In Montreal, there was so much food. So much food! And not even all the food that I wanted there to be! But there was only so much time and only so many meals that one can eat. I realize this means that I need to go back soon so that I continue my quest to eat all the food that I failed to eat this past trip.
As always, I try to bring a little piece of a trip home with me, and recreate my favorite, or at least the most surprising dish. This trip’s selection comes from the mouth-watering tasting menu that we had at Les Duex Singes de Montarive. The final course was a lesson in dessert-ed sweet potatoes: sweet potato ice cream, sweet potato macarons and sweet potato chocolate cake, topped with some sort of caramel-y (or, at least in my recollection) goodness. I’m recreating the latter in a way that it totally obtainable for us all at home.
Sweet potato didn’t sound all that odd to me since it seemed like a natural swap to replace some of the fat in a cake. Dieters of the late 90s, you know. Cutting out oil with applesauce and butter with beans. Hell, we still do it, but back then it seemed like The Next Big Thing to cut out fat (bad fat!) and save us all come January 1. My point is that it wasn’t weird to me, and while this doesn’t really intend to be a diet recipe (since that’s not really what we’re about here at THB), it sort of accidentally becomes one. Expect the texture to be a bit off from a normal crumbly cake recipe, but taste-wise, you’d only now there was sweet potato in it because I told you as much. I added a bit of cinnamon in the batter to bring it out, but in other words I’m saying to you that don’t think of it as sweet potatoes with ice cream. Think of it merely as cake with ice cream.
I decided to use cupcakes because it was the perfect serving size, and just because I say “cupcake” doesn’t mean that we need to get all fancy with buttercreams and ganaches. A simple warm caramel drizzle does the trick here, served with ice cream, of course.
This is store bought caramel. We all know how to make caramel because we’re pros, but sometimes we need a little help from Trader Joe’s.
I used cupcake liners simply because I don’t have a silicone cupcake pan. If you do, use that, and these will be a little prettier. Make sure you line it with sugar because that make these fabulous.
These are not meant to bake all the way but come out slightly, just slightly under done. Just FYI.
- 2 TB unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup roasted sweet potato, smashed
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup strong black coffee, room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk (2% or higher)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 TB all-purpose flour
- caramel, to serve
- ice cream, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line 1 1/2 cupcake pans with paper liners. Alternatively, if using a silicone pan, brush each with a bit of melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
- In a medium bowl, add the butter, potato and sugars and beat until well combined and there are no lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Blend well.
- Slowly mix in the cocoa (careful to not end up in a cloud of cocoa!) and coffee. Finally, alternate the flour and the milk. Give it a good mix until all is smooth, careful not to over beat.
- Divide into cupcake tins and bake for 30 minutes, carful not to overtake. If using cupcake liners, remove from the pan immediately. If using silicone, wait 10 minutes and then remove to cool on a cooling rack.
- Serve warm or cold with a drizzle of warmed caramel and a scoop of ice cream.