Wish Upon A Dish: Savory Sweetpotato Cake {Recipe Redux Sponsored Recipe Contest}

October 13, 2013

Savory Sweetpotato Cake {Recipe Redux Sponsored Recipe Contest}

I think everyone just wishes Fall would be the boss and kick Summer's butt. Let's turn on that oven and get baking already! Every food site is pushing hard for cold weather dishes, and I noticed more potato recipes then I remember in past years, to the point of putting me on the verge of tiring of something I can't even eat.
I think that when the California Sweetpotato Council decided to allow Recipe Redux members among the first to introduce their sweetpotatoes to the US, I was so totally ready to immerse myself in the challenge.
Diabetics can LOVE sweetpotatoes!! Bring 'em on babee!!

You may think I need new glasses and my spelling is atrocious but this time I am ignoring spell check. No, it's not a typo. The California Sweetpotato Council has decided that their potato is not in fact a "sweet potato" and is from now on calling them, using one word. OK, we all know the confusion of calling yams, sweet potatoes, and sweet potatoes, yams. We all figured they were the same vegetable. Not true, but now there are three. Yams. sweet potatoes and California sweetpotatoes.

Yams are from the south, brought there by African slaves, from the Caribbean and Asia. They have a yellow interior which is dry and starchy and during the 1700's, was what they cooked. That's why, still to this day, you might see yam pies in with the other traditional Fall pies.
The center of origin and domestication of the red fleshed sweet potato is thought to be either in Central America or South America. In Central America, sweet potatoes were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago. They traveled up through Mexico and ended up in California.

So, now that we know the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, you may be asking yourself where the California sweetpotato fits in?

In California, sweet potatoes are grown differently than anywhere else in the world. They are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. They are also available year-round. The different colors have different interiors. Their skin is smooth, the color is amazing, the interior is perfect and they were the sweetest sweet potato I have ever eaten. I had a blast cooking with three of them, not to mention the nutritional benefits. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving (1 medium size, cooked). Plus, they are available year-round.

“I received free samples of California sweetpotatoes mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Sweetpotato Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

For this dish I chose a Covington (orange). They say it is a favorite for mashing and roasting with a super sweet orange flesh and they were right. This sweetpotato was extremely sweet and with the caramelized onions, you would swear I added a sweetener of some sort. I did not.

This cake is delicious!! and nothing like you have ever eaten. Usually made with white potatoes, Italians may point and say "hey, mi excure!"  because they will recognize the technique and a few of the ingredients but the sweetpotato will confuse them and I say to them "ehi, scusate voi", there is room for all, and that all just happens to be something that would appeal to everyone (especially Diabetics), of any age.

The beauty of this recipe?.....you can switch out the cheese and the meats. Grilling a porterhouse? No problem, how about a good blue cheese? Southwestern Tex-Mex, Jack and Cheddar...say hello to chorizo. Let's not forget a nutty Gruyere paired with Ham!!
I created this recipe to have fun with. Super simple, and, it can be made a few days in advance, with a quick blast in the oven and a browning under the broiler. This might well become your annual sweetpotato dish on your Thanksgiving table.

Savory Sweetpotato Cake
Yield: 4-6 servings

* 1 large California Sweetpotato (Covington variety)
* 1/2 small white onion, sliced thin
* 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
* 2 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* Salt & pepper
* 1 ounce Neufchatel cheese
* 3 tablespoons light cream
* 2 eggs
* 2 ounces both fresh mozzarella and smoked mozzarella, grated
* 3 (1/2-inch) slices both sopressata and salami, minced
* 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

* 6" spring form pan or a 6x8-inch casserole

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place one large or two medium sweetpotato on a rack inside a sheet pan. Poke a few holes in the skin.
2. Roast for 45 minutes or until a skewer easily slides into and out of the flesh.
3. Remove, cut open and cool to the touch.
4. While the sweetpotatos are roasting, melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a heavy bottomed skillet and saute the onions and garlic until they are soft and browned (caramelized). Add the thyme and salt & pepper. Cool to room temperature.
5. Peel the sweetpotatoes and mash in a large bowl. Add the cheese, cream and eggs and the onion mixture that is now at room temperature. Mix to a smooth consistency.
6. Butter the baking pan and coat the inside with the breadcrumbs. Tap out the excess and reserve for the topping.
7. Spoon half of the sweetpotato mixture into the bottom of your baking pan, and using your fingers, gently press to the edges and make the top even.
8. Add both the mozzarella cheeses, the Parmesan and the meat to the top of the sweetpotato mixture.
9. Carefully cover the cheeses with the remaining sweetpotato mixture and use a spatula to smooth.
10. Cover the top with the remaining breadcrumbs and dot with the last of the butter.
11. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turn on the broiler for 5 minutes until the top is browned. Remove and cool.
12. If using a spring form pan, release the spring and remove the side. If using a casserole pan, bring to the table and scoop out servings.


Deanna - Teaspoon of Spice said...

This Italian-American is totally intrigued by this savory cake - may try it with prosciutto or bacon!

Serena said...

Wow! This looks like a great recipe to have in my back pocket for all sorts if variations! Love the blue cheese idea!

Mireya @MyHealthyEatingHabits said...

Congratulations on taking 2nd place. Your savory cake does look delicious!