Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Secret Ingredient Desserts, Part 3: Sweet Potato

Let me start off by saying that I love sweet potatoes and just about all things sweet potato related. I remember as a child my mom would pack me up to head to my grandmother's for the day and before heading out the door I would grab my raw sweet potato which would be cooked up as part of my lunch.  Years later I recall having my first sweet potato french fries and feeling that I had just discovered the promised land (for my stomach). So of course I thought that my love of sweet potatoes would naturally be inherited by my children, but no. They must get their dislike of delicious nutritious foods from their father's side.
So, nutrition you ask? Yes, there are so many things that make this orangey veggie wonderful for our bodies and an excellent reason to, if nothing else, hide it into your children's foods. First, they are loaded with Vitamin A, C, folate and tons good dietary fiber. Despite their sweetness, sweet potatoes are actually very low in sugar and calories. The provide your body with some much needed antioxidants as well as  fiber for digestive regularity. The vitamin C helps your body develop and maintain good body immunity and the folate an excellent addition to your bod, especially for pregnant women. One of the really great traits of the sweet potato, which makes it ideal for sweeter desserts, is that it is fantastic in helping your body regulate blood sugar.

So for this week, I decided that I would be utilizing my favorite root (not a tuber like its less sweet cousin the potato) into a form which my children would most certainly consume happily. Sweet potato pie? Nah, that's too easy and I have been wanting to work on a few new cake recipes. So I embarked on a search for a sweet potato cake recipe. I wasn't finding too much for what I was looking for, and started pulling things together into ratios that seemed to work for my basic gluten-free cake recipes. The first try was marginal. The kids actually really liked the cake, but it was super moist and when settled and cooled was pretty dense. So I started again and changed the ratios a bit and decided that I really wanted to use coconut oil (my latest obsession) in the recipe. The second shot was a hit with the kids and everyone else I had assigned as my sweet potato cake guinea pigs. When I told the kids that the secret ingredient was sweet potato, after the shocked look on their faces dissipated Little Sis squinted at me and said "your making us eat vegetables we hate without knowing it!" Yes, yes I am.

Spiced Sweet Potato Cake

2 1/2 C Gluten-free flour blend
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 C unrefined sugar
2 C sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 C coconut oil

Honey Glaze

2 Tbs honey
1/2 C powdered sugar
1-3 tsp water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Spray a 8" pan with cooking spray and set aside. 

In the medium sized bowl blend together flour, baking powder, spices, salt and xanthum gum. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer add sugar, sweet potato, eggs and coconut oil. One cup at a time, add the dry ingredients to the mixer while it is running on its lowest setting. Continue to mix until well blended, about a minute. 

Pour batter into the bundt pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. This cake can be very deceiving when it's not completely baked, but a little golden, so be sure to check with a pick.  

Combine honey and sugar in a small bowl and blend together. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze is just thin enough to pour. 

When cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over the cake. 


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