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.
Torta di Risa Dolce (Rice Cake)
200g risotto rice (I use arborio)
1 litre of milk
Some butter for greasing the container
2 tablespoons of semolina
250g caster sugar
2 tablespoons of brandy of liqueur or choice
50g of sultanas
Grated zest of 1 lemon
The night/ day before, soak the sultanas in the Brandy or your liqueur of choice. Worth the effort for the flavour this imparts.
Grease the tin well, then dust with the semolina. I am using a rectangular tin as I like this cake as a tray bake.
Put the rice and 700mls of the milk in a saucepan. Make it much bigger than you think you’ll need as the milk might just boil over when your back is turned. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally so that the rice does not stick. Simmer for 10 minutes, then set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk the 8 eggs in your mixer (takes TOO long by hand) until the volume has increased dramatically. Add in the sugar gradually, mixing well between each addition.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the other 300ml of milk, and the brandy soaked sultanas. Carefully fold in the rice and it’s cooking milk. It will all seem to clump together, but persevere.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out almost clean, and the cake still has a little wobble. A taller, smaller tin will take longer to cook. Leave to cool in the tin.