It’s time for my first guest post!
I’ve made this recipe as well, and will be sharing my thoughts in italics.
Over to Murph–
I love cooking, but I’m not much of a baker. Thankfully, two of my favorite sweet treats growing up in the Southern United States are relatively easy recipes. As a fan of Cake Box Fox’s often decadent treats (I swear the pictures are making me fatter), I thought I might contribute a recipe of my own for Voluntines Week. Rather than pick one or the other, I decided to combine Sweet Potato Souffle and Peach Cobbler into a somewhat decadent Sweet Potato Cobbler.
I am not entirely sure whether Sweet Potato Souffle is actually a souffle. It is a confusing dish. Topped with a crust of brown sugar, pecans, and marshmallows it is sweeter and richer than most desserts, yet we serve it as a traditional Southern side at Thanksgiving.
In contrast, a perfect peach cobbler, though often rich in its own way, is best when prepared with a minimal amount of added sweetness so the bright vibrancy of its (hopefully) fresh peaches shines through.
When pairing the two, I wanted a bread topping that featured a moist, sweet hint of the goodies beneath it. Things like cinnamon and marshmallow would give it a little oomph all its own. On the bottom, I wanted noticeable pieces of soft sweet potato mixed with a brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice (ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon). For a nutty crunch, I mixed in some toasted pecans that I left in the oven a little extra for a darker flavor.
Despite my inexperience, the end result turned out pretty good. I wish I had done a better job of distributing the batter, as one side had more of it and was definitely a lot dryer. I am better at the less precise world of cooking than the accuracy-matters, ‘know your ratios’ world of proper baking. Any sweet I make is bound to have a rustic ‘trial and error’ appeal to it.
The sweet potato flavor is largely missed in the final product, but that was bound to happen as soon as I started using the strong spices. Still, its pretty tasty. Served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it would make an excellent after dinner dessert. Otherwise, I’d consider a small piece for breakfast.
Hey, sweet potato is good for you? Right?
Serves 8-12 depending on the size of your dish.
Half it if you want it to serve six. Obivously with the sweet potato, if you’ve managed to get your hands on a stupidly huge one, take it as two. Good luck cutting it though!
For the batter
¾ c or 150g sugar
1 ½ c or 210g self-rising flour
1 ½ c or 335ml milk
For the topping
200g marshmallows (to preference, or enough for a single layer)
ground cinnamon (to preference)
For the filling
2 sweet potatoes (Peeled and cubed)
1 c or 115g pecans (toasted) or chocolate chips for non-nut lovers or alternative nuts.
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix- A combo of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice.
¼ c or 50g Light brown sugar
½ c or 100g sugar
8 tbsp ~100g unsalted butter
Note: These conversions are done with zero experience working in grams and milliliters (But they do work!)
Cube your sweet potatoes and boil them in unsalted water until fork tender. Make sure they are quite small pieces so that they absorb the flavour well.
Drain off the majority of the liquid, but reserve some (A couple of tablespoons) for your syrup base.
Add pumpkin pie spice mix, brown sugar, 100g caster sugar and gently simmer until desired consistency, which is a thick sugary syrup.
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Go ahead and throw in your pan with your butter so it melts. Careful not to let it burn. 5 Minutes, tops!
In a jug mix the flour and sugar. Add milk. Batter is supposed to be really loose, so don’t overbeat it thinking you need it thicker. The mix I got was about the same as a Yorkshire pudding mix, so use that as a guideline.
Add your sweet potato mixture to your pre-heated pan, pouring it over the melted butter. Sprinkle over your toasted pecans or alternatives.
Add your batter over the top, trying your best to spread it evenly. Do not mix.
Top with a layer of marshmallows and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
Cook uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, or until batter has risen and turned golden brown. You’ll get a lovely toasted marshmallow smell fill your house. The deeper the dish, the longer it will take so bear that in mind. It reheats without any problems and lasted for 3-4 days in the fridge. It’s also freezable to.
Fox taste test.
I will admit to being a little nervous about the idea of sweet potato in a dessert, however the method of cooking it makes it a distant relative to the sometimes stringy roasted sweet potato.
Put it this way. Salad hates sweet potato with a passion, but was quite happy to chow down on this with no questions asked. Operations to try and get him to eat sweet potato otherwise have ended in failure.
Think of it as a creamy, flavourful base with strong notes of cinnamon. If you’re still not keen, stewed sweet apples will probably get you the same texture.
Or make little individual ones in Ramekins to begin with.
The flavours work well together, with each layer having a new texture, keeping the dessert interesting to eat, you have the cinnamony base of sweet potato, mixed with either chocolate or walnuts, followed by a spongy layer that absorbs all the flavours of the dish, before being topped with the sweetness of melted marshmallow on the top.
By the looks of it, Murph’s pudding is based more on the batter, whereas mine got covered in Marshmallows but it’s still tasty.
Give it a go!