Sunday, August 7, 2011
crispy and creamy rice treat.
At first glance, you may think that it's a recipe for rice krispie treats, but this recipe comes from a Pierre Herme book so just what does it mean?
Basically, it's a charlotte. Lined with ladyfingers lemon syrup-soaked ladyfingers, filled with a rice pudding custard, sprinkled with chopped nestle chocolate crunch bars and hazelnuts, smothered in a layer of chocolate cream before topped with caramelized rice krispies. Obviously, it's not quite the easy American treat made possible in minutes. We would need... a lot more time, to put it simply.
I happen to love and hate multi-component french desserts. They're time-consuming, fussy and require much planning in advance, but once you've completed them, you get this sense of satisfaction that no muffin can give. They're just so beautiful that taking pictures is a snap. When you eat them, you really appreciate them. You blog about them with pride. That's why I love them.
I want to open my own bakery in the future, and I'm still thinking if I should do a shop selling homey baked goods or a patisserie with exquisite little entremets. Although I would walk into my little shop everyday feeling immensely proud of the fine french cakes, I don't know if I can persevere through each day of layering, freezing and stacking many components. This is when I start to think that a bakery selling comforting cakes, pies and tarts would be more flexible but I do love the elegance of patisseries... Or perhaps I should do both? Or is that just suicide?
Anyway, coming back to this dessert. I made rice pudding before with just vanilla as a "seasoning" but this one does not. It uses cinnamon and lemon zest, which is an amazing combination! I admit I was skeptical at first but wait till you try this out. I was also quite worried that my rice wasn't cooked through since the ratio of milk to rice was very low and it turned out to be okay but it has quite the bite so I would soak the rice for at least half an hour before cooking. And then you have to make a creme anglaise and dissolve gelatin and whip cream... as you can see, not exactly hey presto! in 1 hour.
The original recipe used a chocolate cream to top but since I had some ganache kicking around in the fridge, I used that instead. I got lazy afterwards and decided to chop up more nestle crunch bars and hazelnuts to top the charlotte off instead of caramelizing rice krispies.
It appears that I'm not the only one with a penchant for long and laborious desserts. You can check out these two other people's crispy and creamy rice treats too!