I’ve been working on a recipe series for a rice brand over the last few weeks and decided to share my favourite creations here too. Initially I thought making 20 recipes with one ingredient would become dull but in reality it forced me to get creative with this seemingly simple staple food. We often only think of rice as a side to saucy dishes but in reality it is really versatile.
This recipe came about by accident, but I was thrilled with the end-result. Originally I wanted to create rice balls coated in gingebread crumbs and then deep fried – kind of like a sweet version of Arancini. Since I was using normal white rice, however, it just started to fall apart into my gingerbread mix.
Luckily I quickly realised that mixing the rice into the cookie crumbs was a much better idea. When fried the rice gets this crispy, puffed texture and the gingerbread cookies ooze syrup into all the gaps between.
It’s a messy business to create but really fun, so I recommend you grab the kids and get them to help shape the balls. You have to really play with them for a bit like dough until they start shaping up.
As a side note, while making this recipe I experienced chocolate seizing for the first time. When this happens the chocolate literally goes sticky and solid, and refuses to melt. If this happens don’t panic! Just add a little milk and the mixture should loosen up again.
Give it a go and let me know what you think. I would love your feedback.
Crispy gingerbread & rice bites with an orange chocolate dip
Makes: 18 – 20
Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 30 min
For the rice balls
200 g ginger biscuits
4 cups cooked white rice
Canola oil to fry
For the cinnamon sugar
60 ml castor sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the sauce:
3 x 80 g quality dark chocolate
Zest of 1 orange
30 ml full cream
1 tsp salt
For the rice balls
Spread the ginger biscuits between a tea towel and crush with a rolling pin.
Mix the cooked rice and crushed ginger biscuits.
Compress and roll your rice mixture into small ball shapes. Get the kids to help with this.
Heat oil in a small pot to about 200°C. You can test the oil with a small piece of rice mix. It should sizzle.
Pop the rice balls into the oil and fry till golden. They take about 30 seconds to a minute.
Remove and drain on paper towel.
Roll the balls in cinnamon sugar.
For the sauce
Grate the zest of one orange.
Place your chocolate in a glass bowl over some simmering water and gently melt.
Add the orange zest, salt and cream to the melted chocolate. Combine.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Serve the crispy gingerbread and rice balls with your orange chocolate dip