Where should I start? At the beginning… I read about a recipe competition a couple of weeks ago. The theme was so inspiring that even if I’m really busy to work for a new, lovely client on a huge project quite recently I couldn’t resist that. The organizers look for Tuscany inspired recipes! I love Tuscany and I’m definitely in love with Italian food. Only two weeks and we’ll be there again as every year. If I close my eyes I can see myself getting up early and drive for the local market to look for the best Italian burrata, mussels, juicy fresh fruits and bread. What kind of other adventure could be more fantastic than hunting through an Italian market? To me nothing.
I’ve made some search over the web and found out some really nice tuscan ingredients. And then I asked my friend Gabah who is a master in fish and seafood dishes and happens to live in Italy if my idea fits with the criteria. She made some great suggestion and I couldn’t wait to take my apron and got bake! It was a lovely choice, even if not ready under 20 minutes it’s worth to make.
Ingredients for a 18 cm diameter cake tin:
for the cake:
700 gr starchy potato
100-150 gr sugar
70 gr finely grated almond
1 lemon zest and juice (unwaxed)
30 gr melted butter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 cardamom pods
for the ice cream:
100 gr roughly chopped pine nuts
300 ml double cream
100 ml whole milk
1 lemon zest (unwaxed)
1 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
for the cherry sauce:
250 gr king cherries
1 tbsp sugar (or if the cherry too sweet it’s not necessary)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 star anise
150 ml Vino Santo
- First of all make the ice cream: put the egg yolks, sugar, cream and milk into a metallic bowl that fits with a pan. Pour some water into the pan and place the bowl over the pan. Mind the bottom of the bowl doesn’t reach the water surface. Heat on low, simmer gently and keep stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until the mixture gets thick and cover the back of wooden spoon.
- When thick enough remove from the pan and set aside. Add lemon zest and scrape vanilla seeds stir well, then leave to cool completely. Pour into a plastic bowl cover with a lid and chill ate least for night.
- Next day pour the mixture into ice cream maker and according to the instructions make the ice cream. Keep in the freezer until served.
- For the cake: peel and dice potatoes. Put them into a pan and add cold water. Salt lightly, cover with a lid and bring to boil. When potato is tender remove from the hob, pour over a sieve and set aside. Mash with a masher and leave to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease the cake tin with some butter and dust with breadcrumbs. set aside.
- Spoon the mashed potato into a bowl. Add sugar, eggs, almond, lemon zest and juice, butter, vanilla. Mash cardamom pods in a mortar then add to the mixture. Stir with a wire whisk until smooth and silky.
- Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until gets golden. If meanwhile the top starts getting too dark cover with a piece of greaseproof paper.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
- For the cherry sauce: Preheat oven to 170 C. Wash and remove stems. Pit them and put into an ovenproof dish. Add wine, sugar, cinnamon and star anise. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until tender and juicy. Keep warm until served.
- Before serving dust the cake with icing sugar, add a scoop of ice cream and a spoon of roasted cherry.