“the most sensual, delicious dessert”

In her aphrodisiac cookbook Aphrodite, Isabel Allende calls her variation on the traditional arroz con leche “the most sensual, delicious dessert.” Should you be in a good mood,” she tells us, “you can cover your lover from head to foot in this mouthwatering arroz con leche and slowly lick it off.”

It would be presumptuous of me to claim the same aphrodisiac effects for my own recipe, particularly since this is the first time I made it, and I happened to be sleeping alone last night. Who knows, though, what’ll happen when I have it with someone.

I was, however, feeling adventurous even before making it, so I tweaked my family’s standard recipe slightly.

Serves 2 or 3 (but actually 2 or maybe even 1 because you’re going to want to have it all.)

1 part rice
3 parts milk (I used 2 parts coconut almond milk and 1 part 2% milk)
1/4 cup sugar
1 clementine
dash of vanilla extract
a teaspoon of Lady Grey (lavender Earl Grey, for those of you who don’t drink 4 cups of it before breakfast)


Peel and quarter the clementine, and add the rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla to your rice cooker. Stir, making sure the sugar is dissolved and the cinnamon hasn’t clumped. Add the clementine. Add a teaspoon of Lady Grey in a bouquet garni, if you don’t want it to color your rice as much as it did mine, and turn on the rice cooker.

All the ingredients in the rice cooker

All the ingredients in the rice cooker

If you’re planning on taking out the tea before the rice is done, wait till the milk is boiling, if not, lavender flowers steeped in sugar and milk are surprisingly tasty.

You can practically smell the lavender!

You can practically smell the lavender!

I skimmed off most of the tea right before the end of the rice cooker’s cycle, but left a little in––it’ll rise to the top and you can skim it off then.

Serve in bowls, and splash a little milk in each bowl after serving. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

This turned out to be delicious, even though, as Allende would lament, I had no one to slather it on.

Voilà, c'est cuit.

Et voilà, c’est cuit. But I didn’t slather it on anyone because it was too good.

Note: you could experiment with other teas / milks and I’m sure it would be just as good. If I had had any peach, or mango Ceylon, I definitely would have used one of those.


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