I absolutely love using citrus family in recipes. When I baked this cake the other day, my apartment smelled crazy with lemon and orange. It was the freshest moment of the week, to be honest.
This is a recipe that I adapted from Food Tube, a recipe by Gennaro Contaldo, or more specifically, by his mother, as he explains so lovingly. I absolutely love Gennaro Contaldo, his passion for food, for every single ingredient, for life, gives me a big of joy of life (which is a big thing, considering I don’t generally feel joy for living..).
The original recipe by Gennaro is slightly different than mine. In his recipe, he uses raisins. I am not a big fan of raisins and I wanted a combination of sweet and sour in my cake. So I used cranberries and lingonberries instead. Besides, lingonberry is so Nordic for me, that’s why I wanted to add that little touch.
Another change I made is putting slightly less amount of Cointreau – orange liqueur. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I just didn’t want the cake to taste too liqueur-like.
With this cake, do not expect a very sweet taste, even if you use raisins. If you are rather on the sweet tooth side, you can add some syrup in the cake batter after rice is cooked. Rice itself is cooked with sugar but it doesn’t really sweeten the cake much. Since there is not much beating while making the rest of the batter, I think that using honey or maple syrup would be better than granulated or other sugar in that phase to sweeten the cake more.
In any case, after the cake is baked and cools down a bit, you will put some powdered sugar on its slightly crusty top and for me that finalised the sweetness good enough. You can decorate the cake with some fruits too, apart from extra orange zest. Enjoy your new recipe!
Difficulty: ★★☆ (Medium)
(makes 1 cake in a springform pan which is 24cm in diameter)
1.5 lt. milk
1 vanilla pod, scraped inside, but keep the pod too
200 gr. granulated white sugar
300 gr. risotto rice
lemon peel, 3 pieces
5 egg yolks
2 tbsp Cointreau
5 egg whites
30 gr. dried cranberries
30 gr. dried lingonberries
zest of 1 orange
powdered sugar to spread on top
fresh mint leaves and/or fruits of your choice
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare a 24cm springform pan with some butter and baking paper inside.
2. Put milk in a medium pan, on medium high heat.
3. When it starts to bubble a little, add vanilla, together with the pod.
4. Add sugar and stir.
5. Add rice and lemon peel and stir. When it starts to boil away too much, turn the heat down to low. After that, cook the rice for about 30 minutes by frequently stirring, do not let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan.
6. When rice is cooked, strain and transfer to another bowl to cool down. Take away lemon peels and vanilla pod.
7. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks slightly. Add cointreau and beat a little more. Put aside.
8. In a mixing bowl, put egg whites and beat them until you get stiff peaks. It should take about 5 minutes on medium to high speed. Make sure that your mixing bowl and all other mixer tools are perfectly clean with no grease, before you put the egg whites.
9. When rice cools down, add cranberries and lingonberries (or raisins, if you want to stick to original recipe), orange zest and egg yolk mixture and mix them well.
10. Add beaten egg whites and fold gently.
11. Transfer the mixture to baking pan and bake for 60 minutes.
12. When the cake is baked, take out of the oven and cool down for about 10-15 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Decorate with powdered sugar, more orange zest and fresh mint leaves or fruits you like. Enjoy with tea / coffee and with your loved ones!