From strawberry jelly to lightly spiced sourdough crisps, this chilled rice pudding recipe from Luke Holder produces a dessert full of intrigue. If you can, try and get hold of spearmint, peppermint and chocolate mint to garnish the dish for an added element of flavour.

Using a heavy based source pan, mix together the rice with 300g of cream, the milk, sugar and vanilla seeds and pods. Put the pan on a medium heat, stirring the mixture continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed. The rice should be nice and soft.

When the milk and rice mix is ready, take off the heat and add in the remaining cream. Stir until smooth. Place a cartouche (a circle of greaseproof paper tucked inside the pan, resting on top of the contents) in direct contact with the rice pudding to stop a skin from forming. Put to one side.

To make a pâté à bombe; put the sugar into a small pan along with a splash of water. Let the sugar dissolve and boil until it reaches 118°C. It should now be at ‘soft ball’ stage. (Test for soft ball sugar by taking a small amount of the mixture and dropping it into ice cold water, leave for 20-30 seconds. Remove the sugar from the water; if it is solid but still soft then it is ready. If it is runny and cannot be handled, return to heat for a further 2-3 minutes. If it is too hard then it has reached too high a temperature and you will need to start again.)

Place the egg yolks into a food mixer with a whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to a ¾ speed. Carefully and slowly pour in the hot sugar steadily in a stream, increase the speed of the mixer to the highest setting. Keep whisking until the yolks cool and appear light and fluffy.

To make the jelly; put all of the ingredients (but not the gelatine) into a large metal bowl. Cover tightly with cling film and put the bowl over a pan of simmering water for 1 ½ hrs. Finely strain the mixture over a sieve lined with muslin into a measuring jug to extract the clear juice.

Measure 500ml of the clear, strained liquid and then soak the gelatine sheets in cold water until they are soft. Add the soft gelatine leaves to the strained liquid. Whisk and then strain for a second time. Leave to cool at room temp in a jug before placing in the fridge, be careful not to let the jelly set completely and take out of the fridge if this looks imminent.

Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 2.

To make the sourdough crisps; add the mixed spice and star anise to the stock syrup. Bring the mix up to the boil and then cool. Slice up the sourdough on a meat slicer on its thinnest possible setting. Lay out flat on a lined oven tray.

Use a pastry brush to evenly coat both sides of every slice of the sourdough. Put into the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until crisp. Remove and set aside to cool.

Prior to assembling the dish, make the Chantilly cream by whisking the cream to medium peaks. Add a dusting of icing sugar during the process to the cream a slight sweetness. Refrigerate until needed.

To serve; divide the rice pudding between 8 dessert glasses or bowls, follow this with a layer of cream then the pâté à bombe. Gently tap each of the bowls to level the top layer, then slowly pour a ½cm layer of jelly on top. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.

Just before you are ready to serve, pick and wash the herbs. Hull and quarter the fresh strawberries. Take the desserts out of the fridge and arrange the herbs and strawberries on top. Finish them off with the sourdough crisps and serve.

For the rice pudding base

  • 200g of pudding rice
  • 400g of cream
  • 70g of milk
  • 100g of sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped and reserved

For the pâté à bombe

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 125g of sugar

For the chantilly cream

  • 40g of cream
  • icing sugar, to taste

For the jelly

  • 1kg of strawberries, frozen
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 gelatine leaves

For the spiced crisps

  • Sourdough bread, frozen
  • 200ml of stock syrup
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp of mixed spice

To garnish

  • Basil
  • Mint, three different varieties
  • Lemon balm cress
  • Extra strawberries
  • Fennel fronds


  • Food processor with a whisk attachment
  • Sugar thermometer
  • Pastry brush
  • Dessert glasses
  • Meat slicer