Thursday 12 January 2012

Sweet Rice & Pineapple Bake

I made this dessert for the dinner party that I went to for New Year's Eve. Marco and I were invited to my friend Abi's house and the party had been loosely themed by her. Mexico was the word. Abi asked me if I could bring a sweet. Churros and chocolate would have been lovely and quintessentially Mexican, but I would have had to fry them at the dinner, which I was not really too keen on. I wanted something that I could completely prepare in my kitchen and that could be served without any hassle. I bought two Mexican cookbooks right after Marco and I returned from our vacation there two years ago, and I found a suitable dessert in on of them. 

I decided to make Torta De PiƱa De Los Virreyes (Pineapple Cake Of The Viceroys???) from Diana Kennedy's The Art Of Mexican Cooking. Diana Kennedy is for Mexican food what Julia Childs was for French cuisine, so I trusted her taste when I read that she absolutely "fell for this one." She also writes that the dish will taste even better if made the day before, so that's what I did.

The dish had a texture similar to baked rice pudding, just a lot more fluffy from the egg whites, and a lot more moist from the fresh pineapple chunks. Raisins and nuts gave it a nice bite. It required to be doused in a sweet lime and cinnamon syrup before eating. To make this, the original recipe asks for piloncillo, which is raw cane sugar. I used the Indian equivalent, which is called jaggery and can be found in Indian grocery stores or a good supermarket. Don't be alarmed when you try this sauce on its own, it is strong! But it will flavour the rice beautifully and taste just perfect once you eat it all together. For the true spirit of Mexico, stick some flowers on your head, wear some dangly earrings and pretend to be Frida Kahlo, like I did... 

Sweet Rice & Pineapple Bake
(adapted from Diana Kennedy - The Art Of Mexican Cooking) (Serves 8)


For the Syrup:

500ml water
300g raw cane sugar, broken up
1 cinnamon stick
1 lime, juice and grated zest
1 small pineapple, cut into very small chunks

For the rice mixture:

140g pudding rice
280ml water
unsalted butter to grease the baking dish
30g blanched almonds, cut into slivers
60g raisins
5 eggs, separated
30g pine nuts

1 tbsp icing sugar to dust


First, put rice and 280ml of water in a small pot, cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and little craters start appearing in the surface of the rice. Stay near the pot to make sure it does not boil dry. Test rice is done, remove from heat, fluff up and set aside to cool.

To make the syrup, put the water, sugar and cinnamon stick into a saucepan and heat over medium while stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add lime zest, turn up heat and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Turn heat back to medium, add the pineapple and cook until the pineapple begins to soften, about another 10 minutes.

Drain the pineapple, retaining the sugar mix. Discard the cinnamon stick and set pineapple aside in a big bowl to cool. Return the sugar mixture back to a high heat, add the lime juice and boil uncovered for about 15 minutes, until slightly reduced and syrupy. Set aside to cool until ready to serve.

Turn your oven up to 190°C. Grease a deep, medium-sized baking dish (approximately 25cm x 10cm x 5cm) Add the cooled rice, the almond slivers and the raisins to the pineapple in the big bowl and mix well.

Slightly beat the egg yolks. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they begin to stiffen and form very soft peaks. Fold in the egg yolks. Empty the egg mixture into the big bowl with the rest of the ingredients and gently fold under. The eggs will collapse a little bit, that is okay.

Carefully transfer the mixture into your prepared dish, sprinkle with the pine nuts and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until puffed up and golden. To check if the dessert is ready, slightly shake it, the egg mixture should no longer be wobbly. Set aside to cool. 

Leave in fridge over night if serving the following day, but bring back up to room temperature before portioning out.

Before serving, dust with the icing sugar. Pour a good amount of the syrup over each portion before eating.


© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).


  1. Wow that dessert looks delicious! It is at times like these I wish scratch and sniff computer monitors had been invented...

  2. Sounds AWESOME! That book sounds really good... you might have inspired me to add it to our collection once we get to Oz...

  3. looks so good! Your picture of it is super cute


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