Risalamande, rice a la mande, rice à l’amande or riz à l’amande
The most famous classic Danish Christmas dessert with the French-sounding name.
(Which can be spelt in several different ways.)
Risalamande is a delicious rice and almond pudding – with a cherry sauce.
We serve it for Christmas – you can enjoy it any time of the year!
Go straight to the recipe or read the rest.
Recipe in Danish here.
Riz à l’amande
Riz à l’amande, it’s French and means “rice with almonds” – in France it’s known as “the Danish Christmas dessert”.
Risalamande (“risalamang” or more accurately pronounced [ˈʁisalaˌmɑŋ]) is an old Danish Christmas pudding.
Invented in a time when rice was luxury.
Madam Mangor published the recipe for “Rice a la mande” in her cookbook in 1876, and Miss Jensen (Frøken Jensen) included it in her cookbook in 1901.
After World War II, there was a shortage of rice and cinnamon, so the housewives mixed the rice porridge with whipped cream – so the rice could last longer.
And the Danes swapped the rice porridge as a starter, with the risalamande as the dessert.
This rice pudding is really a soft mousse made of cream, porridge and nuts.
You mix the cold rice porridge (- which is cooked with vanilla and full-fat milk), with lightly whipped cream and LOTS of chopped blanched (and baked) almonds.
Want to know how to blanche and bake almonds easily?
– check out Almonds – blanched, baked and flour/meal.
Also, remember to put a WHOLE blanched almond in the risalamande.
It’s an old Danish tradition – the lucky finder/winner gets “the almond gift”.
“The almond gift” could be a marzipan pig made of homemade marzipan, kransekage, cookies, chocolate, a (comic)book, wine, a game…
Depending on the recipient’s age.
There are different versions of risalamande.
Some people want a “dry” risalamande with a lot of porridge, others want a lot of whipped cream and there are those who want a lot of almonds.
I want a creamy risalamande, with MANY almonds.
And that’s what you’ll get in the recipe.
In my family we always chop the almonds coarsely – so that the whole almond is harder to find – it’s a tradition.
The cream is lightly whipped and there must be plenty of vanilla – both in the rice porridge and in the whipped cream.
In Denmark we use vanilla sugar – mix vanilla beans and sugar or mix the sugar with vanilla powder – you can also use a blender and blend a whole vanilla pod with sugar.
Whether you want coarsely chopped or finely chopped almonds, a little or a lot of whipped cream, more or less sugar, it’s all up to you and your family.
Start with my suggestions and try for yourself.
Don’t use almond extract!
It doesn’t taste good – and is a no go in a Christmas pudding.
Risalamande is traditionally served with a cherry sauce.
A thick slightly sour red sauce that can be served hot or cold.
In the past few years, some people are starting to drizzle Amarena cherries on top.
Because the dark spicy Italian cherries keep the round shape nicely.
In the 2010s a more unconventional sauce came into fashion, a sauce with orange or mandarin – I haven’t tried that yet.
I LOVE the classic Danish cherry sauce – and I like the sauce served warm for Christmas.
What do you eat for Christmas pudding?
Share your desserts and photos here, or on Instagram – tag your photos @danish.things or #danishthings
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Risalamande – the classic Danish Christmas dessert
500 g of rice pudding see recipe on rice porridge
½-1½ tbsp. sugar and vanilla beans from a vanilla pod/1 tsp. vanilla powder or homemade vanilla sugar
100-150 g blanched almonds (or baked chopped almonds)
250-300 g whipping cream (2½-3 dl)
1 whole blanched almond – have a few in reserve, they can split
“Almond gift” ***
Blanche the almonds – see how here, you can also see how to bake them.
Roughly chop the lightly baked almonds *, or bake them after you chop them ** – the order doesn’t matter.
If your rice porridge is very firm, mix in some milk or cream before making the risalamande.
Mix the cooled rice porridge with the chopped almonds.
Whip the cream with vanilla beans or vanilla sugar.
Whip your cream lightly, don’t whip it into stiff peaks.
Take a spoonful or two of whipped cream, stir it into the rice porridge, mix it well.
Gently fold the rest of the whipped cream in the mix.
Put the risalamande in the fridge and let it rest at least 1 hour, cover it well.
Serve the risalamande with hot or cold cherry sauce, Amarena cherries – or your favourite sauce.
* Chop the almonds roughly, it makes the hunt for the whole almond more interesting.
** Don’t overbake – the almonds MUST stay pale.
*** A homemade “almond gift”?
Make a marzipan pig, kransekage, cookies, jam or …
The leftover risalamande is a favourite for breakfast December 25.
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