A Cake is Born

If I ever said potatoes were boring I take it all back. Put one in a cake with vodka and Bitters and all sorts of mischief happens. The Amorosa potato variety in this week’s box is described by Duncan Jannaway, the organic Hampshire farmer who grew it, as ‘pink skinned with creamy firm flesh’. That makes it the ideal spud for this decadent cake with a reputation for being a bit of a lush.

This is a grown up sophisticated cake not too sweet with lots of mystery and a bit of spice. Delightfully light and bouncy with a fine texture not unlike a Victoria Sponge but without the immaculate reputation. Add a spoonful of raspberry jam, a drop of fresh cream, put out the best china and Voila! . . . an innocent cream tea for two and no one need know what’s going on with the cake.

Amorosa Cake is inspired by the combination of Harry Eastwood’s recipe for Miss Marple Seed Cake and the name of a luscious potato, see above. I had intended to make Ms Eastwood’s recipe but lacked caraway seeds and brandy, hence my improvised version. If you’ve invented a cake with vegetables, with or without a tipple, I’d love to hear about it.

Take: 240g raw potato peeled and grated, 100g rice flour, 50g ground almonds, 2 tbsp of vodka, 1/2 tsp Angostura Bitters, 2 tsp baking powder, 3 medium eggs, 160g caster sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg. 18cm cake tin (spring release best)

1 Preheat the oven 180C/gas mark 4. Prepare cake tin with baking parchment lining the base and butter the insides.

2 Whisk eggs, sugar and salt till pale and volume doubled.

3 Fold in grated potato, don’t let the colour of the grated potato put you off as it turns into grey matter after a minute or two. I’d probably grate it straight into the egg sugar mix next time. Fold in all the other ingredients in stages to get an even mix.

4 Pour mixture into the tin and position mid oven. Bake for about 40 minutes. Mine was done in about 35 minutes.

5 Remove cake from oven and leave on a cooling rack. Sprinkle top with caster sugar for serving and all’s set for a delightful afternoon tea.

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