Danish christmas dessert

Danish Christmas dessert no. 1

Should you ever visit Denmark at Christmas time, you are bound to try the Danish Christmas dessert Risalamande.

Risalamande is a dessert made of rice pudding, whipped cream, vanilla and almonds, and it is served in every home on Christmas Eve. Recipe for Risalamande.

The word Risalamande originates from the French term Riz a l’amande – Rice with almonds. Rice in Danish is ris, hence the word Risalamande.

It is said, the dessert was created by the famous Danish hotel d’Angleterre in the last part of the 19th century but it wasn’t until after World War II the dessert gained popularity. Mostly because rice was quite expensive until then.

danish christmas dessert
Risalamande with cherry sauce.

Risalamande is made of leftover rice pudding, often served the day before Christmas Eve.

The cold leftovers are mixed with whipped cream, vanilla, a bit of sugar and almonds. Every household has got their own version of Risalamande but to me, Risalamande should be sweet, airy and with lots of almonds.

Typically the cold Risalamande is served with a hot cherry sauce but it can be eaten with any fruit sauce e.g. black currant or raspberry sauce.

Playing the game

Even though Risalamande is delicious, it is all about winning a prize. All almonds, except one, are chopped in smaller pieces.

The whole almond is hidden in the Risalamande, and the one person who finds it wins a prize. Typically the prize is a marzipan pig, a piece of chocolate or a board game.

Some people chop the almonds quite finely but in our family we make sure, the almonds are in different sizes. Some are chopped finely, others quite coarse. A few are whole expect for a missing corner, leading everyone to think they have found the whole almond.

When a lucky someone finds the almond, he or she is not supposed to tell anyone. The almond is kept hidden in the mouth or in a napkin, until everyone is done. Usually this results in over-eating, since everyone wants to find the almond but it is a part of the game.

The person who finds the whole almond has won the prize but not until the almond has been closely examined. You don’t want anyone to cheat.

If small children are taking part, each child usually get their own small bowl of Risalamande with a whole almond in it, spreading joy and happiness to all children.

Recipes with rice pudding

Risalamande, a Danish Christmas dessert


5 of 5 6 people

Risalamande is a Danish national dessert eaten in nearly every household on Christmas Eve. It is made of rice pudding, vanilla, sugar, cream and almonds, and traditionally it is served...

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Danish rice pudding

Rice pudding

4 of 5 45 Minutes 3 people

Danish rice pudding is made of rice and whole milk. It is eaten hot with sugar, cinnamon and a knob of cold butter and typically served with a very sweet...

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