Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chocolate Risotto

It’s Valentines Day, make something special for your sweetie, your best friend, your family.  When you cook for someone, your food becomes part of them...cook from your heart and it will show in your food.
I made a chocolate risotto, rich and creamy, served it in a pool of white chocolate surrounded by fresh raspberries.  
I wanted a chocolate dessert that was delicious but didn’t require cups of sugar and a pound of butter.
There’s no white sugar in this risotto, other than the little bit that’s in the semi sweet chocolate.  I only added a few tablespoons of honey.  I used rice milk and soy creamer instead of milk and butter.  Even with the substitutions, this dessert is plenty sweet.  It’s good enough to stand on it’s own but the white chocolate and raspberries turn it into something even more special.
It does help to use good ingredients, especially good chocolate.  I used Scharffen Berger.  It’s locally produced (but owned by Hershey now) and one of my favorites.  

I also used a locally grown organic arborio rice.  It was grown by the Lundberg family in Northern California.  Arborio is an Italian short grain rice named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley where it was originally grown.  It’s milled less than other white rices so it retains more of it’s starch content.  Cooking the rice, with lots of liquid, releases the starch that gives risottos their creamy consistency.

Happy Valentines Day blog readers....I love to hear from you.

Chocolate Risotto

Makes 6 servings - Use organic, locally grown/produced ingredients whenever possible.

1 cup arborio rice
1 1/2 cups unsweetened rice milk 
1 cup natural plain soy creamer
3 oz semi sweet chocolate, broken up 
2 tablespoons light honey or light agave
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Add 1/2 cup of the creamer to the rice milk and warm over a low heat or in a microwave.
Put the rice and 1/2 cup of the liquid in a pot over a medium low heat.
Stir and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
Continue adding the liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, put the chocolate and the remaining creamer in a bowl and microwave 1 minute to melt the chocolate. 
Stir to completely dissolve the chocolate.
Add the chocolate mixture to the risotto and simmer until this is absorbed.
Add the honey and a pinch of salt, stir and turn off the heat.
Add the vanilla and stir.
Allow the risotto to cool while you decorate the plate.  
I melted some pieces of white chocolate on a plate (in the microwave) for a minute and swirled it around before adding an ice cream scoop of risotto and fresh raspberries.
You can make the risotto ahead of time and keep it in the fridge it until you’re ready to serve it.  Reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.

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