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We also made this for Christmas 2010 - a family tradition turning its hand to veganism.

1/2 cup uncooked short-grain white rice. washed
1 pint Bonsoy
150 mls vegan whipping cream - we used SoyToo (in 300 ml packs)
1 vanilla pod
3/4 cup Chopped blanched almonds )about 10-12)

16 ounces can dark sweet cherries
1 tablespoon cornflour
1x water
1x cherry liqueur, if desired

Rinse a thick bottomed pan in water, then boil the milk in it. Add the rice (rinse first if nec) and the vanilla bean, stirring all the time with a whisk or a wooden spoon in figure 8 movements for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the rice cook gently until tender - stir occasionally - about 3/4 of an hour. Leave to cool. Meanwhile, chop the almonds coarsely, keeping aside 1 whole sweet almond. Meanwhile whip cream. When the rice porridge is cold, Fold the almonds and whipped cream gently into the cool rice mixture. Pour into your best crystal bowl and finally put in the whole almond. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To make cherry sauce, heat the drained cherries in a saucepan and add the cherry liqueur (we used port). Mix the corn flour to a thin paste with a little cold water and pour slowly into the cherries, stirring gently all the time, but do not let the sauce boil. Serve the hot sauce in a sauceboat with the ris a' l'amande.