Sugar And Rice And All Things Nice

Strawbs3Strawbs1Kisses sweeter than wine¶
Kid has never had rice pudding. She is 10, how did this happen? We had it all the time as kids. That sweet, sticky, lightly vanilla flavoured treat firmly implanted on my childhood psyche. Mum knows how to keep things simple.
I do too, just not on this occasion. I can be the proverbial kid in the lolly shop at my deli.  Saffron, rose-water, shaved coconut, spices and, given the boon season, strawberries.
I could smell the strawberries before I even entered the shop. Our local producers were smashed by a freak storm earlier in the year, they seem to have recovered somewhat. It worries me when supermarkets sell them for $2 a punnet mid-season. What are the farmers getting?
Screwed no doubt. Hit the weekend markets or pay the extra 2 bucks at the fruit shop peeps…Strawbs2
Saffron is a dear, sweet love of mine. It’s pricey, the most expensive spice in the world, but if you buy the good stuff and use it properly, you get good mileage.

Spiced Saffron Rice Pudding w/ Strawberries, Coconut and Rosewater.Strawbs9HOW?
Firstly rinse your rice under some cool water and strain. In a suitably sized saucepan toast the cardamom and cinnamon until fragrant. Add a little coconut, the saffron and vanilla and 1/2 a cup of water.Strawbs4 Place on the heat for a minute or two. The water will help the saffron to bleed. Now add your coconut milk and sugar. Warm gently and let simmer very slowly for 15 mins. Strain the spices out, return the liquid back to the pan. Stir in the rice and cook gently, stirring occasionally for 20-25 mins. The rice should be cooked and sitting in plenty of liquid. Stir in the yolks thoroughly, remove from heat and chill in the fridge for later.Strawbs6In the meantime. Toast your coconut in the oven on 140*c for 5 mins. It will burn very quickly if you forget it. Chop the strawberries as big or small as you like and toss with the rosewater. Rosewater is overpowering and unpleasant if you over do it. We are using an eye dropper to avoid this. Get it right and it’s a perfect match for ripe, sweet strawberries.Srawbs7What Kid DidStrawbs5Today I had kid ‘hulling’ the strawberries (chopping the tops off). Toasting coconut in the oven. Weighing ingredients. Straining the spices from the coconut milk. Measuring and mixing the rosewater. Stirring the rice on the stove and finally  helping to arrange our dessert in pretty glasses for you all to see.Strawbs8We layered the cold rice, strawberries and toasted coconut in the glasses. They look great huh?! It will look good and taste the same however you serve this. You could layer all the ingredients in a dish and serve from there or serve the strawberries and coconut over the rice in a bowl for each person.

And the result? Kid didn’t like this rice much. Loved the strawberries but left the rice. That’s okay. As I said I got a bit carried away and made it all a bit cheffy. It’s the saffron that’s largely the problem here. It has a particular flavour which I probably wouldn’t have liked at 10 either.  I’ll keep this one for when my adult friends come for dinner and make Kid a nice simple rice pudding next time.  Or just get Mum to make it instead.

<em>¶You know that little girl is mine…¶

Down The Rocky Road…..Sweet Sweet Pizza.

Pizza4School Holidays (for us and lots of folk no doubt) means a trip to the cinema to see the latest Disney/Pixar offering, maybe some skateboarding and playing down the park, napping and reading.
And cool stuff in the kitchen.
Kid’s off on a beachy holiday with  family this week, so we will miss her 😦Pizza8
Thanks to the magic of fore-thought, we did extra cooking last week so there’d still be stuff to post with Kid in it now.
Computers are amazing right?!PizzaSweet Pizza.
We are here at Kid’s behest. She’s been itching to do this ever since she saw the rocky road pizza on my menu at work. It sells well. What we’re making here will be bigger and better! Pizza7Strawberry Rocky Road Stuffed Crust Pizza
You need some pizza dough. We used this recipe from our last pizza post. Pizza2Take out a little salt, replace the sugar with honey and add a pinch of cinnamon. Resist the urge to add extra sugar, it will make the dough tacky. Pizza11

Once you have your dough rolled out, the fun begins.Pizza5

Pre-heat your oven to hot. Like 220*c at least. We’re using our bench top pizza cooker. Lay the base on the tray its being cooked on. We’re using greaseproof paper and a plate so we can transfer it once the base is topped. Spread some nutella generously and evenly over the base, leaving a couple of centimetres free to fold over.Pizza6 Chop your strawberries. Arrange some around the edge of the nutella to go inside the crust and leave the rest to scatter after cooking. Pull the marshmallows in half as you place them along side the strawberries. Fold the outside edge of the dough over, tucking the strawbs and marshmallows in as you go. Arrange marshmallows in the centre of the base. Cook until gooey and crispy. To serve, let the pizza cool for a bit than scatter chopped nuts and strawberries and dust with icing sugar. A little drizzle of cream works well and a dollop of ice cream will sort this right out.Pizza10What Kid Did.
Don’t worry about her, she’s having a nice beachy  holiday with family.  And according to these pics, re-creating our gnocchi recipePizza9You’ve come a long way baby!
See you soon Kid! X

Alternative Sweet toppings
Mascarpone, ricotta, dulce de leche, salted caramel, chopped chocolate bars (mars etc..) nuts, condensed milk, fresh berries, dried/glace fruits, fresh figs, poached rhubarb, quince paste, lollies. Use your imagination. Or just do like we did and go down that old rocky road.
Happy Cooking

The good folks at Kids in The City magazine have this to say about school hols…

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