Beetroot chocolate cake, courgette cake, sweet potato brownies… I love the idea of baking vegetables into sweet treats that you can’t see or taste! I was so excited to try my hand at sweet potato brownies but, unfortunately the recipes I tried produced mushy not fudgey brownies, or just didn’t resemble a classic brownie/cake consistency at all.
After going through a few recipes, I realised a couple of tricks were required to work with this type of mixture (you’re not working with a regular brownie mixture, after all!):
My first tip would be to bake the sweet potato. Boiling or even steaming the sweet potato will generate too much liquid, resulting in an overly-wet batter.
Second, the final batter really needs to resemble a stiff cookie dough-like texture before you bake it. So continue to add more ground nuts until you achieve this consistency.
Finally, I’ve found this recipe to be pretty versatile. You can switch out the types of nuts, fats, and sweetners you use, depending on what you have on hand. (At the moment, my favourite key ingredients are walnuts, manuka honey, and rice bran oil). And, as per usual, I’ve kept the sugar and fat to a minimum, so you can enjoy this as a regular snack!
1 medium orange kumara (sweet potato)
1-2 cups walnuts or almonds or nuts of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup manuka honey or coconut sugar or maple syrup
1/4 cup almond butter or coconut oil or rice bran oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
Icing sugar or frosting to finish
- Cut the sweet potato into 3cm x 3cm cubes and bake at 180 degrees celsius, until tender. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, ground 1 cup walnuts with cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Tip the ground dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- In the food processor, blend the sweet potato, almond butter, manuka honey, and vanilla essence together.
- Add the blended wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine with dry ingredients. (At this stage I advise blending the mixture in a bowl as it may be too stiff for your food processor to process!). The final consistency of the batter should be like cookie-dough, so add more ground walnuts until you achieve this dough-like consistency.
- Stir in chocolate chunks.
- Press the dough evenly into a greased 21cm x 11cm loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes at 180 degrees celsius, or until a skewer comes out with moist cooked crumbs attached. (Cooked batter will look dark brown and uncooked batter will appear pastel brown).
- Leave to cool in tin before turning out.
- Once the brownie is completely cool, dust with icing sugar or frost if you wish. Slice into squares.
*You can cook the brownie in a square tin, just adjust the cooking time. I prefer using a loaf tin as I like a ‘taller’ brownie.