Riz l’Impératrice

Preparation info

  • Yield:


    servings, 4 ounces each
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Professional Pastry Chef

By Bo Friberg

Published 1989

  • About

In keeping with its royal name, this is probably the finest and most elegant of all rice puddings. Rice in the Style of the Empress is said to have been inspired by Empress Eugénie, the Spanish wife of Napoleon III. You don’t see this one-time champion much anymore; I suppose it has had to yield to the modern, “high-tech,” elaborately garnished desserts popular in most restaurants today. If you’re looking for a classic rice dessert, think of this old aristocrat.


  • teaspoons (4 g) unflavored gelatin powder
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) cold water
  • 1 recipe Melba Sauce
  • cups (600 ml) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces (140 g) long-grain rice, blanched (see “Cooking Rice for Rice Puddings,”)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Grand Marnier liqueur
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) cold water
  • 4 teaspoons (12 g) unflavored gelatin powder
  • cup (80 ml) light corn syrup
  • 6 egg yolks (½ cup/120 ml)
  • cups (360 ml) heavy cream
  • 6 ounces (170 g) Chopped mixed candied fruit
  • Sour Cream Mixture for Piping


  1. Sprinkle teaspoons (4 g) gelatin over 4 teaspoons (20 ml) cold water to soften. Stir into ¾ cup (180 ml) Melba sauce; reserve the remaining sauce. Place the mixture over a bain-marie and heat to dissolve the gelatin. Do not overheat. Pour on the bottom of 16 timbale molds, 4 ounces (120 ml) in capacity, and place in the refrigerator to set.
  2. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk and add the pod as well. Bring the milk to the scalding point. Add the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the rice is tender and the mixture has started to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla extract. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard.
  3. Add the Grand Marnier liqueur and the grated orange zest to the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) cold water. Sprinkle the remaining 4 teaspoons (12 g) gelatin on top to soften. Place the mixture over a bain-marie and heat until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir into the rice mixture and set aside to cool to room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
  4. Bring the corn syrup to a boil. At the same time, start whipping the egg yolks. Gradually, while continuing to whip, pour the hot syrup into the yolks and continue to whip until the mixture is cold and is light and fluffy in consistency. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks separately. Add the whipped yolk mixture to the rice together with the cream. Stir in the candied fruit.
  5. Fill the prepared forms and return to the refrigerator until the pudding has set up, about 2 hours.
  6. Dip the bottom and sides of the forms into hot water very briefly and unmold on a paper-lined sheet pan. Reserve in the refrigerator until needed. Place a portion of the Melba sauce in a piping bottle and reserve.
  7. Presentation: Place a dessert in the center of a dessert plate. Pipe Melba sauce around the dessert, using just enough to cover the base of the plate. Place the sour cream mixture in a piping bag and pipe a ring around the dessert halfway between it and the edge of the sauce. Use a wooden skewer to swirl the sour cream mixture into the sauce (see Figure 16-1).