The kind of surprising combination of white chocolate and caviar apparently came together for the first time when Heston Blumenthal realised that the two share the right combination of chemical compounds to complement one another brilliantly when served together. Subsequently, he introduced it as a dish at The Fat Duck in 2002 (I think it was wafers of white chocolate with caviar served on top, kind of like odd little caviar blini).
For some reason, when I think of unconventional but apparently complementary flavour combinations like this, my mind imagines the two flavours coalescing into one to produce a new but vaguely familiar flavour. And you know what? I really need to learn not to do that. Sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
For me, with this rice pudding dish, the flavours didn’t merge at all. I got the cloying sweetness of the white chocolate, then the saltiness (and slight fishiness) of the caviar, rather than both flavours and sensations at the same time, so I didn’t quite get that complementary effect that I was hoping for with the sweetness and saltiness kind of tempering each other. The temporal discrepancy kind of ruined it for me because I’m not a fan of caviar as it is, but I had been willing to give it a go if it was going to be transformed by the white chocolate. Apparently not. I understand on a theoretical level how the sweetness and saltiness can work in concordance, but… not for me and not in this dish. Maybe in a different format…
However, people who are bigger fans of caviar than I might adore this dish. Only one way for them to find out. (Or you could just make the white chocolate rice pudding component — that’s quite lovely by itself.)