Dolci & Desserts Italian Regional Recipes

Sweet White Potato and Almond Cake Grappa-Flavoured

A rustic yet moist fragrant cake prepared by using sweet white potatoes whose flavour is very reminiscent of chestnuts. We added Grappa, an Italian distilled grape-based spirit obtained exclusively from the distillation of grape pomace, namely the solid part, the skins and seeds left after the pressing of grapes destined for wine production.

In Italy, white sweet potatoes are grown in Lazio, Apulia, Sicily and Veneto.


Serves 6, Preparation 30 mins, Cooking approx. 2 hrs (incl. potato cooking)

  • 500 g of sweet white potatoes or yams
  • 80 g raisins/sultanas
  • 70 g caster or brown sugar
  • 50 g softened unsalted butter
  • 50 g peeled almonds for grinding
  • a small glass of dry white Grappa, Italian grape-based spirit
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons flour 00 or all purpose flour or plain flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Icing sugar for decoration

Method

Chop up the almonds and set aside a few whole ones.

Rinse the raisins under running water, soak them in a small bowl with lukewarm water 15 mins.

Drain and soak them again in Grappa for 20 mins. then squeeze and pat dry them.

Tip: do not throw away the Grappa liquor in which they have macerated. It will be added to the ingredients.

Wash the potatoes under running water, cut them into large pieces. Cook them in a static oven to 180° C/Gas 4/F 350 for about 45 to 60 minutes – time depends on their size. Check the cooking by inserting a toothpick, peel and discard their skin, mash their softened flesh with a fork or potato masher. Do not turn off the oven.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl together with mashed potatoes and stir, then add the softened butter cut into pieces, the sultanas previously soaked in Grappa, a pinch of salt, chopped almonds, sugar, beaten eggs and the small galss of Grappa liqueur in which the sultanas have soaked and stir well.

Butter a 23 cm springform cake tin and flour it lightly or simply lined with baking paper. Pour in the mixture, level it out, add a few whole almonds and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 mins or until golden brown on the surface.

Allow to cool at room temperature, dust with icing sugar and serve.

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