Before you read this, I have to warn you that this is going to be sticky….
I have never liked Sweet Potato casserole…mainly because I don’t like yellow sweet potatoes or yams. (Unless they they are made into french fries.) Before we moved to Washington, I wasn’t even aware that there were white sweet potatoes, which I don’t mind, but don’t crave. Back to the topic: My family always had Sweet Potato casserole at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mr Shuck says that it was more like a dessert anyway, with the brown sugar and nuts and marshmallows.
The most important elements to me were the brown sugar, marshmallow, and of course, the yams.
I started with a sweet potato cake recipe that I found at Epicurious and adapted it only slightly.
- 2 cups of mashed cooked yams (I used canned yams by Taylors, a brand with no other ingredients. The 12.75oz can yielded exactly 2 cups mashed.)
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger (I didn’t have any, so I used a teaspoon or so of ginger juice)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup dark muscovado sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- roughly 1 cup of toasted chopped pecans.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and fill one pan of mini muffin tins with liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, leaveners and salt. In a larger mixer bowl, combine the yams with sugar and oil and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Add half of the dry mixture and mix just until combined, then add the other half. Fold in the pecans. Scoop into prepared pans using a 1/2 ounce scoop. Bake for approximately 14 minutes. Yields 72 mini cupcakes.
When I have multiple pans to bake, I fill one pan, then put it into the middle of the oven. I set the timer for 1/2 of the recommended time and let the first pan bake while I fill the second pan. I rotate the first pan over to the side of the oven and put the second pan in. I let both pans bake for the other 1/2 of the recommended time, then take out the first pan, moving the second pan into the center of the oven. I had to let the pans cool so the 3rd pan baked by itself.
Sweet potato casserole normally has mini marshmallows baked on top, but marshmallows are not vegetarian since they contain gelatin. Instead I was going to make a Swiss meringue, which tastes essentially like a marshmallow, but then I read on someones baking blog (can’t find it now!) that she likes to use straight marshmallow fluff as an icing. I took this easy way out. I wouldn’t do it again….
I hoped that toasting the Fluff might stabilize it a bit… I was right. I should have had them ready to go under the broiler as soon as I piped on the Fluff. A pastry torch would have been better, but mine doesn’t work! It only takes 30-45 seconds to brown the tops nicely.
While these cakes were a mess, I think they turned out tasty otherwise. If I were to do it over, I’d try the 7 minute frosting recipe I found on the Fluff website.
I am now off to clean marshmallow Fluff out of my piping tip…and off my counters…and the stove…there may even be some on the dog…