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Cherry Rice Pudding & Chocolate Panna Cotta

While visiting my cousins in Summer my aunt Danka would make us delicious sweet rice pudding casserole.
I shared a different version of rice pudding with you last year and to be truthful  I haven’t made it since. Today I decided to make something different.Enjoy.
Cherry Rice Pudding
6-8 servings
1 cup white rice
1 1/2-2cups of milk
1/2cup heavy cream(you can omit and use milk instead if you’d like)
2tbl  sugar or honey 
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2egg whites
2tbl sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups pitted cherries(don’t have a cherry pitter, check out an easy way to pit the cherries)
2tbl orange liqueur
3tbl sugar or honey
Cook pitted cherries with sugar and liqueur, simmering for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat
Wash rice in cold water, in the medium sauce pan combine rice,milk, heavy cream,vanilla extract, salt, sugar/honey. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low,  cover with a lid and cook until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, in a  grease free stainless steel bowl or heat proof bowl combine egg whites,sugar and pinch of salt, set the bowl over a pot with simmering water whisk constantly until egg white are hot to the touch, continue whisking for 2 more minutes, then remove from heat and whip the egg white until they are stiff but glossy.
Once your rice is cooked, remove pan from heat add cherries you prepared before and gently fold in meringue. Let cool slightly and divide into prepared dishes. Set aside
Chocolate Panna Cotta
1tbl powdered gelatin
1/4cup water
1 cup whole milk
1cup heavy cream
1/3cup brown sugar
1cup ricotta cheese or Greek yogurt
1/4 milk(omit if using yogurt)
8oz chocolate/226grams
In a mediuml bowl bloom gelatin in 1/4 of water, let it sit for 5 minutes.
In the blender process ricotta cheese and about 1/4 cup of milk, until ricotta is really smooth
In the sauce pan combine milk, heavy cream,brown sugar. Cook until sugar is dissolved, bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate at once.Stir until chocolate is melted.
Add hot cream to the gelatin and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add the processed ricotta cheese or yogurt and using a whisk blend it together until smooth.
Divide into the dishes, topping the rice pudding.
Let the dishes stand at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place them into the fridge and chill for several hours, at least 4-5 hours.
Enjoy with a piece of cherry on the top.

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