After cooking sweet potato soup, which was delicious, I’ve dug around the extensive sweet potato website based in North Carolina, and learned historical facts and viewed many recipes. Most of the historical information can be found on my recipe for the soup. But personally, I’ve discovered my own small tidbits about sweet potatoes. One, I find them hard to peel, not smooth like other potatoes and they feel awkward to hold. They are rock-hard, and to cut you need a very sharp knife. Fresh and uncut, they will last about two weeks on the counter, little longer, maybe up to a month in a cool, dark cellar, or something similar. As long as t hey are firm and not sprouting; they are good.
The sweet potato taste does not come through. Sweet dishes, like breads or cookies or whatever you bake, does not at all carry any hint of a traditional sweet potato. The texture of your product is moist and flavorful. The mild flavor in the baked sweet potato seems to enhance the other ingredients. In this case blueberries, with their slightly sweet taste and small amount of acidity, compliment the sweet potato. To add more tartness, I drizzled the bread with a lemon icing with zest.
This recipe is one that I’ve adjusted at several junctions, from the one I saw on the sweet potato website.
2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes – save 1/4 cup of the used water. I cooked them, once cut in 2 inch cubes, with skins on until very tender
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4-5 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, fresh if possible
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup regular sugar
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly mixed
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed
3/4 – 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1-2 cup confectioners sugar
lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbsp milk or half and half Do not use heavy cream, it is too thick
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, depending on tartness desired
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Let the sweet potatoes cool completely once mashed and set them aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans.
2 Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
3 In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potato with the reserved liquid, sugar, eggs and oil. Fold in the nuts and blueberries.
4 Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
5 Spoon the mixture into the greased pans. Bake 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick to the center comes out clean.
6 Cool in pans for fifteen minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. To remove the bread from the pan, use a knife around the edges, and push on the bottom to finally release the loaf.
PROCESS FOR LEMON ICING
1 In a large bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, first use 1 1/2 cups. Add the milk or half and half, then the lemon juice and zest. (Tip: Do the zesting part first, then squeeze the lemon juice in the bowl.) Check for the consistency you like. If too thick, add more milk, if too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla.
2 Slowly drizzle on the cooled bread.
TIPS AND TWEAKS
- For a different taste, use raspberries, or for more tartness try blackberries, but cut the blackberries in half before you add them at step 3.
- eliminate the nuts, or use your favorite nut, but not salted peanuts.
- For an additional tart and or different taste, serve the sweet bread with spreadable cream cheese, or another spreadable cheese, such as mascarpone, brie, Gorgonzola, or Cremont or Fresh Crottin Goat Cheese. These last two are from a creamery in Vermont.