Recipe courtesy of Maricel Presilla

Maya-Mediterranean Chocolate Rice Pudding: Arroz con Leche y Chocolate

  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 35 min
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings
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Ingredients

The achiote infusion:

1 cup achiote seeds

For the rice:

1 cup short-grain rice

2 teaspoons salt

Spice bag, containing 4 star anise pods, 12 allspice berries, 4 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, canela or cassia, tied in a cheesecloth sachet

To finish:

3 cups fresh whole milk

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

2 plump vanilla beans

Ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. To finish:
  2. Place the achiote in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with 2 quarts water, and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl; reserve the liquid. You can save the achiote seeds and grind them to use in a seasoning mix, or steep them in the liquid for another recipe. 
  3. Stir in the whole milk and condensed milk. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and mix to melt evenly. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until creamy but still fluid. Half way through the cooking, split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add the vanilla bean and stir to incorporate. When the pudding is done but still loose-textured, remove the spice bag and vanilla bean. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Serve with cinnamon or cacao cookies. 
  4. Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Place in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan with the reserved achiote infusion, salt, and the spice bag. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered, until the rice is soft, about 20 to 25 minutes.;
  5. FOR THE RICE:
  6. Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Place in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan with the reserved achiote infusion, salt, and the spice bag. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered, until the rice is soft.;
  7. TO FINISH:
  8. Stir in the whole milk and condensed milk. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and mix to melt evenly. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until creamy but still fluid. Half way through the cooking, split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add the vanilla bean and stir to incorporate. When the pudding is done but still loose-textured, remove the spice bag and vanilla bean. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Serve with cinnamon or cacao cookies.

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