Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sweet Cakes

This is one of the hardest Lenten seasons we've ever been through. Normally I give up soda and chocolate. That isn't as bad as it seems. There are lots of alternatives and we don't drink much soda anyway. This year, we gave up two things. We gave up sugar and going out to dinner. Aaaaahhhhhh! Fine...Do you know how many things they put sugar in that don't need it? We were, but until we gave it up, it didn't really hit home. We had to find new lunch meat, chicken nuggets, ketchup, mayonnaise, and a ton more stuff. We did stick with natural sweetners like honey. It's a good thing we like honey and it has so many health benefits. It also makes a great cake.

One thing we did miss was dessert. We aren't big dessert eaters, but when you can't have it, it sorta becomes important. I had plans to make all kinds of great things with healthy ingredients, but time just got away from me. I didn't start making sweet things until a couple of weeks ago. I made brownies. They were so good. We all went a little bug nuts crazy. The panful was gone in less than 24 hours. My kids scour the racks at the grocery store for cereal that doesn't have sugar or it's evil twin cane juice. That had us suckered for a little while, too. But last night, I made the best thing ever. I made a sweet potato chocolate cake. Oh my giddy aunt, I could have eaten the whole pan by myself. Hubby says no I wouldn't 'cause he would have eaten half. Let the games begin, my man.

My mom is the best mom ever. I mentioned that I had a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens and how much I love that magazine. So she bought me a subscription. I get all giddy when I see it in the mailbox. I have a stack by my bed. I look at them over and over. I drool over the recipes and dream that one day my house will look that magnificent. It is time for the stack to disappear. I have been scouring them for recipes to put in my collection. This cake is one that immediately got added to the cook now stack.

It's actually a cupcake recipe. The recipe calls for chocolate kisses and we can't have those. We can have cocoa powder, though. Want to know what's in it? Cocoa. Thank you, God, for cocoa powder. So I changed the recipe. And it was awesome. Next co-op, I'm getting extra sweet potatoes just to make this cake again. I'm going to add my changes to the recipe and omit the kisses and cupcakes. It seemed like alot when I looked at the recipe, but if you organize your ingredients, it's not that bad. It is worth the effort!!

Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder*
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 lb. sweet potatoes, roasted, peeled, mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low, add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each. Add sweet potato, milk, and vanilla. Add flour mixture to egg mixture until combined. Fill oiled cake pan.* Bake 20-25 minutes or until the middle is springy to the touch*. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.  *My changes.

Ok, from the top. That is alot of cocoa powder, but it's what I used. You can change that to your liking. I loved it. I also didn't have pumpkin pie spice, so I used cinnamon and ginger. I thought I had nutmeg, but no. I added about 1 tsp of each, then a little heavier on the cinnamon. I didn't use sugar. I used honey. I used a cup, but not quite 1 1/2 cups. It blended very well with the butter. Considering my butter wasn't quite soft enough when it was time to make cake, I thought it did a great job. I didn't realize until I was typing out this recipe that I only used 2 eggs. The consistency of the batter with two eggs is almost frosting like. It's very thick. When it cooks, it's almost fudgy brownie. The top stays a little soft and gets gooey on your fingers. Oh, yeah!! I roasted my sweet potatoes the day before. I cooked them at 400 degrees for about an hour, hour and a 1/2. I let them cool, then skinned 'em. I just left them in the fridge until it was time.

We absolutely loved it the way it was. It was thick and chocolatey and gooey and so good warm dunked in a cold glass of milk. I might not make it with three eggs. Or I might for a change of pace. I know I'm making it again and that's the important part.

Have a great day.

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