I have spent the last week sorting through my stacks of recipe books and recipe cards. As I have done so, I have rediscovered some family favorites. Some belonging to my mother and even my grandmother. That’s the wonderful thing about recipes – they become part of our own traditions as they get passed along to family and friends. The first recipe I want to share with you began life as a classic mashed sweet potato dish, but over time it has become a quicker, and easier version that now has less fat and more nutrients than the traditional version.
And while you are mashing your sassy sweets, be sure to sit two spuds aside to make a classic Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake. This recipe dates back to at least the 1940s, but it is anything but old-fashioned. This decadent treat is so moist and rich you will swear it was made by a noveau gourmet. This cake is packed with ingredients that take you on a pleasant stroll down memory lane. When I was a little girl, I helped my Granny prepare it. I ate this cake thinking it was a reward for helping prepare it. Little did I know that I was a mini-toddler sous chef!
This week, why not add these to your own collection of family favorites. Taste them, tweak them, and be sure to share them with friends.
Spicy Mashed Sweets
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 medium purple onions, diced
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 tablespoons light maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
- Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Combine sweet potatoes, onions margarine and salt in a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.
- Bake, covered, at 375 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or until potato is tender. Remove from oven.
- Add syrup,lemon juice, red pepper, cumin and cinnamon; mash, leaving a few lumps.
- Sprinkle with pecans.
Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked, mashed and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Confectioners’ sugar, optional
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat in sweet potatoes and vanilla until blended. Stir in pecans and raisins.
Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Yield: 12-16 servings.