Print

Carrot cake horchata (& regular horchata)

Adapted from a variety of sources. Many recipes call for pulverizing the rice and cinnamon while dry, in a spice grinder or coffee grinder, then soaking the pulverized rice, cinnamon, and whole almonds overnight. I changed the steps slightly here to blend it with liquid, just because my blender is a little bit of a weakling and I didn’t have a spice grinder on hand.

Scale

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Blanch the almonds: Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the almonds and boil for about one minute, then drain and rinse with cold water. After blanching, the skins should slip off easily. Remove the skins and set aside. (Optional: If you like, you can lightly toast almonds in a saucepan over medium heat.)
  2. For regular horchata: Combine rice, almonds, and cinnamon with 3 cups hot water in a blender and blend on high until coarsely ground. (If you have a weaker blender, do not add the cinnamon stick until after blending.) Let stand overnight at room temperature, covered.
  3. For carrot cake horchata: Combine rice, almonds, cinnamon, carrot, nutmeg, and ginger with 3 cups hot water in a blender and blend on high until coarsely ground. (If you have a weaker blender, do not add the cinnamon stick until after blending.) Let stand overnight at room temperature, covered.
  4. The next day: Add one more cup of cold water and blend on your blender’s highest speed until completely smooth, anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes. Line a fine mesh sieve with three or four layers of cheesecloth. Pour the horchata mixture into the cheesecloth, let the liquid drain through, then gather up the edges of the cheesecloth to form a “pouch” and squeeze the remaining pulp to force out any remaining liquid. You can also use a nut milk bag (hehe) for this. Discard the leftover pulp (or see Notes below for possible uses).
  5. Finally, add the vanilla extract (if using) and stir to incorporate. Add simple syrup to sweeten it to your liking, then chill the mixture completely or serve over ice. It’s a good idea to add a little more syrup than you think you’d like, because the horchata will be diluted over ice. You can also cut the horchata with a bit more cold water — or even milk of your choice — if you find it too thick. Enjoy!

Notes

To make simple syrup, just (or, should we say, simply!) combine one part sugar and one part water in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves, 2-3 minutes. Let cool and it’s ready to use! For 1/4 cup simple syrup, you’ll use about 3 tbsp sugar and 3 tbsp water.

For the leftover pulp, I thought the pulp from the plain horchata worked well in oatmeal (cooked with the oats) to add a little crunchy texture. I imagine the carrot horchata pulp would work to make a sort of “carrot cake” baked oatmeal, with raisins, walnuts, and some extra spices. I also imagine you could simmer the plain horchata pulp, congee-style, to make a rice porridge (though I don’t think I’d recommend that with the carrot one).