Ahh Milchreis. My favorite dessert here in Germany. There would be days when I would choose a meal in the mensa just because it had Milchreis as the dessert. In certain weeks, it would be served as a separate lunch dish, served in a huge bowl.
I am not the lone Milchreis fan in this blog. David, I believe, is a Milchreis convert. Two weeks into his stay here in Germany, he already acquired a stack of Müller Milchreis in his refrigerator. In one chat session, he declared, “Ang sarap ng milchreis!” (Milchreis is delicious!).
Milchreis is nothing but German rice pudding prepared using short grain rice and milk. The milk is thickened by a process called starch gelatinization. The grains absorb the liquid and swell up until they burst to release the starch molecules. These then mix into the milk to make it thicker. After it has cooled, a thick film of milk and starch forms on top of the grains.
Milchreis can be mixed with cherries, strawberries, vanilla, and chocolate. But my absolute favorite is Milchreis mit Zimt und Zucker (Rice Pudding with Cinnamon and Sugar).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Milchreis (one portion)
62.5 g short grain rice
375 ml milk
pinch of salt
25 grams sugar (can be adjusted to taste)
Cinnamon – Sugar Topping
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 Mix the rice, milk, and salt in a sauce pan. Place the sauce pan on medium heat, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes with occasional stirring. When using a hot plate, boil at heat setting 4 then simmer at heat setting 2.
2 When the rice is cooked, add the sugar and mix in thorougly into the pudding.
3 Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it sit.
4 Prepare topping by mixing the sugar and cinnamon. When the Milchreis has sufficiently cooled and a film has formed, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar.
5 Eat like there’s no tomorrow.
The White Champorado. In comparison to the Filipino champorado, Milchreis is like the pale, creamy cousin. The extra creaminess of the Milchreis is due to the reduction of the milk during preparation. However, I find the champorado to be stickier than Milchreis owing to the fact that champorado is made from malagkit or sticky rice (Oryza glutinosa), which I think has a higher amylopectin concentration than the medium grain rice we have here. Champorado is sweeter while Milchreis is bland, hence the addition of the toppings. The two also differ in that champorado is mainly served as a hot breakfast, while Milchreis is commonly served as a cold dessert. Unlike champorado, milchreis is not partnered with anything savory even when it is served as a main dish. Champorado with tuyo is delicious. I think I can only eat Milchreis with Wurst in times of famine.
Because I was feeling experimental, I tried a crossover of Milchreis and champorado, using the basic recipe above (minus the topping) with one piece of Tablea (Tablea is a thick disk of Filipino cacao).
I cannot say that this was a success. The salt in the recipe was competing with the chocolate flavor instead of enhancing it. Overall it had a bland to bitter taste, as is expected from 25 g of sugar that could not compensate for the bitterness of the unadulterated cacao. I guess this is not the way to go to prepare Schoko Milchreis, which I later found out was prepared using bitter chocolate derived from cocoa liquor. Bitter chocolates available in supermarkets here are sweetened a little bit to temper the strong taste of the cocoa.
Never tried Milchreis before? Try the recipe out and let me know what you think.