Candied yam cupcakes

candied yam cupcakes smlSo it turns out that most Thanksgiving dinner elements include pretty hefty amounts of sugar.

The candied yams (sweet potatoes) I’m planning to serve with our turkey are already sweet enough for me without the recommended topping of marshmallow (!), but translated into cupcakes, this works a treat.

Essentially you’re creating deliciously moist cakes – sweet potato an unusual hit for a base – topped with toasted marshmallow. Nom, nom.

Huge kudos to Annie’s Eats for this awesome recipe [please do take 5 minutes to browse around her sweet, foodie site, splling over with retro Americana style and contemporary ideas]. I’ve adapted it slightly (preferring Martha Stewart’s marshmallow method) and converted to UK-friendly measurements.

Makes 24 cupcakes
Ingredients:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ a nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 500g mashed sweet potatoes*
  • 6 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

*[2 large sweet potatoes should yield this – if you weigh them dry, aim for around 750g, remembering they will lose around 25% of their weight from peeling and boiling]

For the frosting:

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Prepare your mashed sweet potatoes and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4 and line two 12 x cupcake pans with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) and lightly whisk together.
  4. In a fresh bowl, soften the butter with a wooden spoon and add the brown sugar. Cream together with a hand-held mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, using a spatula after each addition to scrape around the bowl. Then mix in the sweet potatoes, maple syrup and vanilla extract, beating just until combined.
  6. Reducing the mixer speed to low, mix in the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cupcake liners (each about 2/3 full). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in the pan for around 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Combine the egg whites and caster sugar in a double boiler (set a mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water). Whisk for 3-4 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch.
  10. Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer for 5 to 7 minutes – starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Add vanilla, and mix until combined.
  11. Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe swirls of frosting on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle lightly with brown sugar and brown with a kitchen torch (if you don’t have one, place in small batches of 4-6 under a medium grill – but watch them very closely as they brown fast! 30 seconds for each batch should be plenty).

Enjoy.

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