Tag Archives: candied ginger

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Cake

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Here is an easy cake from The Washington Post that makes use of any left over sweet potatoes you may have lying around. (Of course it is so good that I intentionally bake extra potatoes just for this purpose). To me this cake combines the best flavors of the season–sweet potatoes, dried fruits and nuts, and lots of spices–and packs them into a tasty bundt cake. This cake is wonderfully versatile and can easily be altered to fit your liking. You can substitute pumpkin if you don’t have sweet potatoes. I added dried cherries, toasted pecans and candied ginger pieces to my batter but you can use whatever nuts and fruits you have on hand or omit them entirely.

The cake is dense and just slightly sweet; dust it with a bit of confectioners sugar to dress it up for a dessert or serve it as is for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Glenn brought slices of this cake in to work for their morning coffee break and returned home with an empty container and just a few crumbs.

 

BROWN SUGAR SWEET POTATO CAKE

3 cups flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons molasses

2 cups sweet potato puree

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup candied ginger pieces, chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a hand held mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the dark brown sugar in three additions, beating for 1 minute after each one.
  • Add the granulated sugar and beat for 1 minute longer.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition, to blend.
  • Blend in the molasses and vanilla extract on low speed.
  • Add the sweet potato puree; beat on low speed to incorporate. The mixture might look slightly curdled at this point, but it will smooth out once the sifted mixture is introduced.
  • Continuing on low speed, add the sifted mixture in three additions, stopping to scrape down the bowl after each one and mixing just until absorbed.
  • Fold in the cherries, nuts and candied ginger pieces.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the cake emerges clean.
  • Transfer (in the pan) to a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a separate cooling rack and remove the pan.

Serves 16

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Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark

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If you are looking for a super easy and festive holiday treat, look no further than this chocolate bark from Fine Cooking magazine.  Laced with candied ginger and ruby red pomegranate seeds it is sure to please.  Wrap it in cellophane bags to give as gifts, put it on a dessert table, or snack on it yourself.  I am fortunate to have a pomegranate tree growing in my yard that produces a bounty of the juicy fruit each year.  The bark will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days so I love to make a big batch of the bark and give it out as hostess gifts throughout the holiday season.

CHOCOLATE-POMEGRANATE-GINGER BARK

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into 1 inch pieces

1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons minced candied ginger

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper.
  • Pour the chocolate in a wide, shallow microwave safe bowl and microwave on high until it just starts to melt, about 1 minute.  Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, heating in additional 15 second increments, if necessary.
  • Gently stir in half of the pomegranate seeds.
  • Scrape the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle.
  • Sprinkle the sea salt and remaining pomegranate seeds over the top of the chocolate, pressing the seeds into the top of the chocolate to secure them in place.
  • Refrigerate until fully set, about 30 minutes.
  • Break the bark into chunks with your hands being careful not to crush the seeds.

Serves 6

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