The Ingredients In Gordon Ramsay's Rice Pudding Include A Robust Spice Mix

Never one to miss an opportunity to pack as much flavor as possible into a dish, Gordon Ramsay dials the spice up to 11 with his take on rice pudding. The spice mix, which Ramsay describes in his YouTube video as being inspired by the iconic chai blend of India, brings a level of robust flavor to the pudding, which in turn makes the dessert more than the sum of its parts.

Ramsay uses the following: a whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped and skin thrown in; two green cardamom pods, cracked to release their flavor; three cloves; and a halved cinnamon stick. He toasts them lightly in the pan for a few seconds, allowing them to open up some more and really bring out their wonderful spicy flavors. Ramsay also encourages cooks to bring spices into all they cook, especially desserts — he does not believe that spices need only be reserved for savory dishes.

Next, he boils the spices in a rich mixture of coconut milk, whole cow's milk, cream, and sugar. Those infuse for a few minutes before he adds the zest of a whole lime to cut the richness of the coconut and add a layer of acidity. Next goes the rice — something starchy like Arborio — which simmers gently in the spice-infused milk before it heads into the oven for a final cook. Beforehand, however, Ramsay has one more decadent trick up his sleeve that really brings this rice pudding to a whole new level.

Add decadence to rice pudding with egg yolk and mascarpone

As rice pudding is believed to have origins in the area of China and India, the addition of the Indian chai spices fits the dish nicely. However, what Gordon Ramsay does after simmering the rice in spice-infused milk is straight out of a Western desserts catalog. As the rice is bubbling away on the stove, Ramsay whisks together two egg yolks with a good serving of mascarpone cheese, bringing them into a thickly sweet mixture. He then cuts the heat and adds the mix to the rice pudding, which thickens in the residual heat and gives the pudding a more custard-like consistency.

To prep the pudding for the final cook, he grates another whole lime, sprinkling its zest across the top of the pudding so that it will caramelize in the oven. The pudding bakes at 200 degrees Celsius — around 400 Fahrenheit — for 15 minutes. During this time, the rice will finish cooking, and the whole pudding will develop a wonderful, caramelized crust on the top.

Despite his liberal use of spices and aromatics, there is still very much the essence of simplicity in Ramsay's dish. You don't need to go all out when making your own rice pudding, but knowing that a wide range of aromatics works well with this rich and creamy dessert should give you all the permission you need to experiment with flavors on your own.