Step 1 Rinse the Arborio rice several times until the water runs clear. This is very important, so that the rice will be evenly cooked and there will be no al dente grains.
Step 2 In a heavy saucepan, bring the 2 cups water, a pinch of salt and the cinnamon stick to a simmer over high heat. Add the rice and simmer until it has absorbed the water, about 10 minutes.
Step 3Stir in the half-and-half and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (be sure to stir the bottom of the pan to prevent the rice from sticking; if it burns, you will need to start over). Depending on how quickly the rice absorbs the liquid, you may need to add a little more water or half-and-half.
Step 4Stir in the cream, brown sugar, condensed milk and vanilla extract. Continue to simmer gently, stirring frequently, until the rice is very thick and creamy (it should have no "bite" whatsoever), about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 5While the mixture is still very hot, adjust the consistency as needed with additional cream. (It should be rather thin, as it will thicken dramatically as it cools; it will be easier to finish the rice for service if it is not too thick.) Taste the rice and adjust the flavor with more salt and sugar as desired.
Step 6Move the rice to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed flat against the surface (this will prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate the rice until chilled.