It’s time for my first dessert – Bolognese Rice Cake. When reading through the desserts I would be cooking, this one intrigued me. Marcella says that in Bologna, this cake used to only be made at Easter. There was much discussion over who’s cake was the most authentic and the tasted the best. She says that this recipe was given to her by the Simili sisters, two well-known Bolognese bakers.
The recipe is quite different from any I have made. You cook milk, lemon peel, sugar and a small amount of Arborio rice in a saucepan for at least 2 1/2 hours. It becomes a dense, pale-brown mushy mixture. I must have had my simmer too low, because I cooked mine about 3 or 3 1/2 hours before it became this consistency. You then beat together eggs, and then fold in the mushy rice/milk mixture, chopped almonds, and candied citron. This is then poured into a cake pan and baked. When the cake is done, the top is poked with a fork and rum is poured over.
Marcella says to not eat it for at least 24 hours, and if it matures for 2 to 3 days it just gets better. I totally agree. I tasted mine before the 24 hour time frame, and it was just okay. The rum was too strong and the flavors didn’t really blend together. By the 3rd day, the citron had softened, and the flavors melded together. I’m not sure what to compare this cake to-a rice pudding or a flan? Sort of, but not really. It’s an interesting cake. I don’t know if I would make it again, but I enjoyed it very much.