Friday, October 28, 2011

Chocolate Yam Cake

Yes, I still am lacking in my pumpkin posts, but at least I am getting closer.  This particular cake is made up of sweet yams and cocoa.  One moist bite of the cake reveals a tasty balance between the two flavors along with a nice undertone of cardamon spice.  This is a cake I will definitely be making again.

The frosting, however, did disappoint.  It was one of those with buttermilk that you cook and stir forever.  It never got to the right consistency and there was not enough to frost the whole cake. The taste was good, but that did not make up for the consistency.  I am not sure if I was too impatient (cooked for 1 hr) or what the issue was.  Based on that, I will not post the frosting, but I am sure you will have no problem finding a suitable one.  The first choice that comes to my mind is a cream cheese frosting. The cake is not real sweet so that frosting would be a great choice.

I have always believed that a holiday meal is not to be forgotten as the plates are cleared, but it is to be remembered as an essential part of a special moment in time with family and friends. So if you are looking to bake something different this holiday season, you might consider making this cake.

Chocolate Yam Cake
adapted from The Festive Table Cookbook

1 sweet potato (12-14 oz)
2 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 cup or 2 sticks plus 3 tbs unsalted butter, room temp.
4 eggs, room temp,whites and yolks separated
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepare two 9 inch round cake pans by greasing the inside and lining the bottom with wax paper.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Cover the yam in foil and pierce with a fork in 3 or 4 places.  Put in oven to bake until done, about 45-60 minutes.  Yam will be done when a fork can be inserted easily, indicating tenderness.  Remove foil and peel cooked yam.  Let cool completely.  Then mash with fork by hand or use a ricer. Avoid using the food processor or blender.  Those machines will make the yam too gummy. Measure out 2/3 cup of the yam and set aside.  Turn off oven. You may have a little more yam than measured out, but that you can snack on or eat later.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cardamon and baking powder.  Set this aside also. In a large bowl, cream the butter and only 1 3/4 cup of sugar. Add the vanilla extract, 4 egg yolks and beat for about 1 minutes, until all is blended.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the yam puree and cocoa powder.

Once all the ingredients are incorporated, stir in 1/2 of the flour mixture until no dry streaks remain.  Pour in the milk and mix until blended.  Fold the remaining flour mixture into the batter and then set aside.  Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Using clean beater blades, beat egg whites until they form a stiff peak.  Then slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat again, back a the stiff consistency.  Fold half of the egg white mixture into the batter until dispersed,  Repeat with remaining egg whites.

Evenly fill cake pans with batter and smooth the top.  Bake cakes for about 40-45 minutes or until done as determined by a cake tester.  Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes.  Then invert onto rack and remove wax paper.  Let cool completely, then frost as desired prior to serving.
                    **LAST YEAR: Kentucky Pecan Chocolate Cupcakes**