At first taking a really long break from blogging was a great idea. The pressure was gone. No more long hours trying to find the perfect angle and the perfect light for the perfect photo. No more writer’s blocks. No more obsessive recipe idea chases. No more bi-lingual entries that took forever. Yeah, that was all great. But isn’t it completely crazy? After all this is a private blog that I do to entertain myself. Trying out new recipes, taking pictures of them and then writing down everything that might be connected to this recipe, finding a little story for it, all that is fun. But then my recipe entries do not emerge in an empty space. The internet is overflowing with really great sites and there is a lot of competition. Even if I do all of this because I like it and think it is interesting, I still want people to read this blog. And I want them to try my recipes.
The weird and challenging thing about a food blog is, in my opinion, that it is written for many different people. Some people just look at the pictures, some like the texts, and only a very few come here for a recipe. Which, on the other hand, makes up most of the work. I admit, often I have asked myself if it’s worth all this work. Since Social Media things have become so fast. You work on an entry for two days, you publish it, and it’s gone after 10 hours max. But then I do ask myself why I feel this way at all. Why does it even bother me? And then I had to think of women’s magazines. Every year in April they try to convince us that we really need to start working on our bikini body. Because there’s no life without a bikini body. And that’s what Social Media is like, too, isn’t it? Well, my whole life I have lived without a bikini body. There we go!
But there we go without a blog? Nah. Over the last few months I’ve realised that there is a lot of fun to blogging. I missed it. I looked though a lot of my old recipes and pictures and I am impressed with the large interactive cookbook that I have created here. I use it a lot and and a lot more than those stacks of paper notes I used to keep. And then spring started with green asparagus and rhubarb and daylight savings time with a lot of light. And instead of spring cleaning I am restarting the blog. Then in the end coming up with new recipes, taking pictures of them and writing about them is still a lot of fun. I hope reading is, too.
Rice pudding. I used to hate it. But milchreis is a much-loved main dish in Germany. Demanded by children and grown ups all over the country. So popular that it is available at canteens and cafeterias. You usually eat it hot, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon or canned fruit like cherries. Or you eat it as a snack or dessert and you can buy ready-to-eat versions at most supermarkets.
Personally, I have never liked sweet main dishes. I need something hearty and savoury for lunch. I get really dizzy when I eat something sweet on an empty stomach. Plus, I always hated hot milk. I don’t even have to taste it. The smell alone makes me run away. I have no fond childhood memories of eating milchreis or grießpudding. In fact I have no childhood memories at all when it comes to these dishes. Thankfully, my parents never bothered serving them to us. Unfortunately, everyone around me always raved about them. Whenever a canteen would serve milchreis, I was alone queueing for the salad thinking about why everyone except me would want to eat a mushy rice dish with sugar for lunch.
Then a couple of years ago I was sitting at a Thai restaurant with a friend who ordered coconut rice. I still remember how shocked I was when she offered me some. I stammered something about hating milchreis and hot milk. When she told me that the dish was neither hot nor was there any milk in it, I still declined. But somehow she must have convinced me. And the next thing I know is that I ordered my own bowl of coconut rice.
Of course coconut rice is not the same as milchreis. But making milchreis with coconut milk made this dish into something I really enjoy eating. And it’s even better if you combine it with fresh fruit. My favourite so far has been rhubarb, because I love the combination of the rich and creamy sweet rice with something more tart. And even better if it has an edible shell, right? Also, if you care for rich and buttery flavour – this dessert has it, too. The rice you can see is a starchy short grain rice that is also called milchreis. You should be able to substitute it with any kind of short or medium grain rice you would use to make rice pudding.
Rhubarb Rice Pudding Tartelettes
- For the rice pudding:
- 100 g 1/2 cup sticky short or medium grain rice
- 1 can 400 ml coconut milk
- 50 g 1/4 cup sugar
- For the tartelettes:
- 170 g 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 60 g 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 60 g 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, softened
- For the rhubarb topping:
- 200 g chopped rhubarb
- 50 g 1/4 cup brown sugar
- To make the tartelette shells, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and grease 4 tartelette pans (10 cm in diametre). Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and coconut oil. Mix with your fingers until the oil is incorporated and the mixture has formed crumbs.
- Press the dough into the pans.
- Poke several times with a fork and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven but don't switch the heat off.
- Remove shells from the pans once they have cooled completely.
- To make the rhubarb topping line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the rhubarb on the sheet and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes and stir from time to time.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- While the rhubarb is roasting, prepare the rice.
- Combine rice, coconut milk, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and stir often. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let rest covered for another 10-15 minutes.
- Once the rice is done, divide it between the shells and top with rhubarb.
- Serve immediately.