October 22, 2012 by Bloke In A Kitchen
I saw Gennaro Contaldo make this fabulous cake on the wonderful ‘Two Greedy Italians’ BBC program. As usual, he cooked and presented with such pride, joy and enthusiasm, that I had to seek out the recipe and give it a go myself. It’s like a lush zesty rice pudding, but in cake form. Genius!
Gennaro Contaldo uses orange liqueur, but as I don’t often drink alcohol, and because my young daughter wanted to try some, I’ve substituted freshly squeezed orange juice. I’ve also used vanilla essence instead of fairly expensive vanilla pod. (I definitely do hope to make it another time with the alcohol and vanilla pod – it’ll be even more gorgeous!)
I’ve made a few Italian cakes, and loved them all, many of which seem (as far as I’m concerned!) to be ideal as breakfast with a cup of espresso.
1.7 litre / 3 pints milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
Zest of 1 lemon, in large pieces (use a potato peeler!)
200g / 7oz sugar
300g / 10½oz Arborio rice
5 large free-range eggs, separated
50ml / 2fl oz freshly squeezed orange juice
40g / 1½oz raisins
Zest of 1 orange, grated, plus extra for serving
Icing sugar – for dusting top of cake
Place the milk, vanilla essence, lemon zest and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rice and simmer on a medium to low heat for about 20–25 minutes, until the rice is al dente and has absorbed the milk but still has a creamy consistency. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool, which will take at least an hour. Remove the pieces of lemon zest.
Once the rice has cooled, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a spring action cake tin with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and orange juice until creamy.
In another large, deep sided glass/ceramic mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. (If you are using a hand whisk, about a teaspoon of lemon juice helps stiffen the egg whites)
Add the egg yolk mixture to the cooled rice, and then fold in the stiffened egg whites, followed by the raisins and orange zest.
Pour in the prepared tin and bake in the oven for one hour. The cake should feel firm, and a sharp knife or skewer should come out fairly clean. If need be, cook a little longer. (I’ve baked this cake a few times now, and always had to cook it at least 20 minutes longer, but that might just well be my tempermental old oven!)
Serve warm or cold, sprinkled with icing sugar, and/or, orange zest to finish.