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More Nigella recipes

Rice Pudding Cake

by . Featured in COOK EAT REPEAT
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Introduction

This is every bit as wonderful as it sounds: an Italian torta di riso, refracted through the prism of someone who loves a bowl of very British rice pudding. The Italians like to stud their rice cake with candied peel, bake it in a tin lined with breadcrumbs or crushed amaretti, and eat it cold; I sprinkle mine with nutmeg, and serve it warm, most frequently with a jewel-bright jam sauce. But it's also lovely with poached fruit and I can't help thinking it would be fabulous with a bit of golden syrup drizzled on top, too.

I'm very happy to eat leftovers cold, should I be lucky enough to get them (very much recommended for breakfast) but first time out, I feel, it must be warm, by which I mean to indicate a gentle warmth, rather nearer room temperature than hot. This means the cake is still quite tender, so I should caution you against trying to remove it from its base. I'm afraid this is not always advice I take myself: aesthetic considerations lead me to risk ruination by slipping my comedy cake lifter - which is like a ping-pong bat fashioned into a kitchen utensil - under it so that I can transfer it to a serving plate with nothing to mar its simple beauty.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is every bit as wonderful as it sounds: an Italian torta di riso, refracted through the prism of someone who loves a bowl of very British rice pudding. The Italians like to stud their rice cake with candied peel, bake it in a tin lined with breadcrumbs or crushed amaretti, and eat it cold; I sprinkle mine with nutmeg, and serve it warm, most frequently with a jewel-bright jam sauce. But it's also lovely with poached fruit and I can't help thinking it would be fabulous with a bit of golden syrup drizzled on top, too.

I'm very happy to eat leftovers cold, should I be lucky enough to get them (very much recommended for breakfast) but first time out, I feel, it must be warm, by which I mean to indicate a gentle warmth, rather nearer room temperature than hot. This means the cake is still quite tender, so I should caution you against trying to remove it from its base. I'm afraid this is not always advice I take myself: aesthetic considerations lead me to risk ruination by slipping my comedy cake lifter - which is like a ping-pong bat fashioned into a kitchen utensil - under it so that I can transfer it to a serving plate with nothing to mar its simple beauty.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Rice Pudding Cake
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Yields: 8-12 slices

Metric Cups
  • 150 grams arborio rice
  • 700 millilitres full fat milk
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 75 grams soft unsalted butter (plus more for greasing tin)
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 75 grams caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • nutmeg (for grating)

For the sauce

  • 200 grams seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup arborio rice
  • scant 3 cups whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (plus more for greasing tin)
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • ⅓ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • nutmeg (for grating)

For the sauce

  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. Put the rice, milk and salt into a heavy-based saucepan - I use one of 18cm / 7 inches diameter - and finely grate the zest of the lemon into it. Over high heat, and stirring regularly, bring to the point where it looks like it's just about to boil, though do not let it actually boil. Turn the heat down to low, and continue to cook the milk and rice for about 30 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the rice is cooked and the milk is absorbed. Keep an eye on it, as you don't want the milk to start boiling, nor do you want the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the 75g / 5 tablespoons of butter until melted. Scrape the contents of the pan into a bowl large enough to take all the remaining ingredients. Leave for about 1 hour to cool. Once it's at room temperature, you can move on, so heat the oven to 160°C/140°C Fan/325°F, and butter a 20cm / 8-inch springform cake tin.
  3. Separate the eggs, letting the whites fall into a large grease-free bowl (which could be the bowl of a freestanding mixer) and drop the yolks into a wide measuring jug (or a bowl). Whisk the whites until stiff, and set aside for a moment. Add the sugar to the yolks, and whisk - I use a balloon whisk with vigour, rather than an electric one here - until pale and moussy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of juice from the zested lemon to the yolks and sugar, and then pour gradually into the cooled rice, folding it in well as you go.
  5. Dollop a large spoonful of the stiffly whisked whites into the rice bowl and stir briskly to lighten the mixture, and then fold in a third of the remaining whites gently but thoroughly, then another third, and when that's incorporated, fold in the rest. Pour and scrape this mixture gently into the prepared tin.
  6. Grate nutmeg over generously and bake for 45 minutes; by then the top will have set, with no hint of wobble underneath.
  7. Sit on a wire rack for about 1 hour, until it's just slightly warm. To ease the unmoulding, slip a small spatula all around the edges, unclip the tin, and transfer the cake, still on its base (unless, like me, you don't mind risking damage trying to remove it), to a flat plate.
  8. Just before you are ready to serve the cake, gently heat the raspberry jam with the lemon juice in a small saucepan, giving it the occasional stir, during which time leave a suitable jug filled with hot water in the sink. When the sauce is hot, fill the warmed jug (obviously, emptied of its water!) with the garnet-glossy sauce.
  1. Put the rice, milk and salt into a heavy-based saucepan - I use one of 18cm / 7 inches diameter - and finely grate the zest of the lemon into it. Over high heat, and stirring regularly, bring to the point where it looks like it's just about to boil, though do not let it actually boil. Turn the heat down to low, and continue to cook the milk and rice for about 30 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the rice is cooked and the milk is absorbed. Keep an eye on it, as you don't want the milk to start boiling, nor do you want the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the 75g / 5 tablespoons of butter until melted. Scrape the contents of the pan into a bowl large enough to take all the remaining ingredients. Leave for about 1 hour to cool. Once it's at room temperature, you can move on, so heat the oven to 160°C/140°C Fan/325°F, and butter a 20cm / 8-inch springform cake tin.
  3. Separate the eggs, letting the whites fall into a large grease-free bowl (which could be the bowl of a freestanding mixer) and drop the yolks into a wide measuring jug (or a bowl). Whisk the whites until stiff, and set aside for a moment. Add the sugar to the yolks, and whisk - I use a balloon whisk with vigour, rather than an electric one here - until pale and moussy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of juice from the zested lemon to the yolks and sugar, and then pour gradually into the cooled rice, folding it in well as you go.
  5. Dollop a large spoonful of the stiffly whisked whites into the rice bowl and stir briskly to lighten the mixture, and then fold in a third of the remaining whites gently but thoroughly, then another third, and when that's incorporated, fold in the rest. Pour and scrape this mixture gently into the prepared tin.
  6. Grate nutmeg over generously and bake for 45 minutes; by then the top will have set, with no hint of wobble underneath.
  7. Sit on a wire rack for about 1 hour, until it's just slightly warm. To ease the unmoulding, slip a small spatula all around the edges, unclip the tin, and transfer the cake, still on its base (unless, like me, you don't mind risking damage trying to remove it), to a flat plate.
  8. Just before you are ready to serve the cake, gently heat the raspberry jam with the lemon juice in a small saucepan, giving it the occasional stir, during which time leave a suitable jug filled with hot water in the sink. When the sauce is hot, fill the warmed jug (obviously, emptied of its water!) with the garnet-glossy sauce.

Additional Information

STORE:
Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days. Must be refrigerated within 2 hours of baking. Eat cold.

STORE:
Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days. Must be refrigerated within 2 hours of baking. Eat cold.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • As someone who loves rice pudding (yet, unfathomably, never makes one) this appealed right away. And it delivered in every way: subtle yet sophisticated in flavour and texture; comforting yet aesthetically pleasing.

    I added candied peel - only because it was mentioned and sounded so good - to the cooked rice but also used nutmeg. (Why choose when you can have both?) A sour cherry compote provided a gloriously vivid and lipsmackingly tart contrast to the velvety cake. "Just wonderful" was the unanimous verdict.

    Posted by Philcape on 10th May 2022
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