We’re now in month two of the baking club (have you signed up yet?) and this month’s theme was – baking with vegetables. This is something I’ve been keen to try for a while, especially since reading that often vegetables can be used in place of flour, or even sugar, in bakes making them lighter and well… healthier. As someone with a major sweet tooth, a baking club might just be the ideal hobby for me, but does also bring with it an excuse to eat overly indulgent treats rather regularly.
Seeing as my last bake (the hidden heart cake) was a rather adventurous and time consuming recipe, I wanted to tackle something this month that could be thrown together easily and whipped up in less than an hour. Because as much as I love baking, sometimes we don’t always have a whole day to spend on it and may want to make something that tastes delicious but takes minimal effort.
I first came across the idea of sweet potato brownies when one of my friends was trying the Paleo diet and was raving about them and how much extra goo-iness the sweet potato adds. Not to mention the fact that they’re generally made sugar and flour free and packed full of good stuff such as coconut oil. I’d been wanting to try them for a while but for some reason had never got around it so when this theme came along it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Deliciously Ella’s recipe is the most famous of sweet potato brownies but I didn’t specifically follow it, instead I kind of mixed the bits from a few different recipes that I liked (adding avocado into the mix too!) and then also attempted an avocado icing just to see how many vegetables I could possibly throw into the equation. I wasn’t specifically aiming to make a sugar free bake, but a lot of the sweet potato brownie recipe are so by nature. I added some dark and white chocolate chunks for a tiny bit of sweetness but of course you could take these out if you wanted to make them truly sugar free.
Here’s how they’re done…
What you’ll need
For the brownies
2 sweet potatoes (baked and mashed – I put mine in the micro)
1 avocado (mashed)
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted)
3 tablespoons of coconut flour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder (use raw cocoa for true sugar free)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Dark and white chocolate cut into chunks (remove this for sugar free)
For the icing
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
How it’s done
1. Bake the sweet potato and mash. Scoop out the avocado and mash. Combine both in a bowl. It looks all kinds of tasty at this point right? Don’t worry it gets better!
“BB’s Top Tip – mash your veggies well to avoid any unwanted lumps after baking. Or better yet blend to a pulp in a food processor!”
2. Add all of your other ingredients (except the chocolate chunks) and mix well. You can do this in a food processor or just use a mixer. Then fold in your chocolate chunks and that’s it! Prep done. I told you it was easy!
3. Pour mixture into a deep square tin and bake for 30 minutes (until crispy on the top and gooey in the middle)
4. While the cake is cooling slightly, make the icing by blending an avocado until smooth and then adding the cocoa and coconut oil and mixing well.
5. Spread evenly on top of the brownie and then top with toasted almonds (optional but looks pretty).
6. Cut into slices and serve hot or cold. (they taste amazing straight from the oven!)
I was really impressed with how these brownies turned out. I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive about how the sweet potato and avocado would taste but you honestly can’t tell it’s in there. They definitely have a different taste to normal brownies, they aren’t sweet as such but rich instead. I’m a fan of dark chocolate so for me I liked the bitter taste but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I may have slightly undercooked mine as they were extra gooey in the middle so if you prefer yours cake-ier then adjust the cooking time a little. The jury is still out on the avocado icing – it’s not that you can taste the avocado, it’s just a very bitter tasting icing. I didn’t mind it myself but GB, who normally devours my bakes, was a little more apprehensive on this one and I think that was mainly the avocado icing. The brownies would be just as great without icing too though so you could easily skip that part.
If you do give them a go then let me know how you get on by tweeting or Instagramming your version using the hashtag #theflakybakersclub
And of course, if you love baking then join the baking club!