Thursday, November 12, 2009

Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes


These cupcakes are just too cute.  They have a mild sweet potato flavor and are topped with toasted marshmallows.  They're a nice change of pace from frosting and faster to make.  If you're too busy during the holidays to make sweet potato pie, consider this quick treat.  Recipe after the jump.

The potatoes were a cinch to prepare.  I tossed them in my toaster oven for an hour the night before, and refrigerated them.

I don't recommend using the food processor to puree them, since you need a liquid to help the process along.  I ended up scraping them into a bowl, using a potato masher, and then back into the food processor for good measure, since I already dirtied the work bowl and blade.

Whipping up a creamy batter.

It looks curdly after adding the sweet potatoes, but it'll work itself out.

You can see flecks of sweet potato in the cups.  I used a cupcake pan instead of the muffin pan the recipe calls for, and ended up with 29 instead of 24 cupcakes.  The baking time and temperature remain the same.

Toasted marshmallow how-to: Group mounds of marshmallows, about 7 or 8 of them to a mound, on a silicone mat.

Stick them for a minute or two under the broiler, and watch carefully!  The marshmallows will swell and start to meld together.  Remove them when you get the desired coloring, and place atop cupcakes immediately. Recipe after the jump.

Candied Sweet Potato CupcakesFrom Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

2 pounds (about 3 medium) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups miniature marshmallows
Candied pecan pieces (I skipped this)

Preheat oven to 400°.  Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until completely soft and juices begin to seep from the potatoes and caramelize, about 1 hour.  Reduce oven to 325°.

When cool enough to handle, slice potatoes in half lengthwise and use a fork to scrape the flesh from the skin into a bowl, discarding skins.  Mash potato with fork until smooth.  (You should have about 2 cups.)

Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low.  Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until completely incorporated after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes are set and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 3 months in airtight containers.

Make topping: Dividing evenly into 4 mounds, place marshmallows on a large baking sheet or nonstick baking mat.  Using a small kitchen torch, brown marshmallows all over (or heat under the broiler).  With an offset spatula, transfer mounds to cupcakes, and top with candied pecans, dividing evenly.  Cupcakes are best served the day they are topped; keep at room temperature.

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