Risalamande “Ris à l’amande” is a Danish rice pudding dessert which is the most common Christmas dessert served on Christmas Eve. Risalamande is based on Risengrød which is a rice pudding containing rice, whole milk, water, and salt. After the rice pudding is made and cooled down completely, whipped cream, sugar, vanilla sugar, and blanched almonds are added and served with hot cherry sauce.
The History of Risalamande
Risalamande is, despite the French name, not known in France. The fancy name and dessert were invented, according to rumors, by coincidence, late at night, at Hotel D’Angleterre in Copenhagen. The chef had to prepare a dessert for high-end guests and since he only had cold Risengrød leftovers in the fridge, he had to improvise. He therefore tried to add whipped cream, almonds and made up a French name. And voila! Risalamande was invented.
“Mandelgaven” – Find the whole almond and receive a present
A fun aspect of the risalamande tradition is that in the risalamande a whole blanched almond is hidden. When the risalamande is served no one knows who has the almond on their plate. The winner – who finds and shows the whole almond in his/her risalamande – wins a present. We call the present “the almonds present” (mandelgaven), and it is usually a small nice present that both children and adults can enjoy.
Risalamande with Cherry Sauce (Danish Rice Pudding Dessert)
- 3.5 pounds (1600 grams) cold risengrød , see recipe link above
- 6/8 cup (100 grams) blanched almonds, chopped
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups (500 milliliters) heavy cream, whipped
- Cherry sauce
- Save one whole blanched almond and put aside for later use.
- In a large bowl, mix risengrød, blanched chopped almonds, granulated sugar, and vanilla sugar.
- Add the whipped cream and stir well. Finally, mix in the whole almond in the risalamande.
- The purpose of having a whole almond in the risalamande is to find the whole almond when served. The person who finds the whole almond in his/her portion, wins an "almond present" (mandelgave). The almond present can be any kind of present that the host buys before Christmas eve.
- Heat up the cherry sauce and serve the risalamande with hot cherry sauce on the top.