Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BBT: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes.  If there ever was a knock down drag out fight over a Thanksgiving dinner table, I bet your panties it's over this one.  Some people like it savory, some people like it sweet.  Regardless, in Brian's mind, it just better be on the damn table, he doesn't care how it shows up! 

I bought a crate of sweet potatoes this week. A crate. If I don't turn orange or get pregnant (yes, I hear from Ashlee it's the 'reason' she got pregnant with twins - they increase your fertility) we will be in good shape.  By the way, how cute are Ash and Lew and their Tradition with a Twist

But back to the nitty gritty here, I thought about doing a savory and a sweet sweet potato dish, and then I thought, Shit this here is my blog and I don't have to do that.  So you get 2 sweet recipes and you can just deal with it.  Though once you see the second recipe, I don't think you'll mind... Since there's bourbon in there and all.  What? You can take the girl outta Kentucky....but ya can't take the Kentucky outta the girl!

Sweet Potato Casserole

6 medium sweet potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
Homemade Marshmallows, recipe to follow

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce each one 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 60 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Scoop the sweet potato out of their skins and into a medium bowl. Discard the skins. Mash  the potatoes until smooth. ( I use an electric hand mixer for this) Add the eggs, butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture until smooth.

Butter an 9 by 13 pan. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and layer the top with homemade marshmallows. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve immediately.

1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

Grease the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch rectangular baking pan, and sift enough powdered sugar over the pan to coat the bottom and the sides.

Add 1/2 cup cold water to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), and sprinkle gelatin over.  Let stand to soften, and mix to make sure it is all 'wet.'

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, mix corn syrup, sugar, and 1/2 cup cold water over low heat, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved.  Then, increase the heat to medium/medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil, and do not stir it.  Heat this way until a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer measures 240 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 This may take 8-12 minutes depending on exactly how high your heat is, but be sure not to overcook it, or heat it too high.

In medium bowl, beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks.  You should not do this with your stand mixer, unless you have two bowls (remember, your gelatin is in the bowl already).  I did this with my immersion blender with the whisk attachment, but you would also use a hand mixer, or whisk by hand (flex those muscles!).  Set egg whites in fridge until ready to use.

After your sugar mixture has reached 240 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the heat and pour it over the gelatin mixture in your stand mixer.  Stir until all the gelatin is dissolved (the consistency will be thick and the color will be brownish).  Then beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and at least tripled in volume, about 6 minutes in the stand mixer.  

Add the egg whites from step 3b and vanilla into the sugar mixture, and beat until just combined.  Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and sift about 1/4 cup confectioners sugar over the top.  

Let stand until firm, at least three hours, although I let mine sit overnight at room temperature.  

Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the marshmallow.

Turn pan over onto a cutting board sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, and use your fingers to loosen one corner of the marshmallow from the pan.  Let the rest of it drop from the pan by gravity onto the cutting board.

Using an oiled, sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the marshmallows into cubes 1-inch cubes.  Sift the remaining confectioner's sugar into your baking pan, and roll the cubes in the sugar to coat all six sides.   

Alternatively, you can also cut the marshmallows into even smaller squares (perfect for adding to hot chocolate), or you can cut out cute shapes from the marshmallow using cookie cutters.  I would recommend slicing the marshmallow block in half for this, so you have a slice of marshmallow that is approximately 1/2-inch thick (see photo).  Then coat the side you intend to cut with the sugar before using your knife or cookie cutter.  

Whipped sweet potatoes with carmelized apples and bourbon

4 large sweet potatoes, pierced with the tines of a fork
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup applesauce, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons grated fresh peeled ginger
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ounce good quality bourbon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake until tender, 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand until cool enough to handle. 

Cut each potato lengthwise. Scoop flesh into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; discard skins.

Add 2 tablespoons butter and the cream; mix on medium speed until smooth. 

Mix in applesauce, bourbon and ginger; season with salt and pepper. 
Transfer potato mixture to an ovenproof dish. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss apples with sugar in a bowl. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add apple mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are golden and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
Remove potato mixture from oven; top with caramelized apples, and serve.

Homemade applesauce

1 orange, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
6 apples (your call kiddos)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon in a large bowl. Peel, quarter, and core the apples (reserving the peel of 2 of the red apples) and toss them in the juice.

Pour the apples and juice into your dutch. Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and allspice and cover the pot. 

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until all the apples are soft. Mix with a whisk until smooth, and serve warm or at room temperature.

So now it's time for some Trefethen red wine, and time to support our girl the Pioneer Woman by watching her Throwdown with Bobby Flay tonight! WHO'S EXCITED? I seriously am so proud that a food blogger is on throwdown. (Well, Ree Drummond is so much more than a food blogger, but still, she's a blogger!)




  1. I'm not a huge fan of sweet potatoes but maybe I should give this a try. If nothing else for something to put the homemade marshmallows on! I never even thought that I could make marshmallows from scratch.

    Applesauce, now that's something I could eat every day. I adore apples and anything made with apples. YUM YUM YUM. I just bought a crate of *those* a month ago. :)

  2. my husband loves marshmallows and I would like to make some... :D

  3. What lovely looking recipes....I would love to try the sweet potato casserole...Delicious.,..