Serves: 6
Active time: 1½ hours
Cooking time: 1 hour

If you are looking for a beautiful and delicious cake and don’t mind a little bit of a challenge – then we have a dessert for you


For the clarified butter

  • 1 stick plus 2 tbsp (5 oz./150 g) lightly salted butter

For the potatoes

  • 5 lb. (2.5 kg) waxy potatoes, such as Charlotte
  • 2 large orange sweet potatoes
  • 9 oz. (250 g) tomme or other semi-hard cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Special equipment

  • Skimmer
  • Mandoline
  • 2¾-in. (7-cm) plain round cookie cutter
  • 1¾-in. (4-cm) plain round cookie cutter
  • 2 × 6-in. (15-cm) charlotte molds (see Chefs’ Notes)


For the clarified butter

1In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter gently over low heat. Skim off the froth, then pour the clear yellow layer of clarified butter into a jug, leaving behind the milky residue.

For the potatoes

1Wash and peel the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Using the mandoline, cut both into ¼-in. (5-mm) thick slices.

2Using the 2¾-in (7-cm) cutter, cut out a disk of sweet potato for the top layer of the potato cake.

3Using the 1¾-in. (4-cm) cutter, cut the remaining slices of both types of potato into disks.

4Blanch the potato and sweet potato slices in separate saucepans of unsalted boiling water for 2–3 minutes, to release some of the starch and make assembling the layers easier. Drain without refreshing.

For assembling

1Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C/Gas mark 9) and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat. Brush one of the charlotte molds with clarified butter.

2Place the larger sweet potato disk on the bottom of the mold, in the center, then arrange a ring of overlapping sweet potato disks over the rest of the bottom.

3Grate some of the cheese into the center. Continue, adding alternate layers of potato and sweet potato disks, overlapping them in rings and changing the direction of the disks each time.

4Press down firmly on each layer with the base of the second charlotte mold before adding the next.

5Brush each layer with clarified butter, season generously, and grate more cheese into the center each time.

6Place the filled mold in the oven on the hot baking sheet, reduce the temperature to 450°F (230°C/Gas mark 8), and bake for 5 minutes.

7Reduce the temperature to 400°F (200°C/Gas mark 6) and bake for 20 minutes, until sufficiently colored on top.

8Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

9Let rest for a few minutes so the temperature is even throughout the layers, before carefully unmolding onto a serving dish.


  • One charlotte mold is needed to bake the cake; the other is used to press down on the slices as you build up the layers. If you do not have a second mold, a flat plate the same size as the diameter of the charlotte mold can be used instead.

Extracted from Vegetables: Flexitarian Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts (Flammarion, 2020)



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