Monday, September 20, 2010

Fabulous Chocolate Sweet Potato Bread

I adapted a pumpkin bread recipe to come up with this bread which has rapidly become a family favorite.  Of course you can also use canned pumpkin in it, or cooked, pureed butternut or acorn squash.  I intend to use all of these, but am finishing up a bunch of sweet potatoes.  If it turns out properly, this bread has a moist gingerbread texture with a spicy, chocolate, sweet potato flavor.

For an end amount of TWO  CUPS mashed sweet potatoes, scrub 6-8 medium sized potatoes, place them in a baking dish and pierce the skins with a fork, then drizzle grape seed or olive oil over them and bake in a 400 degree oven until well done, about an hour.

This should make a nice moist sweet potato.  I bake extra potatoes to be certain I have enough for the recipe and to eat.  Cool until you can handle them, then peel (our four dogs love the skins) and mash the orange flesh with a fork.  If you use pumpkin or squash, it’s a thinner consistency and will affect how much hot water you use in the recipe.  Also,  I recently purchased those huge pale orange sweet potatoes (which I suspect were yams) and they had a very dry consistency.  Not as good.

In a large bowl mix 2/3 cup of coconut oil (you may use another oil but coconut is healthful, assuming you get the Good kind, and works really well in this recipe) with 1 1/3 cups of sugar (I used raw) and blend in 4 large eggs (my daughter in law has her own chickens).  Add the mashed potatoes to this mixture and blend well.  Now for the secret ingredient,  add 1/3 cup of black strap molasses.  Add 1/3 –1/2 cup of very hot water, unless mixture is quite thin.  I reserve the water and add it as I blend in the dry ingredients as needed, more or less.  This mixture is difficult to stir if you don’t have enough liquid, or if your potatoes are dry.

In a separate bowl, mix 3 1/3 cups flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp cloves,  1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 1/2 tsp salt (I use sea salt) and 1/3 cup pure cocoa powder.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, blending well.  If you reserved the hot water add it now, then add 1/2 (or more) of a large bag of dark chocolate chips.  My latest batch is missing the chips because we ate them all, so the photograph is minus the chips. :)

Pour the dough into two well greased bread pans, half the mix into each one, and bake at 350 for approximately one hour.  Until you can stick a thin knife into the bread and it comes out clean.  Leave the bread in the pans to cool, then slide a knife around the sides to loosen the loaves before turning them over on a rack and tap the bottom of the pan (gently) to get them out.   Good luck and enjoy!

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