Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in Houston, Texas in 1986. The restaurant features hand-prepared family recipes made from the finest ingredients and prepared to order in an exhibition kitchen. The success of Carrabba's led to the popular PBS cooking show Cucina!, starring Carrabba and Mandola, as well as a series of companion cookbooks. There are currently 240 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.

Offering Italian-inspired cuisine passed down from our founders’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses only the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, customers can enjoy signature dishes, including Chicken Bryan, Spiedino di Mare and a fresh twist on an Italian Classic, Wood-grilled Chicken Marsala. Carrabba’s was voted #1 Italian in the 2014 Consumer Picks Survey by Nation’s Restaurant News.



Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake

Carrabba's Italian Grill Restaurant Recipe

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
grated zests of 2 lemons
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
2 (3 inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

To make the cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with waxed paper. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer set on high speed until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In thirds, alternating with two equal additions of buttermilk, add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the chopped rosemary. Beat just until smooth. Spread in the pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire cake rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the syrup: Bring the lemon juice, sugar, and rosemary springs to a boil in a nonreactive small saucepan over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let boil without stirring until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Remove the rosemary. Let cool slightly.

Pierce the cake about a dozen times with a long bamboo skewer or toothpick. Gradually pour the syrup evenly over the cake. Let cool for 30 minutes. (or let the cake cool completely.) Invert the cake onto a serving platter and remove the waxed paper. Cut into slices and serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

As part of TLC’s Next Great Baker, David and Elaine Duran were crowned the winners of our Carrabba’s Dessert Challenge. 

For the competition, each team had to create their own summertime spin on our Grilled Tuscan Poundcake, and the prize was to have their winning dessert featured in our restaurants.

The Duran’s Divine Pineapple Poundcake took the winning title, and was available for a limited time at all of Carrabba's restaurants.

Start the dessert by grilling the Tuscan Poundcake. Then top it with pineapple sauce.
Add some fresh whipped cream, and garnish the dish with fresh strawberries.Sprinkle a little  toasted coconut on top. Then garnish it all off with a rosemary sprig.

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