Cointreau and Orange Risotto Brulée, yes, it’s a sweet risotto. And it has 3 of my favourite things in a single dish:
- Cointreau and Orange – my go-to drink when I fancy something quick and easy. See the image below.
- Risotto – it’s rice, it’s Italian, need I say more?
- Brulée – there is something so sexy and satisfying in breaking through that hard caramelised layer of sugar to get to the luscious bounty underneath
I first made this sweet risotto in the summer, for some clients celebrating their golden anniversary. Their daughter asked for something special made just for them, and this is what I came up with. It was, thankfully, a big hit!
Incidentally, I also catered for their 40th wedding anniversary, and various other family birthdays over the past decade.
So, our Cointreau and Orange Risotto Brulée is essentially rice pudding. No, no, no. Stop right there!
This is no ordinary, or worse still, stodgy, school dinner type rice pudding. This is an upmarket, stylish, classy, red nails and red Louboutins type of rice pudding!
Spiked with Cointreau.
Flavoured with Orange.
Then bruléed baby, bru-léed!
Oh, did I mention it’s so easy to make? And, wait for this … drumroll, please …
It’s a make ahead dessert!
In the world of “I love to entertain”, that’s always a Godsend. Especially in my Louboutins. N’est-ce pas?
Cointreau and Orange Risotto Brulée
It’s a pretty easy recipe. This is how we do it:
- We start off by macerating the oranges, which go in the fridge
- Then we make the Cointreau and Orange Risotto, which is then placed in the fridge for a minimum 4 hours
- When the risotto is cold, we layer the top with sugar, which we then caramelise with a kitchen torch or grill (broiler in American speak)
- Finally, we top the risotto brulée with the macerated oranges and syrup
Let’s talk Flavour
I can’t tell you exactly how I came up with the combination, apart from the fact that as usual, it came to me as I was about to go to sleep. As Cointreau is something I cook with, and drink, regularly, I must have started there. And “Cointreau and orange” is a phrase that’s embedded in my head, so it must have been just a natural progression!
The flavour of the rice pudding itself is fairly nondescript. It’s creamy, with a hint of orange from the orange zest and Cointreau. And a touch musky, if you choose to use the Orange Flower Water.
It’s what we top the risotto with, that’s full of flavour; the orange (tangerine, satsuma) segments are macerated in a combination of Cointreau, orange juice and sugar. The result is a sweet, citrusy, syrupy topping with definite hits of alcohol. It is the topping that makes the dish.
Click here to read more. Cointreau is a French orange liqueur, and to me, the standard. You can substitute it with any orange liqueurs that you like. Cointreau has a high alcohol content, 40% abv. Chances are, any substitute will be around 27%, which is not necessarily a bad thing, right?
Orange Flower Water
Orange flower water, also known as orange blossom water, is basically water that’s been flavoured with orange blossoms. It is a very common flavouring in Middle Eastern and North African cooking, and is pretty easy to find here in the UK. Our regular, large supermarkets stock them alongside the vanilla and rose water.
Otherwise, you should be able to find it in baking shops and most certainly, online. It’s fantastic for flavouring custards, ice creams, panna cotta, and even savoury dishes like rice and couscous.
I’ve given it as optional here, because if truth be told, I’m not a massive fan, I’m a rose water kind of girl. However, I did use it in the original recipe, and so, have included it here.
More risotti on the Risotto Masterclass page:
Jazzing up the risotto
If you like your rice pudding “with bits”, you could add some raisins, nuts and/or chopped up candied fruit, like these ones. But go easy, as you don’t want to overdo it. After all, the beauty of this Cointreau and Orange Risotto Brulée is the contrast between the creamy, almost plain risotto and the citrusy, nectarous topping.
Make Ahead Risotto
Both the risotto and the macerated oranges can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep them covered and in the fridge.
That’s it. Let’s get cooking. Are you a fan of rice puddings?
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Cointreau and Orange Risotto Brulée recipe, an Italian-French fusion recipe of sweet risotto. This delightful dessert is finished off with oranges macerated in Cointreau.
(Total time does not reflect chilling time).
- 750ml (3 cups) milk
- 125ml (1/2 cup) double cream/thick cream
- 150g (3/4 cup) arborio rice
- 60g (2oz) white sugar
- finely chopped zest of 2 large oranges
- 2 Tbsp Cointreau
- 1 Tbsp orange flower water (optional)
- 4 heaped tsp of white sugar
Topping (Macerated Oranges)
- 2 easy peel oranges, like satsuma or tangerine
- juice of 1 large orange
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cointreau
- Peel the oranges, divide them into segments and place in a bowl.
- Add the orange juice, sugar and Cointreau and stir thoroughly.
- Cover and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Stir 2-3 times in that time to ensure that the orange segments are throughly soaked with all the flavours.
Cooking the Cointreau and Orange Risotto
- Place the milk, cream, rice, sugar and half the orange zest in a medium saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Don’t rinse the rice before hand. And keep an eye on the mix, as milk will suddenly boil over.
- Once it reaches boiling point, lower the heat, and give it a stir. Leave it simmering, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring 2-3 times more during the cooking time.
- At the end of the 30 minutes, the rice will be done, and the risotto will be thick like rice pudding. If you want it thicker, cook it for another 5 minutes or so. Just remember that it will thicken when cold.
- Take it off the heat and stir in the rest of the orange zest, the Cointreau and orange flower water, if using.
- Dish out into little ramekin dishes, tea cups or any dessert glasses. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar on each risotto.
- Using a kitchen torch on medium, caramelise the sugar topping until a deep golden brown to dark brown. Be careful not to burn it. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, place the dishes under a medium-high grill for 2-3 minutes.
- Top the the Cointreau and Orange Risotto with the macerated orange segments and drizzle the Cointreau and orange syrup all over.
Total time does not include chilling time of he oranges nor the risotto.
- Category: Desserts
- Cuisine: Italian/French Fusion