June 19, 2007

Sweet Potato Cake with Maple Glaze - Gluten Free

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a treasure trove of culinary delights. Every part of the plant can be eaten from the swollen roots to the greens. The indigenous people of South America have been eating sweet potatoes for over 5000 years and the International Potato Center in Peru has recorded over 4000 accessions. It contains a wide variety of nutrients including calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C and ranges in color from red to purple and white. Like all vegetables, the sweet potato is gluten free.

The uses for sweet potato can range from baked to butter or a crunchy appetizer, a fried dessert croquette and stir fried greens. The sweet potato has taken on a more prominent role in our home, due to my daughter's nightshade allergy. I've found many ways to incorporate the sweet potato into our diet that I hadn't tried before her diagnosis. Before that time I must admit to cooking sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, which is pretty sad for a Southerner, especially after seeing all the unique ways to put a sweet potato to good use at the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission and the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission.

My Southern Living Cook Book has a wonderful recipe for a Sweet Potato Cake that I have wanted to try for quite a while. It sounded simply delicious and decadent with a wonderful array of spices. I worked up a gluten free version of this recipe and added a maple syrup glaze to it. I decided not to use a binding agent (i.e. xanthan gum, guar gum) and see how the cake turned out. This is what I did...



1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup cane sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup cooked sweet potato, mashed
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tb cocoa
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans

Maple Glaze

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tb milk
2 Tb Maple Syrup

1. Preheat oven to 325 deg F and line a 7-inch tube pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, pour in the four flours, soda, salt, cocoa and spices. Stir together.

3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and then add the sugar. Blend together. Then add the egg yolks, continue to blend. Plop in the sweet potato and vanilla, then mix together.

4. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, adding a little at a time to the sweet potato mixture until it is all blended together.

5. In another mixing bowl, plop in the two egg whites. Beat on high speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks.

6. Add the egg whites to the sweet potato mixture and fold together with a spatula.

7. Pour the cake batter into the tube pan and spread out it out evenly.

8. Bake for 1 hour or until a pick comes out clean. Allow to cool before glazing.

Maple Glaze

1. In a medium sized bowl, pour in the powdered sugar, milk and maple syrup. Stir together. Work out any powdered sugar lumps by pressing the lump between the side of the bowl and the back of the spoon.

2. Pour over the top of the cake.

Note: If you double this recipe it will fit into a 10-inch tube pan.

How did it taste? Simply divine and gone in two days. This recipe received two thumbs up from all of us. Did it hold together with out a binding agent? Yes, it did. The sweet potatoes turned out to be a strong enough binder that it didn't need the addition of a binder like xanthan gum or kudzu powder.


liz said...

wow, you worked hard this week! nice desserts, I am impressed- they look yummy.


Sheltie Girl said...

Liz - Thank you. It's always nice to cook for a crowd.

Sheltie Girl