Ris à l’amande is – despite the French-sounding name – a Danish dessert traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. Usually, it is served in a large bowl and each guest helps her- or himself to an unsightly blob with some cherry sauce poured over. I have never found that particularly appetizing, especially after an already rich meal and since the dessert in itself does not have much flavour. I have therefore attempted to add a bit more flavour, and to serve it in a more attractive way. If you prefer the ‘blob’ serving method, just skip the part with the gelatine and tian rings. For a more traditional flavour, use porridge rice instead of risotto rice, sugar instead of marcipan, and halve the amount of vanilla.
When we eat this on Christmas Eve, one whole almond is concealed in the dessert, and the person who gets the almond gets a present.
2 dl risotto rice
1 l wholemilk
2 vanilla pods, quartered lengthwise enabling the grains to be distributed in the porridge.
150 g macona almonds – skins removed – and chopped (not too finely)
5 dl whipping cream
50 g grated marcipan
2 tblsp. Amaretto (almond liqueur) (can be substituted by milk or cream)
5 gelatine leaves
Soak the gelatine leaves in plenty of cold water.
Bring rice, milk and vanilla to the boil and simmer gently, stirring slowly but fairly constantly for about 20 minutes. NEVER turn your back on it! It burns on the bottom easily and if that happens, you have to start over. After about 20 minutes you will have thick porridge and the rice should be done. Transfer the porridge to a large bowl removing the vanilla pods.
In a small pot, heat the amaretto to the point of almost boiling, and take it off the heat. Melt the drained gelatine leaves in it till there is no trace of the gelatine. Mix a large spoonful of the porridge thoroughly into this mixture and then place it back in the porridge, stirring thoroughly.
Add the marcipan and the chopped almonds and let the porridge cool.
Whip the cream to a not too solid foam and mix into the cooled-off porridge, distributing the whipped cream evenly in the mixture.
If you wish, arrange the dessert in the required number of tian rings and leave to set overnight.