Sometimes I get a random idea for a baked good and I get super excited about it. I think to myself, this has to be the most ORIGINAL. IDEA. EVER. And then I make the mistake of checking Google. Damn you Google. You ruin everything. It turns out that my little brilliant idea for Sweet Potato Bread isn’t so brilliant. Not when there seems to be nearly 65 million returns for that search term. BUT not everything is lost, because I still think my sweet potato bread, which I made for Sweet Potato Day is better than everything else out there. And what makes it even BETTER than just a regular old loaf of sweet potato bread, is that I turned around and took that loaf and turned it into Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Bread Pudding.
When Jane of This Week for Dinner and Alice of Savory Sweet Life contacted me about participating in the Sweet Potato Day project for the ONE’s effort to increase awareness of world hunger it was back in the holidays. It was a crazy hectic time but I really couldn’t turn down talking about such an important issue. Then the craziness of Newtown happened and all of sudden the group as a whole decided that though we needed to talk about world hunger, that was not that time.
Sadly, as our nation still tries to make sense of the senseless violence, the poverty and hunger is still rampant around the world. Less than 1% of the US budget is spent on foreign assistance and if those funds are cut millions could lose access to medication, AIDS treatment and food. You can help by pledging to join the Make the Call day where you call you representatives and senators on February 26th to encourage them to help continue America’s leadership on in fighting poverty and infectious disease.
If making a phone call is too much for you (we’re all busy, I understand), you can still sign the petition at ONE telling the world leaders that they need to continue to help reduce the 25 million kids who suffer from chronic malnutrition. Nearly 2 million of those kids die from lack of nutrition, and that’s why the sweet potato was picked for a group of food bloggers as a key ingredient for them to create dishes. The sweet potato is considered a superfood, packed with crazy amounts of nutrition like beta-carotene (more than carrots), vitamin A and C, folate, iron, copper, calcium and fiber. On top of that, it grows in a multitude of places, with hundreds of different varieties. It’s a pretty tasty too, if you think beyond the ubiquitous sweet potato with marshmallow topping that shows up on the Thanksgiving table.
But don’t just take my word for it. You can read a bit about ONE’s effort on their post about A Sweet Way to Save Lives as well as their pinterest board about Sweet Potatoes. Check out my fellow food bloggers posts and see what they came up with in regards to their Sweet Potato Day posts and (if you are social media savvy) you can also follow the hashtag #sweetpotatolove. It’s all so inspiring. I’m just glad that Google only pops up with, you know, a mere 3 million results for sweet potato bread pudding. Thanks Google.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos from This Week for Dinner
Truffle Sweet Potato Frites from Savory Sweet Life
Sweet Potato & Chicken Sausage Stew from Chefdruck
Honey Sweet Potato Biscuits from Food for My Family
Sweet Potato Burgers from Cutie Booty Cakes
What’s Gaby Cooking and Sweet Potato Day
The Mission List and Sweet Potato Day
World Moms Blog and Sweet Potato Day
Go Graham Go and Sweet Potato Day
Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake from Barbara Bakes
Bourbon and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes from Boston Mamas
Documama and Sweet Potato Day
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding from Eat the Love
Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage from Kitchen Gadget Girl
Sweet Potato Love To Help End World Hunger from Love That Max
Celebrating Sweet Potato Day with Mom Trends
Sweet Potato Chili from Righteous Bacon
Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Picky Eaters from Rookie Moms
Sweet Potatoes and Global Health from Third Eye Mom
Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Kielbasa ONE Skillet Bake from Tickled Red
Sweet, Dude, Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash from Helen Jane
Oh My Sweet Potato Apple Bake from Bowl Licker
Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin from Non-Reactive Pan
Sweet Potato Fries from When You Wake Up a Mother (also found on Million Moms Challenge)
Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
By Irvin Lin
If you have a couple of sweet potato lying around, you can certainly just make this quick batter bread on a cold winter day and you’d be super happy with it for tea or breakfast. But chop it up and turn it into bread pudding and you’ll have a deep dark rich and (dare I use the word) decadent yet homey dessert that will have everyone clamoring for seconds. Who knew that the lowly tuber vegetable could produce something so deeply satisfying for a dessert?
This recipe uses bread flour, whole wheat flour and almond flour in the batter. If you don’t have any of those flours, you can certainly substitute all purpose flour for them, but the bread will be slightly more cakey less bready.
12 oz (3/4 lbs, 340 g or two medium sized) sweet potatoes
1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
3/4 cup (165 g) dark brown sugar
11 tablespoons (310 g or 2 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (165 g) white bread flour
1/2 cup (85 g) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (65 g) almond flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
custard for pudding
12 oz (3/4 lbs or 340 g) dark chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (125 g) white granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Make the bread by first peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes into 1 1/2 inch rounds and boiling them in water for 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender. Drain and mash the potatoes with a fork in a medium bowl.
2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and generously grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with butter and flour. Place the sugars and butter in the bowl of a standing mixer. Cream on medium speed until fluffy about 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how cool the butter is. Add the eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. Mix the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl and scrape into the batter. Beat to incorporate.
3. Place the flours, salt, and spices in a medium mixing bowl and using a balloon whisk, vigorously stir the dry ingredients until combined and uniform in color. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix to incorporate. Add half the mashed sweet potatoes and mix to incorporate. Repeat with the dry ingredients and sweet potatoes, ending on the dry ingredients.
4. Scrape the batter into greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes or when a skewer or tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes before unmolding onto rack and cooling to room temperature.
5. To make the bread pudding, preheat the oven to 325˚F and spray a 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat microwaving for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth (be careful not to overheat the chocolate). You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler if you wish.
6. Place the milk and 1 cup of the cream in a saucepan and heat until you see small bubbles form at the side of the pan. Remove from heat. Place the eggs, egg yolks, 1 cup of the sugar, salt, spices and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir with a balloon whisk until a paste forms. Slowly pour the hot milk and cream into the egg paste in a small stream, stirring quickly with the balloon whisk. You don’t want to make scrambled eggs, so make sure the stream of hot milk and cream is slowly and steady as you stir. Add the melted chocolate once you are done with the milk and cream and stir with the whisk until completely incorporated.
7. Cut up the sweet potato bread into 1 inch chunks and place in the prepared baking pan. Pour the custard over the bread and press down on the bread cubes to dunk them in the custard. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of cream over the custard and then sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoon of sugar. Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes enough for 12 servings.