Chocolate Cherry Risotto- Warning, Life Changing Dessert

With the Food Blog Forum a few weeks ago, and somehow one of my favorite , Chocolate Cherry Risotto, being served, I felt it was time to share the life changing spoonfuls of decadence with Sir Wes.  He has been hearing me talk about it for the last year or so when one of the culinary in the kitchen made it for a family meal.  Ummm- so good it made its way on to many menus, especially the ones that I would be eating  :).

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Truly- I say I love a lot of food, dishes, recipes- but the warm, rich chocolaty gooey rice just floors me.  I’ve had it topped a few ways, with berries or granola, but my absolute favorite is with pistachio ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt.  These guys in the kitchen that made this are ridiculously talented- life changing dish.

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Can you tell I like it?  A great thing is you can switch out the milks, sugars, or even make it with brown rice to make it allergen or waist line friendlier.  Almost healthy enough to be in the Nutritional MyPlate Guide!

Chocolate Risotto

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoon cherry brandy
  • 2 cup milk
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Over medium heat in a heavy sauce pan melt butter and add the rice.  Stir until the butter becomes fragrant and the rice is toasted lightly.

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Add the cherry brandy and stir until it becomes absorbed into the rice.  Mix the milk with the chocolate syrup well.  Slowly add the chocolate milk, a ¼ cup at a time and stir well, until the milk is almost absorbed.  With each addition of milk the rice will become creamier, and tender to bite.

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The temperature of the stove should be over medium, giving a slow simmer so there is no scorch.  When adding the last ¼ cup of milk, reduce heat to low and add the cherries, sugar and chocolate as well.  Allow to the chocolate to melt and the milk to be absorbed before serving.

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Serves 4.  Start to finish the cooking time was 30 minutes.

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Serving this at a dinner party will promise a grand finale, but is also a little tricky as the hostess is usually ready to unwind at this time.  You can par cook the rice if you want to have the ability to serve quicker,  just follow the directions above and stop cooking the rice when it is al dente, (with bite).  Cool it down immediately by spreading it out in a pan and refrigerating. You can do this the day before even if you wrap it tightly after it is cooled.  When you are ready to finish and serve, it will help to heat the milk, and you might need another ½ cup of milk.  But pretty much continue where you left off just reheat it slowly and evenly by stirring well.

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Another tip is to go as far as adding the liquor and then turning the stove off until you are ready to cook.  This will save you about 10 minutes in the end.

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**Warning**  Sir Wes told me I should not have let him have that… how could any chocolate dessert hold a candle…  I have ruined chocolate desserts for him…

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Orlando Food Blogger Forum-

One of my favorite things since I’ve started in the catering business is when I actually get to be a guest at an event! This weekend I am attending my first blogger conference right in my own backyard!  Work backyard that is- The conference is being held right at Epcot.

I took a walk early one morning to grab a shot of the Food Blogger Forum venue in the break of dawn.

The unique part is that I while I was signing up for this talent loaded conference put together by amazing bloggers, I have also have been working on planning the events from an operational stand point.  And I have been getting sooo excited because our teams are really pushing boundaries to give the bloggers an awesome experience.  We, as chefs and caterers love when our guests are equally as passionate about food and beverage, and never want to disappoint!

Inside these doors is where the Magic happens!

Our teams spend weeks planning events, looking at guest flow, station designs and looks, as well as the food presentations, and that’s just some of the details.  We dream big- and consider what a right fit for each event and what we can do operationally.  Our teams are numerous and it is quite a feat to keep everyone on the same beat.  

Logistics!

 

Creativity is quite important!

My favorite events to help plan are the functions with high detail- whether it’s a dinner for 5000 people in a theme park with numerous action stations, off premise kitchens and only an hour to set, or a more intimate dinner with a highly creative menu and room set up.  The adrenaline rush that comes from pulling off these events is what I love about catering.

Mornings at Epcot are so gorgeous!

Planning events are pretty awesome, it is great having the ability to sit down with such a creative team and bounce ideas until something sticks. Those planning meeting are definitely my favorite!  They certainly can go on for hours, and sometimes we have to walk away because we have hit a brick wall.  I told a friend recently, that it is embarassing how much I love my job, but it is true.

What great timing -The Flower and Garden Festival is going on too!

And now, after weeks of planning the events of the food blogger conference, I am hanging up my chef hat and putting on my guest hat!  I am definitely going to soak it all in and I can’t wait to experience the magic first hand!

SOOOO Glad I am on my "Lent Mulligan" this weekend- these desserts and pastries are going to be awesome!

In a few minutes the quiet of the day will be gone- So pretty!