• Bruni

Migliaccio



Migliaccio time! Sunny, vibrant, light dessert with beautiful texture.

This classic Italian dessert has its origins in Napoli region. Traditionally it’s been served during carnival festivities. There are only few simple ingredients: eggs, ricotta, milk or cream, sugar and semolina or millet. It’s quick to prepare, rustic and most important - absolutely delicious! In a good migliaccio the texture is everything - it’s light, jiggly, airy, super soft, with consistency of light cheesecake/pudding/very light cake.

Most of the recipes rely on cooked semolina which gives smooth texture to this dessert. However, originally, this dessert has been baked on millet. In Italian, millet translates to miglio, hence the dessert’s name - migliaccio. The grain you choose to bake this dessert with can spark one of those vivid debates with Italian bakers. We love both versions and will let you choose your favourite way to prepare migliaccio. Baking with millet will give you naturally gluten free dessert. In few points below we will explain what’s the difference between baking with millet and semolina. There are two migliaccio recipes in this post, as baking with millet is not as easy as simply replacing the quantities.



For a good bake:


  • Use all ingredients at room temperature - allow ricotta to come to room temperature, make sure cooked grains cool down to room temperature before mixing with the rest of ingredients.

  • Grains - whatever grain you will choose for this dessert, remember to cook semolina/millet until thick consistency (both recipes will give you a guide in terms of timing). When cooked, semolina and millet will need to rest, covered. In that time the grains will bulge, giving you thick and soft mixture.

  • Semolina - easy to cook, 6-8 minutes will give you the desired, thick texture. At the end of cooking you will add lemon and orange juice and cook for 1 minute longer to reduce the mixture.

  • Millet - our favourite breakfast grain! One simple trick will set you for a good bake here. Millet can be bitter when cooked incorrectly. To avoid this - pour about 1 litre of boiling hot water over uncooked millet grains placed in colander. This will wash and prepare the grains before cooking, removing any bitterness. For this dessert, millet needs to be cooked for about 20 minutes and then bulge for about 30 minutes until all liquid is absorbed by grains. The mixture will be very thick. When you are choosing the recipe - it may be misleading to think that millet will give you more grainy, stodgy filling. It’s quite the opposite - in this recipe, it bakes into wonderfully light pudding/cake with airy texture.




  • Texture - to achieve smoother texture we are mixing cooked grains for a short while. You may opt to use handheld mixer. Millet-based dessert will have thick ricotta/millet mixture - grains are mixed for 1-2 minutes. You don’t need to mix until grains dissolve fully - it will be still grainy and that’s OK. Semolina will be smooth after 15 seconds of mixing. If you are using food processor or blender - few pulses is all that is needed here.

  • Flavour - to infuse more flavour into this bake we are creaming butter with sugar, cardamom, pinch of nutmeg and zests. Don’t skip that step as it will give you beautiful zesty flavour. You don’t need to cream the butter fully until smooth - 1-2 minutes is all that is needed. In millet-based dessert, creamed butter will be fairly thick - and that’s ok. It will loosen up after the addition of egg yolks. You may opt to replace lemon juice with Limoncello in both recipes.

  • Ricotta - we love this dessert as it gives you a lot of freedom to play around with flavour and texture. One of the main factors is the quantity of Ricotta - add anything from 250-750g. Higher ricotta content will make this dessert light and more cheesecake-y.

  • Baking time - make sure not to leave this dessert in the oven after baking is completed (like you would do with cheesecakes). After baking is completed, remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving, to allow the texture to set.

  • Rustic - this dessert may crack in few places - if it does - it will crack around the rim of the tin. The middle should be jiggly when baked.

  • Storage - enjoy warm or cooled. Store refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.

  • Serving - serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and seasonal fruit.


