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Celebration Cake

A mouth-watering gateau made from fragrant Thai rice covered with a tangy cream icing. Top with fresh berry fruits or pipe on a greeting in melted chocolate.

ingredients

serves 8 - 10
225 g (8 oz) generous 1 cup Thai fragrant or Jasmine rice
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) 4 cups milk
115 g (4 oz) 3/4 cup caster sugar
6 cardamom pods, crushed open
2 bay leaves
300 ml (1/2 pint) 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
6 eggs, separated

for the topping

300 ml (1/2 pint) 1 1/4 cups double cream
200 g (7 oz) scant 1 cup quark
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
grated rind of 1 lemon
30 g (1 1/2 oz) 3 tbsp caster sugar
soft berry fruits and sliced star or kiwi fruits, to decorate

method

1. Grease and line a deep 25 cm (l0 in) round cake tin.

2. Boil the rice in unsalted water for 3 minutes, then drain well.

3. Return the rice to the pan -with the milk, 115 g (4 oz) generous 1/2 cup of the sugar, the cardamom and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Allow the mixture to cool, then remove the bay leaves and any cardamom husks.Turn into a large bowl. Beat in the whipping cream and then the egg yolks.

5. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and fold into the rice mixture. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 for 45-50 minutes, until risen and golden brown. The centre should be slightly wobbly -it will firm up as it cools.

6. Chill overnight in the tin. Turn out on to a large serving plate. For the topping, whip the double cream until stiff, then mix in the quark, vanilla essence, lemon rind and sugar.

7. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the cream, swirling it attractively. Decorate with soft berry fruits and sliced star or kiwi fruits.

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