Chef Tom Aikens is well known in London for his three Tom's Kitchens, but recently opened his first overseas restaurant in Istanbul, in Beşiktaş. Here you can find a mixture of British and French comfort food, made with seasonal and local ingredients. He shares his recipe for a perfect weekend dessert – rice pudding, a favourite in both his native Britain and Turkey.


Tom Aikens' Rice Pudding with Coffee and Rose Syrup

Serves 4

100g/4 oz pudding rice
400ml/16 fl oz milk
1 tsp dried rose petals
20 crushed whole coffee beans
1 lemon peel
1 orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 tablespoon dried apricots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried cherries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon currants, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cranberries, finely chopped
2 pinches ground cinnamon
2 pinches ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground coffee
1 tablespoon rose syrup
2 tablespoons hazelnuts to serve

Place the pudding rice and milk in a deep, heavy-based saucepan. Take a square of muslin cloth and place the dried rose petals and the coffee beans in the centre and tie the corners of the muslin together to create a bouquet garni. Place into the saucepan along with the lemon and orange peels, cinnamon stick and star anise.

Add the finely chopped dried fruits and leave to simmer over a medium heat for approximately 20-25 minutes stirring and adding more milk when needed. At the end, about 5 minute before the rice is cooked, add the ground spices and stir. Then remove the muslin bag, peels, cinnamon and anise.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan over a low-medium heat until just golden and toasted.

Take four ramekins and sprinkle a little ground coffee over their bases, then drizzle in a little rose syrup. Top with some of the rice pudding and a little more rose syrup, and then finish by grating over the toasted hazelnuts.

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