Inspiration. It’s a funny thing. Like a redneck daddy, it tends to come and go as it pleases and most of the time, it’s never really there when you need it. Some don’t know where to find it, some never seem to run out of it (bastards) and some discover it in the strangest of places. It ignites us, wills us on and makes us feel more, want more and do more. Sometimes it’s in ourselves, sometimes we draw it from others but most of the time, we find it in the strangest of places. Dear Bakers, Bitchers and those who just like to look at the pictures, today I found inspiration in the humble sweet potato…
They say that things aren’t always as they appear. Ain’t that the truth! Much like peoples’ lives on social media (nice jet ski, by the way) or someone you came across on Tinder (photo-edit apps are rife people, for goodness sake… always swipe left!) all too often we allow ourselves to be captivated by the illusions created by those who masterfully produce their own personas as immaculately as any Martin Scorsese film (cue the smoke machine and special effects). But that being said, as much as we are inclined to believe that things are more than what they are, we are also guilty of assuming that they are far less as well, never giving them credit for all that they are capable of being.
What do I mean? Well, this morning I picked up a sweet potato thinking that it was only good for lunch. That was before I knew that I could create countless delicious sweet treats with it. This was an entirely new challenge for me, I’ve never baked with sweet potatoes (or sweet ‘taters as them rednecks say) but I’ll be honest, following this discovery (and subsequent epiphany), they’re irreplaceable (in the Beyoncé kind of way, obviously).
I believe that we could all learn something from the unassuming sweet potato. For starters they’re in touch with their roots, I know this because the ones I buy have refused to let go of theirs (and where they came from. They’re a lot like “Jenny from the block” that way). Sweet potatoes believe in new beginnings, sometimes they even sprout new shoots for me before I’ve had a chance to cook them, reminding me, just like Lenny Kravitz does, that “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”) They also give the colour purple a good rep, whilst some defame the hue claiming that the ones who wear it suffer from sexual deprivation, sweet potatoes are on point, recognising purple as one of the most eye-catching shades of 2015 and perhaps of all time. Lastly, they’re incredibly versatile. Sweet or savoury, hot or cold, whole or mashed, they always deliver and like Missy Elliot, they definitely ain’t afraid to “work it.”
This week’s spotlight falls on my Sweet Potato Teasecake. Why Teasecake? It tastes remarkably like a cheesecake but contains no cheese of any kind. (I figured the name was cheesy enough, as is the person who made it. Sorry, I’m not sorry). I guess this is some sort of cake shout out to my love for all things Asian because the appearance somehow reminds me of an old-school Japanese cheesecake. I swear I almost dusted an icing sugar outline of a panda on top of the cake when it was done. Just kidding. (*Slowly puts down panda stencil…*)
This week’s baked offering is pretty healthy, taking into account that next week’s post for Valentines’ Day is going to be a calorific catastrophe (better start stretching people) and also because… well, if John Mayer says that my body is a “wonderland” then I may as well treat it like one and feed it something that’s good for it. (Haaaaaay John!)
This one’s for Tay who is wise beyond her years, for James who isn’t afraid of an epiphany and for Kourt (my very own “Jenny from the block”) who never forgets her roots and encourages me to always remember mine. It’s for everyone who gets treated like a sweet potato and is thought to be less than what they are. Don’t worry. I see you, and one day they will too. And finally, to everyone who reads this, may you find inspiration in the space between where you are and where you want to be. (Yoh. I know, it’s pretty deep).
Yours in Baking, Bitching and sweet (‘tator) triumphs, (because “xoxo” was too mainstream and because not only can you can you make a great cake out of sweet potato, but you can make something great out of absolutely anything).
Sweet Potato Teasecake
250g of Sweet Potato (peeled and cut into slices)
700g of Full-fat Greek Yoghurt
4 Tablespoons of Rice Milk Powder or Skim Milk Powder
5 Tablespoons of Xylitol
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour
5ml Vanilla Extract
Icing Sugar for dusting
1. Steam sweet potato until soft. Drain any water off of them.
2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Centigrade.
3. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined. The smoother, the better, people!
4. Pour batter into a greased 18cm springform tin.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden and the top just begins to crack.
6. Before removing from oven, open oven door and leave for 5 minutes whilst the oven is still on. (This prevents shrinkage, because let’s face it, shrinkage is totally embarrassing).
7. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
8. Dust liberally with icing sugar before serving. (If you dust it before you refrigerate it, the icing sugar does this ninja vanishing act where it gets absorbed into the cake and you will have to re-dust it!)
9. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
Health hack: This one’s a real goodie and it’s Diabetic friendly too!