I love sweet potatoes, all kinds really but particularly the orange – I mean who doesn’t? They’re sweet, healthy and a gorgeous colour.
Yesterday I had a huge organic sweet potato sitting on my kitchen bench and I also had pecans, maple essence, dates and other baking essentials so thought I’d knock together a sweet potato loaf. I also decided on some honey Greek yoghurt I had already but you could always use buttermilk or plain yoghurt if that’s what you have.
This loaf has a lovely flavour; cakey soft and spicy with a hint of maple, the crunch of toasted pecans, and sweet chewy dates. It freezes really well so you can have a lovely morning tea or breakfast at the drop of a hat. You could also make muffins which I think I’ll have a go at next time.
2 cups plain flour
2 tspns baking powder
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1 tspn mixed spice
1/2 tspn nutmeg
1/2 tspn ground ginger
1/2 tspn cinnamon
A couple of grinds of sea salt
1 cup raw caster sugar
80g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 tspn maple or vanilla essence
1 rounded cup of boiled, mashed and cooled sweet potato (about 400g raw, peeled sweet potato)
Preheat oven to 160C. Grease loaf pan, placing baking paper in the pan, leaving some over the sides for easier removal.
Toast 60g of the cup of pecans (reserving 20g for the topping) in the oven for 5-10 minutes until fragrant but not browned. Allow to cool then roughly chop.
Sift flour, raising agents and spices into a bowl. Add salt, sugar, dates and nuts and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, oil, yoghurt, maple essence and mashed potato and whisk to blend well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, folding until combined but do not over-mix.
Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle reserved pecan nuts on top, pressing down lightly. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 8-10 minutes then remove to rack to cool.
Makes 8-10 slices
Note: for muffins – pour batter into cupcake liners and place in 12 cup tin; sprinkle over nuts; bake at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes.