I saw this cake in a BBC programme, Two Greedy Italians, and I was immediately interested. Making a cake from rice was not something I heard about before. And since I had some sushi rice on hand that I really needed to use up, it was a great occasion to make this cake. I think Italians would say that it is blasphemy to use sushi rice in place of risotto rice (and the Japanese will say vice versa), but actually it works really well. Of course they are not completely the same, but both rices are short grain, sticky/glutinous, and absorb a lot of liquid. Therefore they cook very similar and the taste and texture are only slightly different.
The cake is very tasty (creamy and orangy) and filling. It was even suggested at the recipe to use it as breakfast! And why not? It has carbohydrates, some fibres and proteins, it fills well and rice porridge is considered okay for breakfast as well… this is like rice porridge mixed with egg and baked in the oven, so nothing wrong with that. But it is also very nice with a cup of tea, or as a dessert. I do have to note that this cake keeps quite poorly, it is quite moist which will attract all kinds of moulds and bacteria, so eat it within two days. It might be wise to ask some friends over to help you with that, this is definitely a cake to be served in small pieces.
For an accompaniment of the rice cake, I decided to make some ice. I have an ice-cream maker, but I don’t use it that much. It is quite a cheap one, so you need to freeze the tub for at least 18 hours before you can make ice in it. And since the tub is quite big and my freezer quite small and full…. The ice-cream I made before was never very satisfactory, it always got quite grainy, with watery bits in there. I think it has something to do with the fact that the ice-cream maker is not that strong, so it is not stirred that well, which should prevent the water crystals. But this ice-cream was delicious! It was very creamy and not grainy at all, not to sweet and with a nice tang and lemony flavour. I will definitely experiment some more with the machine to see what other nice flavours of ice cream I can produce, because I think most of the ice cream you buy at the shop is just not that tasty. I can imagine this ice-cream base really well with other fruit flavours (strawberry!), but I think it will work as well with chocolate or coffee.
Orange rice cake (a lot)
from BBC’s Two Greedy Italians
1 vanilla pod
1/2 lemon, zest only, in large pieces
300g arborio rice
5 eggs, separated
50ml orange liqueur
1 orange, zest only
Place the milk, vanilla pod, 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. Remove vanilla pod and lemon zest.Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 24cm spring form. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and liqueur until creamy. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the egg yolk mixture to the cooled rice, 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. Serve warm or cold.
Cheesecake ice-cream (600 ml)
from 500 ijsrecepten – Alex Barker
225g cream cheese
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 egg yolks
240 ml cream, whipped
optional: 115g butter, molten and 40g biscuits, crumbled
Cream the cream cheese with the lemon, sugar and egg yolks. Fold in the cream. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Pour the mixture in an ice-cream maker and follow the instructions of your machine. After 30 minutes it will be firm ice-cream. Meanwhile, mix the butter and biscuits when using, and leave to cool. Transfer the ice-cream to a freezer box. When using, spoon through the biscuit mixture, just fold once or twice to give a ripple effect. Store the ice-cream in the freezer until serving. Take the ice-cream from the freezer 15 minutes before serving to let it soften a bit.
The ice can be kept for 3 months, but the taste and texture will decline, so finish as soon as possible.