Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Basmati and butternut squash layer cake (recipe for Tilda Mums Helping Mums campaign)

If you read my blog regularly, you know how often I mention Tilda rice. Tilda basmati is one of my kitchen staples, and I use it very often in numerous dishes, from soups to salads, from fish pies to jambalaya.

"Tilda rice is supporting the World Food Programme for the third year, with its Mums Helping Mums initiative. As you know, Tilda Mums Helping Mums campaign donates meals to mothers in Bangladesh, helping them give their unborn children the best start in life. Low birth weight can seriously affect babies’ physical and cognitive development, so vital nutrition is essential from the start.  So far, Tilda has donated over one million meals and with your help would like to continue to grow this number.
Following the success of Tilda's Mums Helping Mums Cookbook app last year, Tilda is updating it with even more exciting recipes from our favourite celebrities and mummy bloggers to help launch this year's campaign."

The recipe for Basmati and butternut squash layer cake I am sharing with you today is my submission for the cookbook app (ever so hopeful, me).

I have been inspired by the risotto layer cake I tried years ago in Italy. It definitely used the risotto rice, and I believe mascarpone cheese (I think it was mascarpone but it might have been ricotta) among many other ingredients. 

Basmati and butternut squash layer cake
600g cooked Tilda basmati rice
1 big leek
2  cloves of garlic
3tbsp olive oil+
80ml white wine
1tsp wild rose el hanout spice mix
350g butternut squash, ready peeled and sliced
200g chestnuts, peeled (Merchant Gourmet, for example)
30g raisins
about 12 leaves of cabbage (big size)
200g lighter soft cheese
100g Cornish yarg
50g Stilton

Slice the leek finely and fry with 2tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped gralic and finely chopped chestnuts, spices and cubed butternut squash, raisins and wine. Cover with the lid and cook for 20 minutes until the squash is cooked. You might want to add a bit of water as well.
Set aside to cool a bit.
In the meantime cook the basmati rice, and again set aside, once done.
In a big pan of boiling salted water cook the cabbage leaves two at a time, remove them after 3 minutes carefully from the pan, and let them drain. You will need about 12 biggish cabbage leaves. I used the pointed variety, and actually bought two cabbages so that I had the leaves of about the same size.
Take a deep Pyrex dish or pie dish, oil it a bit, and line the cabbage leaves, overlapping, so that the whole dish is covered and the tips of leaves are over the edge.
Grate the Yarg cheese and crumble Stilton (you can use any other cheese, this is what I had in the fridge as leftovers which I wanted to use).
Add the soft cheese to the chestnut/squash mixture. Mix well. 
Put half of the cooked rice in the dish with cabbage leaves. Crumble the Stilton. Add half of grated Yarg. Spoon the chestnuts/squash/soft cheese over the rice. That's the second layer. Third layer - rice again topped with the remaining grated Yarg. Place a couple of cabbage leaves over the top and then fold over the cabbage leaves that were hanging over the dish (see the image above).
Cover the dish with the foil or lid (if you have one, mine has gone awol). Place the oven in the oven preheated to 180C and cook for half an hour.
Place a plate over the top and carefully turn the dish, so that the cabbage covered rice cake stays on the plate.

 Slice and serve hot.


  1. That looks lovely Galina - so many delicious ingredients and well, with Cornish Yarg, you can't go wrong ;-)

    1. One of my top three favourite British cheeses, Cornish Yarg, both wrapped in nettle and in wild garlic.