Caramel baked rice & fruit salad


  • 1 cup raw white glutinous rice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • Coconut sorbet, to serve

  • For the caramel sauce
  • 5 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 30g butter
  • ½ cup coconut cream

  • For the fruit salad
  • 5 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 small pomelo
  • ½ pineapple
  • ¼ bunch small mint leaves


Soak rice in plenty of cold water for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse well.

Cook rice with salt, sugar and coconut milk for about 20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid has absorbed. Allow to sit off the heat, covered, for a further 20 minutes to allow further absorption of the residual liquid.

Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a 20 x 20cm square cake tin with baking paper. Transfer cooked rice to tin; spread evenly, packing the rice in.

For the caramel sauce, place sugar, salt, honey and butter in a saucepan on a medium-high heat. Cook until sugar melts completely. Pour in coconut cream and stir to combine. When bubbles form along the edges, remove from heat. Immediately pour caramel over the rice, then sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the caramel has absorbed into the rice and started to bubble on top. Cool completely before cutting.

For the fruit salad, place 5 tbsp water in a saucepan with sugar, lime juice and ginger. Simmer for 3 minutes, remove from heat and allow syrup to cool.

Cut away the pomelo skin and split the flesh into two. Using your fingers and a paring knife, peel away the membrane from the flesh. Break the flesh into small chunks and place in a bowl. Cut pineapple into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl along with syrup.

Cut caramel rice cake into 12 even fingers and keep at room temperature. Remove mint leaves from stems.

Place two slices of rice cake on each plate. Toss macerated fruit with mint leaves, spoon onto plates, add a scoop of sorbet and serve immediately.

NOTES: You could substitute the pomelo with a grapefruit or any other tart citrus fruit.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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