I have a sweet tooth and I certainly like a mean carrot cake. In general, I like to wrap my head around ways to get another serving of vegetables in, even when they're in a dessert. This way I know that I'm getting nutrition along with my sweet snack cravings.
For years I have been baking amazing cakes with naturally sweet parsnips, carrots, beets, butternut squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Occasionally I sneak in an avocado for a healthy fat option and leave out processed oils and butter. That makes guilt-free snacking, and indeed it’s a terrific way to bridge me to my next meal.
Sweet potatoes in a brownie?
Below I'm listing my favorite brownie recipe at the moment. These brownies simply have everything I like: an intense, dark, super chocolate-y flavor followed by subtle sweetness. Also they have a dense but super moist and pleasantly chewy texture. To finish, the brownies are topped with a creamy and decadently smooth, melt-in-your-mouth frosting.
They're at their best when they are completely chilled.
SWEET POTATO BROWNIES
Makes (16) 2x2-inch brownies.
1 cup cold sweet potato puree*
1 ripe avocado, fork-mashed
½ cup apple sauce, unsweetened
¼ cup date paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
½ cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder, optional
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup raw pecans, chopped
¼ cup date paste
½ cup hazelnut butter
¼ cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup full fat coconut milk
Pinch sea salt
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with coconut oil. Line pan with parchment paper. Leave enough extra paper to extend over the sides.
3) In a mixing bowl combine sweet potato puree, avocado, apple sauce, date paste, and vanilla and mix with a whisk until smooth. Add cacao powder and mix smooth. Add eggs and mix smooth.
4) Add coconut flour, arrowroot flour, salt, ancho chile (optional), and baking soda and stir until well combined. Lastly, add pecans.
5) Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan.
6) Bake mixture for approximately 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out almost clean at this point.
7) Cool pan for 15 minutes on the kitchen counter.
8) With a small knife cut the baked brownie, along the sides of the baking pan. Inverse the whole brownie pan onto a sheet pan. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
8) Prepare the icing by adding all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
9) Pour icing over brownies and spread evenly over the brownie with a spatula.
10) Cool brownies in the fridge and chill completely, at least 8 hours or overnight.
11) Cut brownies into 2-inch squares.
Chef’s Note: Making the sweet potato puree is easy. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake at 375 degree Fahrenheit for about 60 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife. Let them cool on the kitchen counter for 20 minutes, then remove foil and peel. Puree them with a whisk in a bowl.