Tag Archives: Risotto

Anyone for Torta di Risa Dolce (Rice Cake!)??

Now if you know what’s good for you- you’ll say yes! I just love risotto and when I found this little gem I was delighted to make it my own.  And this is just perfect to have with a coffee at 11, or with some creamy vanilla ice cream as a dessert.  Warm of cold, it makes no odds.  Just simply divine.

There is no food richer in meaning than rice: life, wealth, and prosperity accompany this grain, a cornerstone of Italian cuisine. It was already a common ingredient in ancient China and India. According to archeologists, rice originated 15,000 years ago on the Indian side of the Himalayas!
Rice is an extremely important ingredient for the populations of the Far East who base their diet on this white cereal. Alexander the Great introduced the grain to Persia and then scientists brought it to the Middle East. Over the centuries, it finally made its way to Europe, first in Greece, then in the Roman lands, where it was never cultivated, rather imported. Rice remained an expense food for the rich Westerners who used it in small doses as a cosmetic or to fight against intestinal disease or fevers!

Risotto Rice, milk, sugar and dried fruit go into this delicious gluten-free cake originally from the city of Bologna.

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Risotto Rice Pudding- Perfect for a Dinner Party

Rice Pudding is just the most comforting of desserts. It’s right up there with Apple Pie in my books.

Apple pi dish :)

Love that joke…. soz

I’ve had risotto rice as a dessert in quite a few restaurants. But had never tried it myself.  I’ve adapted a Tom Kerridge Recipe (I know -it’s my cookbook du jour, or du moi as it happens).  And of course you can make risotto with pudding rice too, it just takes a bit longer.

Conversely rice pudding with risotto rice is nice and quick.  I’ve used arborio.  As one of my chef idols Angela Hartnett also uses arborio in her rice pudding, it must be right. Tom’s additions of peaches and mint make it a fresher dessert than it first seems.

Risotto Rice Pudding with Peaches and Mint


200g Arborio Rice

50g Butter

450ml double cream (you’ll be fine, go for a walk tomorrow)

400ml full fat milk (a long walk)

50g light muscavado sugar

Crème fraîche Topping:

Crème fraîche

1 tablespoon icing sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Zest of an orange (if you have one)

To Finish

Some peaches, de-stoned and chopped into bite size pieces

some mint leaves, torn roughly

3 tablespoons of light muscavado sugar


Now, bear with me- the method seems a bit pouncy- go with it- you should have seen the bits I left out.

Add the rice to a dry saucepan.  Shake over a medium heat until the grains start to turn brown.  Remove immediately to a bowl (to prevent them over cooking- once they start turning it’s a slippery slope to burnt).

Arborio Risotto rice starting to brown

Arborio Risotto rice starting to brown

Melt the butter in the same pan until it also starts to turn brown.

Beurre Noisette preparation

Beurre Noisette preparation

Turn down the heat and add the rice back in, stirring constantly.  When well covered in the butter add all of the liquid. And the sugar.  Stir gently for about 20 minutes until cooked. If the rice looks dry simply add some more milk. Then leave to rest for 5 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, mix the Crème fraîche ingredients.  Whip this if you can until semi solid.  This very much depends on the type of Crème fraîche.  But it’s fine just drizzled over the pudding at the table.

Scoop the rice into the serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.  Toss the peaches and mint leaves over the rice also.

Peaches and Brown Sugar

Peaches and Brown Sugar

Serve with the Crème fraîche if you feel you need to!.




All I wanted was a sandwich

I had reason to visit the “big smoke” earlier this week. And by 2 o’clock was ready to throw in the towel at transporting myself around the city.

My GPS was being a know it all, bringing me routes even the most accomplished of Dublin taxi drivers may have hesitated at.

Mind you, I say that quietly for fear she (as in my trusty GPS) may just down tools and leave me stranded here. Forever.

Having made my way to more familiar territory I decided food was a good idea, to rest the leg, rest the head and appease the stomach.

The Martello Tower in Sandycove

The Martello Tower in Sandycove

Essentially all I wanted was a sandwich, on good bread. With fresh fillings. And maybe a cup of tea. But it was not to be. Everywhere I looked at disappointed. I knew arriving at the later end of lunch was dodgy anywhere, and I really didn’t want to just have something pre-made. Sigh.

There must be an opening for someone making good ham sandwiches????

The outside of Fallon and Byrne in the People's Park, Dun Laoghaire

The outside of Fallon and Byrne in the People’s Park, Dun Laoghaire

But decided then to try Fallon & Byrne in the People’s Park, Dun Laoghaire. Catering for both the sandwich wanter, and the wanter of something more- it was the chance to try someone else’s elderflower cordial that swung it.  As they are my favourite, and right bang in season, the Broadbean risotto was a goer.  And without question it was up there with risotto’s I’ve had in Italy.

Pea and Broad Bean Risotto

Pea and Broad Bean Risotto

The staff were exceptionally nice, and very helpful and chatty, a special mention to David,  my server, who made my feel very welcome considering I was by myself.


Trying the sourdough and the tomato bread

Trying the sourdough and the tomato bread

And then who was I to refuse dessert?  Especially Wexford Strawberries.

Wexford Strawberries, with crème patisserie

Wexford Strawberries, with crème patisserie

The setting is lovely, and I would imagine even better on a warm sunny day.  And although on the pricier end of lunch, the quality and flavours of my food made me savour every bite.

My view from my Table

My view from my Table

And as the saying is back in vogue- I will be back.