Take some time for you and for this little piece of cake heaven. Invented by Italian priests, this dessert really is a slice of paradise.
Of Lombard origin, the legend says that “Paradiso” (Paradise) cake was invented by a priest of the Certosa of Pavia, North of Italy. The cake was so good that, once tasted by the other priests, they gave it the name of “Paradise”. In 1878, the pastry chef Enrico Vigoni, owner of a bakery that still exists in Pavia, a town near Milan, picked up the recipe and made it famous throughout Italy.
My gluten-free version, made with rice flour and corn starch (corn meal-corn flour), is a softness to be enjoyed at any time of the day but quietly, very quietly. Take some time for you and for this little piece of heaven.
- 80 ml (2½ fl oz) mild extra-virgin olive oil (or 100 ml/3½ organic cold-pressed sunflower oil)
- 150 g (5 ½ oz) light brown sugar
- 4 organic eggs
- 3 tablespoons fresh cream
- 250 g (9 oz) rice flour
- 50 g (1¾ oz) corn-meal-cornflour
- 2 teaspoons organic baking powder
- zest of 1 organic lemon
- icing sugar to taste
- Knead the oil with sugar. Add the egg yolks, stirring constantly and the fresh cream.
- Add the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, mixing thoroughly.
- Whip the eggs whites until stiff and add them to the mixture from the bottom upwards.
- Pour the mixture into small molds, greased and floured.
- Bake, in preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F/gas 4), for 30 minutes.
- Decorate with icing sugar.