Sweet potato cake, roasted duck breast


Sweet potato cake, roasted duck breast with Winter Pimms sauce

For the duck and sweet potato cake

  1. Brush the duck with marinade and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, butter, ½ the chopped garlic, nutmeg and some salt and pepper, mix well making sure that all the potato slices are coated in butter.
  3. Press the potato into 4 moulds and cook in a medium oven until a knife pressed on top of the cake slides in with minimum resistance.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and top each cake with the damsons, sprinkle a little Demerara sugar over the damsons and return to a hot oven to caramelize.
  5. Meanwhile sprinkle some salt over the courgettes and aubergines, place in a colander and leave for at least one hour.
  6. In a large bowl, mix together some olive oil and the rest of the chopped garlic, place the aubergines, courgettes, tomato and radicchio and mix to coat each vegetable.
  7. In a griddle pan, char-grill the vegetables making sure that you have a nice crossed pattern on each piece. Cook the radicchio last.
  8. Assemble the tian starting with the aubergine, tomato, courgette and finally radicchio.
  9. Season and cook the duck in a hot pan on the hob, skin-side down, for a couple of minutes, turn and cook for 30 seconds, turn again.  Then skin side down place in a hot oven for 20 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  10. When cooked remove from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

For the sauce

  1. Drain all the excess fat from the pan, return to the hob, add the Winter Pimms (be careful as it might well set on fire) and reduce by half.
  2. Add the stock and diced apples and reduce until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Slice the duck breast and serve with a potato cake, a tian and sauce.


  • Use the sweet potato cake as an accompaniment for other dishes.

© Felice Tocchini 2011

Food photography by Alex Miller.



Ingredients for the duck and sauce

4 duck breast with skin 'slashed' with a sharp knife in a diamond design and marinated in 1 tbsp brandy, 1 orange zest grated, ½ tsp garlic finely chopped, 1 tsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil, sprig of thyme.

Duck or meat stock

100ml Winter Pimms

Salt and pepper

½ apple, finely diced


Ingredients for the sweet potato cake

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

125g melted butter

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

10-14 damsons cut in half with the stones removed

1 tbsp Demerara sugar


Ingredients for the vegetable tian

1 thin long aubergine cut into four pieces 5cm tall, scoured on one side

2 courgettes decorated with stripes length-wise and cut into slanted slices

1 large tomato cut into four slices

1 radicchio rosso lettuce washed and cut into 4 quarters

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