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Maya-Mediterranean Chocolate Rice Pudding

IngredientsRice, Beans, Berries, Chocolate, Dairy
Day PartDessert
Menu PartDessert
Cuisine TypeMediterranean
Maya-Mediterranean Chocolate Rice Pudding

Source: The USA Rice Federation; Reprinted with permission from "The New Taste of Chocolate" by Maricel Presilla; published by Ten Speed Press; Photographer: Frankie Frankeny

This signature rice pudding recipe from notable Latin American chef Maricel Presilla creates a richly delicious addition to the dessert menu. It is Presilla’s idea of what a good rice pudding should taste and feel like—perfumed and sensuous, with the grains of rice almost melting into the matrix of the scented milk.


1 cup whole achiote (annatto) seeds
10 cups water
1 cup short grain rice
1 tbsp. anise seeds
12 allspice berries
4 cinnamon sticks
1 dried arbol or serrano chile
2 tsp. salt
4 cups whole milk
2 (14-oz.) cans condensed milk
3 oz. El Rey Bucare dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 plump Mexican vanilla beans
1 tsp. ground cinnamon


  1. Place the achiote seeds in a med-sized saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer, uncovered, for 5 min. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain well in a sieve or colander. Tie anise seeds, allspice, cinnamon sticks and dried chile in a piece of cheesecloth.
  3. Pour reserved achiote water into a heavy-bottomed 5- or 6-qt. saucepan. Add drained rice, spice bouquet and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med.; cook, uncovered, until rice is soft, 20 to 25 min.
  4. Stir in whole milk and condensed milk. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 min.
  5. Add chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon to mix evenly as it melts. Cook, uncovered, for another 40 min., stirring occasionally; it should be very creamy but not dry. Halfway through the cooking, split the vanilla beans lengthwise with a small sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add the scraped beans and stir to mix well.
  6. When the pudding is done but still a little loose-textured, remove and discard the spice bouquet and vanilla beans. Pour into a serving dish, dust lightly with the ground cinnamon, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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