05/28/2013 10:33 EDT | Updated 07/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Top gluten-free black sticky rice pudding with seasonal fruit for dessert

Judith Finlayson professes a love for the taste and texture of rice, whether it's brown, red or Thai black sticky rice.

Though the cookbook author hasn't been able to duplicate a sweet concoction of mangoes and sticky rice she sampled while travelling in Thailand, this recipe for black sticky rice pudding is one of her favourites and she has included it in her most recent cookbook, "The Complete Gluten-Free Whole Grains Cookbook."

"It is so easy and so good."

Thai black sticky rice is available in Asian markets. If desired, you can cook the rice in your rice cooker on the brown rice setting.

The recipe calls for mangoes, but other fruits like strawberries, kiwifruit or peaches are also tasty.

Black Sticky Rice Pudding

This dessert is suitable for those following a vegan food plan. Finlayson likes to make this pudding using piloncillo, unrefined Mexican sugar, which is sold in cones in Latin markets. Use a 125-gram (4-ounce) cone in this recipe.

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) water

175 ml (3/4 cup) cooked Thai black sticky rice

1 can (400 ml/14 oz) coconut milk

125 ml (1/2 cup) packed Demerara or other raw cane sugar

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

250 ml (1 cup) sliced strawberries or kiwifruit or chopped peaches or mango

50 ml (1/4 cup) toasted shredded sweetened coconut

Finely chopped mint (optional)

In a bowl, combine water and rice. Set aside to soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When you're ready to cook, transfer rice and soaking water to a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender, 30 to 45 minutes. (Don't lift the lid.)

In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Stir in cooked rice and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill, if desired.

When you're ready to serve, top with fruit and garnish with shredded coconut and mint, if using.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: "The Complete Gluten-Free Whole Grains Cookbook: 125 Delicious Recipes from Amaranth to Quinoa to Wild Rice" by Judith Finlayson (Robert Rose Inc.,, 2013).