In my very humble opinion, these were scrumptious. I recently made 140 of them for a party. While it did take a while to make so many, it was well worth it as they turned out beautifully. It helped that I discovered a trick about half way through which I shall share. It saves time and washing up and lucky you – you didn’t have to learn it the hard way!
I needed these for a party on a Saturday. The recipe says that they are best made a day before so I did part one on Thursday, assembled them on Friday and ate on Saturday. You could do it all the day before if you made the risotto in the morning and cooked the cakes in the afternoon/evening.
The first step is to sautee the onion for 15 mins (I just saw it says in the recipe ‘covered’ – I didn’t do that) or until very soft.
Add the sugar and vinegar to the onions and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is caramelised. Mine took a lot longer than the times in the recipes but I was making 5 times the recipe. I generally find timings in recipes a bit off. It nearly always takes me much longer than it says.
I actually had two big pots going at once. I started the one on the right a little later. Actually it was just after I realised the timings weren’t quite right for my extra large quantities and if I wanted to get any sleep I would have to multi-task. It did provide for a nice photo example of how to see when they onions are caramelised. Left – caramelised, right – not done yet. When your onion is ready, remove to a bowl.
Now it’s time to make the risotto. I had my two pots going again. The next day I felt like I’d been doing weights. It aint easy making two pots of triple risotto at once! I made 6 times the risotto. The recipe said that it made 24 cakes and I needed 125. I was not keen on running out of mixture so thought it was better to be safe than sorry and make another. It also made it easier on my brain to work out the quantities and chicken stock ratio!
I think this is the first time I’ve ever had all four burners going at once. It was mighty hot in there. You could prepare your stock in a heat-proof jug. I didn’t have one that held 15 cups so I had to use saucepans. In the risotto pots, heat the remaining oil.
Add the rice to the pans and stir until glistening with oil.
Add all but 1/4 cup of the stock to each pot. Stir and simmer on low, covered for 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender.
When the rice is tender, remove from the heat.
Add the caramelised onion, remaining stock, butter and 3/4 cup of parmesan (or 2 1/4 cups if you’re tripling it).
Transfer the risotto mix to a container, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Now it’s time to make the cakes. The recipe says to use mini muffin tins to make the cakes.
I’m not quite sure why I own so many mini muffin tins but I definitely needed them for this. Until I discovered a new trick. You can use the tins like the recipe said but mine stuck to the bottom, were a bit annoying to do and I’m not a fan of cleaning these tins! I shall share my creation further on.
To make the cakes, take about 1 tablespoon of risotto mix, poke a hole in it with a knuckle of your finger (I didn’t like using my fingertip – it got under my nails and was rather gross!) stuff in a mozzarella cube and cover it up.
If you’re using the tins (I did one whole lot before I discovered my trick) place each ball in the tin.
Sprinkle each ball with parmesan.
Bake in the oven until golden. Watch what you’re doing when you put them in so you don’t end up with a nice cheesy tray bottom like I did. Whoops!
Now for my invention that made it soooo much easier and so much less work at the end… put the balls on oven trays. It was one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that before?!’ moments. I tried one lonely little ball to make sure they would survive. It turned out perfectly. A little bit flat but they still looked delicious. Out of about 70 that I did this way there were only 2 or 3 who split their sides and their mozzarella escaped.
Here’s the finished result. Yum!
I refrigerated mine overnight and served them cool/at room temperature. They were well received.
Mozzarella and caramelised onion risotto cakes (from Coles magazine)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, halved, sliced
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, boiling
- 25g butter
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 100g mozzarella, cut into small cubes
Heat half the oil in a medium frying pan on low. Cook onion for 15 minutes, covered or until very soft. Add sugar and vinegar and stir until combined. Cook for 5 minutes until onion is caramelised
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large saucepan on high. Add rice and cook for 1 minute, or until rice is coated. Add all but 1/4 cup of hot stock. Stir and simmer on low, covered for 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, add remaining stock (I left this out of mine as I thought that would be too much liquid) with butter, 3/4 cup of parmesan and caramelised onion and stir to combine. Transfer to a container and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan-forced. Grease a 24-hole mini muffin tin (or use a baking paper lined tray). Roll 1 tablespoon of risotto into a ball. Press a hole in the centre of the ball, fill with a piece of mozzarella and carefully roll ball to enclose. Press into prepared muffin tin (or place on tray). Repeat. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over risotto balls.
Bake for 20 minutes or until firm and golden. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of cakes to loosen before removing from the pan.
Serve at room temperature or cold.