk brands vying for attention at your local market. Nut milks — and other plant-based milks such as soy, rice and even coconut ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 2/3 cup short-grain rice, preferably Arborio
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups hazelnut milk, more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican (canela)
  • Zest from 1/2 orange, cut in large strips
  • 1/2 cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Shaved vegan dark chocolate, for garnish

Step 1Rinse the rice several times until the water runs clear. In a large saucepan, combine the water and hazelnut milk with the salt, cinnamon stick and zest, and bring to a simmer over high heat.

Step 2Place the rice in a separate heavy saucepan. Stir in 2 cups of the simmering nut milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid.

Step 3Continue cooking the rice as you would a risotto, adding the nut milk, a ladleful at a time, as the rice begins to swell and absorb the liquid. When the rice is almost tender, stir in the brown sugar and vanilla extract. Continue cooking, stirring frequently to make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, 25 to 30 minutes total. The finished rice will be thick and creamy.

Step 4Move the rice to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed flat against the surface (this will prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate until chilled, and serve garnished with shaved dark chocolate.

Note: Sugar is often processed using animal bone char, which is unacceptable to many vegans. This recipe calls for vegan brown sugar (animal-free processing) and vegan dark chocolate, both of which are generally available at health food markets as well as online.

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