Italian rice cake with red fruit

    1 hour 55 min

    Here’s an unusual flourless cake that makes a delightful dessert. Italian risotto rice is cooked slowly in milk until tender and creamy, then mixed with eggs, nuts, lemon and rum, and baked. It’s served with a red fruit salad.

    26 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 600 ml (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk
    • a strip of lemon zest
    • 150 g (5½ oz) risotto rice
    • 100 g (3½ oz) pine nuts
    • 100 g (3½ oz) blanched almonds
    • 3 large eggs, separated
    • 85 g (3 oz) caster sugar
    • grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 tbsp dark rum
    • sifted icing sugar to decorate
    • Red fruit salad
    • 300 g (10½ oz) strawberries
    • 125 g (4½ oz) raspberries
    • 200 g (7 oz) cherries, stoned

    Prep:1hr15min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr55min 

    1. Heat the milk with the strip of lemon zest in a heavy-based saucepan until boiling. Stir in the rice, then turn down the heat so the milk barely simmers. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 40 minutes or until the rice is very soft and the mixture is thick and creamy.
    2. Spoon the rice mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Grease a 21 cm (8 1/2 in) springform cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
    3. Spread the pine nuts and almonds in separate baking tins and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Roughly chop the almonds.
    4. Remove the strip of lemon zest from the rice. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the caster sugar, grated lemon zest and rum, then add the nuts.
    5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold them into the rice mixture using a large metal spoon. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
    6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then wrap (still in the tin) and chill overnight. (It can be kept in the fridge for 48 hours, if necessary.)
    7. To make the red fruit salad, purée 100 g (3 1/2 oz) of the strawberries in a food processor or blender. or by pushing them through a sieve. Halve the remaining strawberries and stir into the purée together with the raspberries and cherries. Spoon into a serving bowl.
    8. Unmould the cake onto a serving plate and peel off the lining paper. Dust the cake with icing sugar, and serve with the fruit salad.

    Each serving provides

    C, E * B2, B12, copper, zinc * A, B1, folate calcium, iron, potassium

    Another idea

    To make a chocolate rice cake, cook the rice with the strip of lemon zest as in the main recipe, then remove from the heat and discard the lemon zest. While the rice mixture is still hot, stir in 55 g (2 oz) grated good dark chocolate (with at least 70% cocoa solids) until melted, then leave to cool. Instead of the grated lemon zest, add 2 tbsp cold strong espresso coffee with the rum.

    Plus points

    Pine nuts have been eaten for hundreds of years – husks have been found in the rubbish tips from Roman camps in Britain. Pine nuts contain useful amounts of iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and vitamin E. * Cherries are rich in potassium, and provide useful amounts of vitamin C.

    Total Time

    1¼ hours, plus chilling overnight

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Turned out as it should, but I found the cake a little bland, if I make again I think I will remove almonds and add some apple and sultanas to it to give little more flavour.  -  23 Sep 2012


    As I have a gluten and wheat intolerance, i am defiantly going to try this out  -  01 Nov 2010