Sand Cake, No Grit

I was with friends last night for an Italiam-themed potluck meal. My firend, Bobbie, brought a dessert she found in one of Michael Chiarello’s cookbooks. Rosemary Sand Cake with Summer Berries is a light, lemony cake flecked with bits of fresh rosemary.

I used to watch Chiarello’s Food Network show every Saturday. I love his casual style and his down-to-earth approach to food preparation and entertaining. And he just seems like such a nice guy.

He often made use of fresh herbs in the dishes he prepared on his show. For this cake, he chose rosemary.

The recipe calls for potato starch. It has a silky texture, similar to cornstarch and gives the cake a fine delicate texture. Bobbie found potato starch at our local natural food co-op, but I think many grocery stores carry it. It’s probably on the shelf with other baking ingredients.

We could barely detect even a hint of rosemary as we ate the cake. Bobbie had just baked it in the afternoon. We think that after the cake had been stored overnight, the flavor of the fresh herb may be more pronounced. My group of food-loving friends talked about trying other herbs in the cake. Lemon thyme would be good.

Tender, grainy, delicate (no grit) — a sand cake that makes a perfect base for fresh, summer berries. We all loved it. I think you will, too.

I wish I had a slice to eat for breakfast this morning. With a cup of rich, dark coffee. And Michael Chiarello sitting with me.

You can go right to Michael’s recipe by clicking here.

If you’re a fan of Michael Chiarello, you can keep up with him at his blog: ChiarelloBlog.

I miss him on the Food Network, but right now he is a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef.

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