Risalamande – Danish Rice Dessert with Almonds and Cream- Christmas Dessert

Risalamande, means rice with almonds, a traditional Danish Christmas Dessert. Love the simplicity of the dessert, the pudding as such doesn’t have any sugar, it is served with warm cherry sauce and while serving little sugar is added. Every spoon of this pudding is filled with chunky almonds and aromatic vanilla. 
What made me make this delicious pudding is the ritual behind it. This rice dessert is served after Christmas Dinner, while sitting around the Christmas tree, exchanging  gifts, though the recipe contains lot of chopped almonds, while serving, a whole almond is hidden in one of the bowls served. Whoever gets that whole almonds gets a gift. I m trying to imagine the scene there, what fun it would be, keeping in mind the Christmas spirit,  I bet bowls of pudding would get finished hurriedly just to get that whole almond.
This fun game is what made me do this yummilicious dessert. We loved the pudding, my mom and dad loved the taste, they were surprised to that something similar to our pal payasam is made in the Nordic Culture. 
My hubby loved the warm sauce on top and the tangy taste the fruit sauce gives to this yumm pudding. A rich dessert, fit for the festivities and also for the fun.

Recipe Source Nordic Food & Living
For the Rice pudding
1/2 cup short grain rice
1 litre full fat milk
1 pod of vanilla

For serving Risalamande (Makes 4-5 serving)
20 almonds, blanched
125ml heavy cream
2-3 tbsp sugar
Cherry sauce/I have used strawberry sauce
Let us make the Rice Pudding first.
  • Wash the rice once or twice. Take it in a heavy bottom pan, add milk to it and let it cook in a medium flame until rice cooks well. 
  • While the rice is cooking, cut open the vanilla pod, scrape the seeds and add to it. You can also add the scrapped pods to it, this will give a nice aroma to the pudding.
  • Cover and cook, this will speed up the process. Keep stirring often, as the rice might stick to the bottom and burn. Once the rice turns soft. Take it off the flame. It was like a thick porridge, this will thicken even more as it cools.  Refrigerate until serve
To make the cherry/strawberry sauce
  • I didnt have cherries, so made a strawberry sauce. Add 10 strawberries and 4 tbsp sugar along with  2 cloves, and a cinnamon stick to a sauce pan.
  • Let it cook in its own juices for 10-12 minutes, once the berries/cherries lose their shape and turn all mushy, take it off the stove

Blanching the almonds.

  • I usually soak the almonds for  4-5 hours and then remove the seeds. If making in a hurry, add almonds to boiling water, take it off the stove. Let it sit for 2 minutes. Drain the almonds, rinse it once with cold water, they can be easily skinned.
To serve Risalamande
  • Chop the blanced almonds roughly. Whip the  cream and add it to the pudding, along with sugar and almonds. Serve the pudding in individual bowls topped with more almonds and warm cherry sauce.