When I came across this recipe from Western Sicily, I was intrigued to find so many apparent similarities with one of my favorite traditional Italian desserts, the Easter cake from Bologna (see The Classic Italian Cook Book, page 428). Both have rice boiled in milk, both have almonds and chopped citron. That, however, is where the similarity ends. In the Sicilian cake the flavor of dark espresso, both the grounds and the brew, and of chocolate takes over. It is these two ingredients that are responsible for riso nero’s striking, almost inky black appearance. The rice becomes so closely bound to the almonds that some of my friends, upon trying it for the first time, were startled to be informed that it was a rice and not an almond cake. Moreover, riso new, unlike the Bolognese cake, is not baked.