Everyone's favorite sticky date and ginger combined with Alexandra's spices makes this pudding an easy and exciting gourmet dessert for dinner party or family.
Handmade in New Zealand
I was excited to try this Alexandra's Rice Pudding. I really enjoy a good pudding and I especially enjoy a nice hearty pudding in winter. I haven't tried alexandra's before so was keen to review it. Our household is a big fan of anything ginger so I was interested to see what this was like.
I really love the packaging of this item. I love that I can see exactly what is in it. There is nothing worse than buying a product that states it has say dates etc in it to find minimal dates in it. Where as with this packing it is a what you see is what you get deal, and I really love this. I like that the packaging isn't busy. It's very simplistic and I think that is key when trying to get your product to stand out on a shelf in a supermarket or the likes.
I was really blown away by the beautiful smells that came out to greet me when I opened the packet the cinnamon and ginger made my mouth water. It really drew me in and I got excited to cook and taste it. The instructions were super basic to follow and it was something that I could easily whip together.
The flavour was amazing. It had just enough hint of cinnamon that it didn't over power it, the texture was great and the dates gave it a nice sweet touch. However, I found the ginger really over powering. I think perhaps next time I might take the ginger out and half the amount and then chop it into smaller pieces. I think the ginger, dates and cinnamon all work really well together. All in all a nice winter pudding and I would buy it again - but next time I will make sure I take out some of the ginger.
I am already a huge fan of Alexandra's after only a few products so I was very keen to try this sticky date and ginger rice pudding to see if it was as delicious as the raisin and toasted almond flavour. As with the Raisin rice pudding and the other products I love the minimal packaging of this product and that you can see exactly what you are getting. I am going to have to book a opticians appointment as the print definitely needs to be in a slightly larger font for me!
The product definitely meets my needs in terms of being gluten free and all natural with no added flavours or colours or declared preservatives. I tasted the ginger out of the packet and it was quite strong so I chopped each piece into four. I really liked the quality of the ginger which isn't the highest quality but about mid range and definitely suitable for a rice pudding. I followed the instructions and interestingly managed to cook this perfectly without burning my pot at all. So in terms of ease of cooking this rates highly as I am guaranteed to need at least two pots and usually three when I make a milk based pudding.
I gave this to my children who interestingly didn't like it the first night but really enjoyed it when I heated it up the next night. I was glad that I had chopped up the ginger as I think the smaller pieces were definitely better than the size in the packet. The ginger taste was still very strong and the ginger held its shape. I enjoyed this but not as much as the raisin and almond flavour. There was enough for me to have the first night then two adult servings and three kiddie servings the next night so it went a long way. Value for money this definitely is. I would buy this again and I just love these products. Perfect for having in the cupboard especially on these cold winter nights. I would definitely recommend trying this product.
I was super excited to try this rice pudding especially the sticky date and ginger flavour as we are big date fans in our house. The bright packaging really drew my attention and being see through I could see all the ingredients and made them seem like really good quality, also being gluten free was a great bonus.
The instructions were really simple, just add milk which is great for a quick pudding when the craving arises. The moment I started cooking it the smell of the spices were AMAZING, make sure you stay close and stir often as it sticks to the pot easily. After cooking I allowed the rice pudding to cool which also allowed it to thicken up a lot.
Once I started eating it though my husband and I were quite disappointed, the amount of ginger was overpowering as it is crystallised ginger chunks not just the spice, therefore you could not taste the dates at all and after putting aside the ginger it was just rice pudding with spices.
I would still like to try the other flavours to see what they are like, the Alexandra's rice puddings are still a great product and could well be a pantry filler as they are so easy to make and don't expire in a hurry. I like the idea of even taking these on our camping holidays as they are so easy. Not sure of purchasing at full price as $6.99 seems quite a lot compared to other products on the market but if I saw these on special I would definitely pick these up.
It's been years since I properly cooked a rice pudding for my husband. One of his favourite flavours is sticky date, so when we saw this packet from Alexandra's I figured we would be onto a winner. We picked up a bottle of farmhouse style milk from Lewis Road to make this rice pudding extra creamy too.
I liked that the packaging was simple and see-through. I could see all the goodness of the ingredients right there. Opening the packet was easy as was the instructions. Into a pot, I put the milk and then mixed in the ingredients. Then I simmered the milk mixture over heat. At first it seemed like there was way too much milk in the pot. However, that eventually changed as the rice cooked and expanded.
I served this in a bowl and kept it for us adults only. While my kids eat rice, they have turned up their nose at rice pudding in the past so I didn't feel like having that battle. Sitting down to this on an autumn night was just right for our cold hands. As desserts go, it is filling and hearty. For those who love ginger that punches them in the taste buds, this will be a winner. Unfortunately, that wasn't us.
