Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Baking for Beginners: Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Blondies

An admission: I've never been that bothered about brownies. On paper, I think they sound marvellous; in reality, they're just a wee bit too rich for my tastes. I am, however, a big fan of blondies (see also: Blondie). A little less full-on, blondies are the paler, less intense cousin of the brownie.

In honour of Thanksgiving, happening tomorrow in the good ol' US of A, I have taken one of their traditional holiday side dishes - marshmallow-topped sweet potato - and repurposed it as a blondie.

The addition of sweet potato lends a wonderful fudginess to the blondies, while the marshmallow topping gives an extra layer of chewy sweetness, and the pecans are pleasingly crunchy. Whip up a batch of these little beauts, and you'll have plenty to be thankful for. Don't use your Instagram marshmallows, they're too pretty.

Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Blondies (makes 16)
You will need:
  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato (should weigh around 360g uncooked - you'll need about 200g of cooked sweet potato flesh)
  • A little butter for greasing
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 150g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped into smallish pieces
  • 100g pecans, chopped
  • 100g white mini marshmallows (find them in the baking aisle)
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.
  2. Pierce the sweet potato all over with a fork, then bake in the oven for around 45-50 minutes. 
  3. Once it's soft, cut in half and scoop out the flesh. Set aside to cool, and turn the oven down to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  4. Grease an 18x18cm deepish cake tin, then line with baking paper and grease again. 
  5. Combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  6. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract, followed by the sweet potato flesh. Mix well.
  7. By hand, fold in the flour until combined but not over-mixed. Now add the white chocolate and pecans and stir together.
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer or toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  9. Add a layer of mini marshmallows, whack the heat of the oven right up, and place the tin back in to allow the marshmallows to melt and start to turn golden. This takes only a few minutes, so keep a close eye!
  10. Remove from the oven, and slice into 16 squares while the marshmallow is still melty (this helps achieve a smoooother cut). Serve warm or cool.
A happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers! 

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