Daring Cooks Sweet Risotto: Rice Pudding with Poached Cherries

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Cherry Risotto

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.


In January I made an amazingly delicious Sweet Potato Risotto From Real Simple that I had seen posted on several blogs. I added some diced grilled chicken and it was a fabulous one pot meal that I never got around to posting and really should make again.

Since I’d recently made a savory risotto and have made homemade stock many times, I decided it would be fun to make a sweet risotto. I found many delicious sweet risotto recipes on line, but I knew my family would love the Cherry Risotto posted on Cooks Almost Anything.

My adapted recipe is posted below. I didn’t add the cherry juice to the risotto as it was cooking, so that it would highlight the vanilla bean seeds and the contrasting white and red colors. I also incorporated tips and instructions from GoLo Kitchen’s Rice Pudding–Risotto Style.


This was a scrumptious rice pudding. I’d never had rice pudding with any fruit other than raisins and it added a whole new dimension to the dessert. I would like to try using the arborio rice in our family favorite rice pudding recipe, Lamb’s Famous Rice Pudding, to see if it would increase the creaminess without all the stirring. But if you love cherries, definitely give this one a try!


Daring Cooks Sweet Risotto: Rice Pudding with Poached Cherries


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups milk (add more or less as needed)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Poached Cherries

  • 12 oz. bag frozen cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


Place the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste into a saucepan and bring gently to boiling point.

In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Pour in rice and stir until all grains have been coated with butter. Cook rice for a few minutes until the rice is glossy and a bit translucent.

Add a half cup of the hot milk mixture. This should absorb fairly quickly and as soon as the majority of the milk has been absorbed, add another half cup. Keep stirring and when this has absorbed, add another half cup. Continue this process of adding milk and stirring until rice is tender.

(You want your risotto to be smooth and creamy. The rice will absorb more liquid as it cools, so continue to add milk until the rice is tender but all the milk is not absorbed.)

Serve hot with a spoonful of poached cherry juice and poached cherries on top.

Poached Cherries

In a saucepan add the caster sugar and water and over a gentle heat stir until the sugar has just melted. Add the cherries, stir to coat and let this simmer until the cherries have coloured the syrup. Cool before using.

adapted from Cooks Almost Anything

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