Usually we would love ginger, but there was an abundance of stem ginger in the mix. It was pretty much all we could taste in every spoonful. Although it was still nice to eat, it wasn't quite what we imagined when we were digging in. I almost felt like a caramel custard would have been a good addition to cut some of the ginger flavour. If we got this again I would probably remove all or almost all of the ginger pieces. It would be interesting to see if that made a difference to the level of sticky date flavour.
Cooking this was a real collaboration, with five of us all fussing round the pot as it simmered away. Over the course of ten minutes we were playing musical elements in order to get just the right amount of simmer without causing it to stick to the bottom. In Europe this method was known as seething - or boiling without the bubble so that you got that wonderful rich stickiness and still ended up with a clean pot.
I have learned lately that the suggested cooking times are often negotiable and you have to actually check the food out (preferably by tasting it, with the same spoon you used to stir it with if you are on your own, or with a fresh spoon each time if there are others watching!). This particular brew was ready in well under the 25 minutes suggested on the packet; it was fully cooked and beautifully aromatic in less than 20.
Cinnamon was the first spice to permeate the air. The label did not specify which spices were used, but there is no mistaking cinnamon. It has an aroma that is quite unique! But when you actually taste it, the flavours of the dates and the ginger come out as well. According to the packaging, there is more date than ginger, but we all thought the opposite was true. That could be, of course, because some of the date content had melted into the rice leaving only the skins whereas the ginger tended to stay whole.
Initially we were going to chop some of the ginger into smaller pieces as not everybody likes large chunks, but we took a piece of ginger each before we started cooking and everybody tasted it. The consensus was that it was not too strong; in fact, even those who are not normally ginger fans were taken with this. Even Mr Six, who refused to taste the pudding itself because it had a rice base, enjoyed his piece of ginger.
So we left the pieces whole and cooked the product without any adjustments. One person even commented that it would be nice with a little additional ginger grated over the top to make it look more interesting. He did have a point about the appearance. It does need some kind of garnish to make it look attractive. We discussed adding cream or icecream; in the end, because we had neither, we topped it with some mandarin segments. Not only did they cheer the dish up, they also went really well with the other ingredients.
Finally, I was impressed by the recommended shelf life. The expiry date was 8 months away which meant you could keep some on hand and have a hearty pudding prepared and simmering away while you had your main course. On busy days in mid winter this could be just the extra energy boost that is needed. Yes, I will definitely be buying it again - and also looking out for other flavours in the range.
I love the flavour of dates, have done since I was a kid. I like the taste of ginger too, in moderation. So this rice pudding looked like something I could seriously sink my teeth into with pleasure. Now, I have moved into a house with a woodburner in the lounge. The previous tenants did some horrible things to it, so I had to repair a lot of the outer casing. One of the side effects of that was I was able to remove one of the cover grills, exposing the outer double-wall of the fire box itself. This is the tunnel hot air passes through when you close the flu damper, turning it into a giant heating panel.
Without the decorative grill, which serves no real purpose but to stop stupid people sticking their hands on blazing hot steel, I can use it in the same manner as an old cast-iron cooker. Having lived in a flat many years ago that had one of those, I am well versed in cooking on something that has ZERO adjustability when it comes to the level of heat imparted to the food. So, I have used it as a cooker in the last few months, and plan to continue.
Getting a non-stick saucepan, throwing in the entire packet and pouring over a litre of milk, I set about getting it up to heat. In no time at all, it was starting to bubble away merrily. Constant stirring for 12 minutes had the rice pudding plopping away like Rotorua's hot mud pools, which meant it was almost thick enough for my preferences. Off the heat it came, to sit on the kitchen bench for 5 minutes to cool a bit more and finish thicken up.
I put a couple of serving spoons of it into a bowl, decided to add a spritz of whipped cream - because I had a can of it in the fridge anyway and it needed to be used - and I was away for dessert.
I found that for me, the first flavour to hit is actually cinnamon, followed by hints of date and an undertone of vanilla. I didn't find any sign of the ginger until I bit into a cube of the candied root. I liked it, as it added an interesting textural element and a hint of surprise - I seriously didn't see in the spoonful as I was raising it to my mouth. After that, almost every second or third spoonful had a cube of candied ginger in it, which soon became too much for me. As I said, I like ginger in moderation.
Overall, I thought this was actually a really nice pudding, and I do plan to buy it again... however next time I will sort through the dry mix and remove all of the ginger, setting about 2/3rds of it aside and cutting the rest down into smaller hunks before cooking. During the early stages, before the ginger took the pleasure out of it for me, I was really liking the flavour, and the texture is great! For those who are more gingerly-inclined, this is a dessert you are going to fall in love with, I think.
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