Migliaccio - gluten free, millet-based recipe


Yield: 12 servings

Time: 1hr prep + 50-55 min baking

Tin: 21 or 23 cm round tin with removable base

Ingredients:


  • 175g millet

  • 500g full-fat milk

  • 40g lemon juice + 40g full-fat milk

  • 500g Ricotta cheese

  • 150g sugar

  • zest from 2 lemons

  • zest from 1/3 orange

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 80g unsalted butter, soft but not oily

  • 6 large eggs, separated

  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

+ confectioners’ sugar and seasonal fruit to decorate

Method:


  1. Cook millet: Place millet in colander. Pour 1 litre of boiling water on top to wash out any bitterness. Place washed millet and milk in a pot with heavy bottom. Cook on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes until soft and fairly thick. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. When cooked, take off the heat, cover with the lid and let bulge for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and cool to room temperature before proceeding.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Line bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper and brush sides of the tin with butter.

  3. Prepare millet/ricotta mixture: Transfer cooked millet into a bowl, add lemon juice, milk, ricotta cheese and using handheld mixer mix for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be still somehow grainy and that’s ok.

  4. Prepare zesty sugar: Mix sugar with lemon zest, orange zest, cardamom and nutmeg. Using finger tips and palms of your hands rub zests/spices into sugar to release flavour.

  5. Combine: In your main mixing bowl beat butter for 1 minute, then add zesty sugar and beat for 2 minutes. The mixture will be sugary (you don’t need to cream fully). Start adding egg yolks - one at a time. When all egg yolks are incorporated, add millet/ricotta mixture in 2-3 turns, mixing until combined. In a separate bowl beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm. Fold in egg whites into ricotta/millet mixture until combined. Try to keep as much volume as possible. Transfer to the baking tin.

  6. Bake: Place the tin in the oven and reduce the temperature to 150C (130C fan forced). Bake for 55 minutes. The middle should be still jiggly when baked. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour before serving (for texture to set). Serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and seasonal fruit. Store refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.


Migliaccio - semolina-based recipe


Yield: 12 servings

Time: 45min prep + 50-55 min baking

Tin: 21 or 23 cm round tin with removable base

Ingredients:


  • 150g semolina

  • 500g full-fat milk

  • 20g lemon juice

  • 30g orange juice

  • 250g Ricotta cheese

  • 120g sugar

  • zest from 2 lemons

  • zest from 1/3 orange

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 60g unsalted butter, soft but not oily

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

+ confectioners’ sugar and seasonal fruit to decorate

Method:


  1. Cook semolina: Mix semolina with milk and cook over medium heat until thick mixture forms - about 8-10 minutes. Use pot with heavy bottom and whisk to avoid clusters. If these form - use handheld mixer and mix briefly. At the end, add orange and lemon juice, cook briefly, take off the heat and cover with a lid. Set aside to bulge for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature before adding to the rest of ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 175C (155C fan forced). Line bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper and brush sides of the tin with butter.

  3. Prepare semolina/ricotta mixture: Transfer cooked semolina to a bowl, add ricotta cheese and using handheld mixer mix for few seconds until combined. The mixture will be fairly smooth.

  4. Prepare zesty sugar: Mix sugar with lemon zest, orange zest, cardamom and nutmeg. Using finger tips and palms of your hands rub zests/spices into sugar to release flavour.

  5. Combine: In your main mixing bowl beat butter for 1 minute, then add zesty sugar and beat for 2 minutes. The mixture will be sugary (you don’t need to cream fully). Start adding egg yolks - one at a time. When all egg yolks are incorporated, add semolina/ricotta mixture in 2-3 turns, mixing until combined. In a separate bowl beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm. Fold in egg whites into semolina/ricotta mixture until combined. Try to keep as much volume as possible. Transfer to the baking tin.

  6. Bake at 175C (155C fan forced) for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160C (140C fan forced) and bake for another 20-25 minutes. This pudding/cake will deflate some 2cm when cooling. The middle should be still jiggly when baked. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour before serving (for texture to set). Serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and seasonal fruit. Store refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.

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