Northern Italy's Sandy Cake Uses Potato Flakes For Its Iconic Texture

Torta sabbiosa sandy cake on plate
Torta sabbiosa sandy cake on plate - Instagram

The northern Italian region of Veneto, most famously home to Venice, is culinarily known for bringing the world Prosecco, asiago cheese, and white asparagus. However, where the sweet-toothed among us are concerned, the region is most loved for a traditional cake called torta sabbiosa, or sandy cake. The name is actually, ironically, a bit of a misnomer, because the cake's iconic texture is far from grainy or sandy. It is soft, light, and pillowy all thanks to one seemingly unusual ingredient for a cake: potato flakes.

Also known as instant mashed potatoes, good-quality potato flakes consist of nothing more than dehydrated potatoes that have previously been cooked and mashed. When you add them to boiling water, they reform into a yielding, cloud-like bed of mashed potatoes. This is what gives the torta sabbiosa its distinctive fluffy interior. As the cake bakes in the oven, the moisture from the other ingredients helps to fully rehydrate the potatoes enough to make the cake super soft and delicate.

Despite its northern origins, torta sabbiosa has become a favorite treat up and down the length of Italy. And don't think for a second that the Italians just eat this cake for dessert. Torta sabbiosa can be eaten as a sweet midday snack, or even as an accompaniment to coffee during breakfast. With that motivation in mind, shall we learn how to make one?

Read more: 20 Mistakes Everyone Makes With Cake

How To Make Torta Sabbiosa

torta sabbiosa slice with raspberries
torta sabbiosa slice with raspberries - Instagram

Torta sabbiosa doesn't take too long to make, and the ingredients can be found in the average grocery store. To make it, you will need about 8 oz of potato flakes (the best quality you can find), 4 eggs, 1 ¼ cups of almond flour, 1 ½ sticks of butter, 1 cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt. You could also grab an orange and add its zest to the batter for a citrus zing. This is optional, however. The straightforward cake is more than enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Whisk together the eggs, salt, and sugar together until they become foamy. In a separate bowl, cream together the softened butter and the potato flakes. The moisture from the butter should rehydrate the potato flakes, giving you a nice creamy consistency. Fold this into the eggs, then add the flour to form a batter. Bake in a 9-inch springform pan for about 45 minutes in a 350-degrees Fahrenheit oven until golden and firm.

Now, this cake is sweet enough that just a little garnish of powdered sugar will more than suffice for a topping. However, because of its relatively neutral flavor, torta sabbiosa can be paired with virtually any kind of accompaniment, from berries, fruit syrups, and preserves, to sweetened whipped cream, vanilla custard, or dollops of thick mascarpone. Whatever you choose to do, you will enjoy this light, sweet, smooth cake so much that you'll definitely be making it over and over again.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.