Rose

Dessert

Rose Sweetheart Chocolate Bark

Makes about 3/4 of a pound.

A sweet and savory chocolate bark that’s visually stunning and a cinch to make. Use a good quality milk chocolate for best results.

8 ounces milk chocolate
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup dried Montmorency or other sour cherries
5 dried Moroccan rosebuds
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla Salt

Lay a piece of baking parchment on a cookie sheet and set aside. Roughly chop the pistachios and cherries, set aside. Crumble the petals from the rose buds (discard the stems and leaves), set aside.

Melt the milk chocolate (broken into small chunks) and the chocolate chips in a double boiler set over simmering water or in the microwave. Gently stir the chocolate to be sure that it’s completely melted and blended.

Scoop the chocolate onto the parchment and spread it into an approximately 8” x 12” oblong. Sprinkle the pistachios, cherries, and rose petals over the chocolate, one after the other, then sprinkle on the Madagascar Vanilla Salt. Gently press the toppings into the chocolate. Let cool for 10 minutes, then chill for 30 minutes, before breaking the bark into chunks. Stash the bark in a tightly covered container and store it in a cool spot.

Tips:

Lightly grease an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate.

Callibaut and Valrhona are readily available brands of good-quality chocolate.

The bark looks pretty packed in cellophane bags, which have been tied with ribbon.

Dessert

Coconut-Rose Rice Pudding

Serves 4–6.

This recipe proves that a dish can be simultaneously exotic and familiar, enchanting and comforting.

1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons rose syrup, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups day-old, cooked Basmati rice*
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch saffron threads, well crumbled
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Put all the ingredients, except for 1 tablespoon of the rose syrup, into a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir and heat until the mixture is boiling nicely, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 20 minutes — the pudding will thicken further as it cools. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of rose syrup.

Pour into a serving dish (or dishes) and let the pudding cool. Serve warm or chilled, garnished with almonds, rose petals, and lemon zest.

Well covered, the pudding will keep for several days in the fridge.

*Freshly cooked rice won’t work properly but leftover take-out white rice will.