Monday, March 23, 2009
Sweet Potato Bake
Sweet Potato Bake is my 3rd entry for the NC Sweet Potatoes contest. I would like to thank sweetbytes for this contest and giving us a boost to explore the possibilities of sweet potatoes.
I did not realize that such a contest can really unleash creativity in me! Well, I cannot really claim full credit to my creations, as I get ideas from all over the internet (where else?)
But the inspiration for this dessert came from a camote (white sweet potato) dessert that my brother, who was then a chief baker in Ji-Pan in the Philippines, would bring home from time to time. I was the number 1 fan of that delightful dessert. I remember asking him how they made it. His answer was a simple: "Just boil the sweet potatoes, mash and add condensed milk, then bake."
Basing on those, I then tried to recreate my version using the orange-colored sweet potatoes here, mixed with condensed milk, and I added rum flavor, vanilla, and chopped pecans. But instead of boiling the sweet potatoes, I microwaved them (an idea I got from CWD, which I preferred over boiling to minimize water.) I noticed this particular type of sweet potatoes are less sweet than what I had in the Philippines, and absorb more water when boiled. Microwaving was a preferable way of "boiling" them before mashing.
I and my sons liked it, but quite honestly, a serving was more than what I could tolerate...it was too heavy! Maybe I should have used smaller sweet potatoes, or just scooped small portions into small baking cups. I ended up with leftovers, which I turned into another recipe entry.
4 sweet potatoes (9-11 oz each)
1 (14-oz) condensed milk
4 egg yolks (my leftover from making sans rival)
few drops rum flavor (McCormick)
1 tsp vanilla
2-oz chopped pecans
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk)
1. Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave. I did them in batches of two. I placed water in a bowl first, then placed paper towels to soak. Then I cut cling wrap about 1 foot long, placed one wet paper towel there, then wrapped one sweet potato with the wet paper towel, followed by tight wrapping with the cling wrap, finalized with another layer of cling wrap. After I had made two sweet potatoes this way, I started microwaving them while I wrapped the remaining two the same way. My microwave has automatic settings for potatoes, so I clicked on that, and I turned on my timer so I could keep track of how long it took to cook them -- around 8 minutes. By the time it beeped to herald the end of cooking time, I checked with toothpick for doneness (they were done!) then cooked the second batch.
2. Careful not to burn your hands, unwrap the cooked sweet potatoes, cut in half, and taking care not to damage the skins, scoop out the pulp with a spoon.
3. When all sweet potatoes are gathered, add the rest of ingredients and mash or puree together. Fold in the chopped pecans.
4. Transfer to a big microwaveable bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes, then stir and continue cooking in the microwave, stirring every minute until cooked (no longer smooth looking).
5. Scoop back the cooked sweet potatoes into the skins. Smooth out top, and paint with egg wash.
4. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until top had browned some.
5. Serve with (or without) maple syrup or caramel.