Holiday Sweet Potato Bread with Butterscotch Chips and Cashew Brown Sugar Crust
With Fall in the air, (even if the temperature in your area is still hovering above 90 degrees,) the days are shorter, and eventually, cooler.
As the temperature drops, it's time to crank on the oven, open the windows and fill the house with the great smells of autumn baking.
One of the things I like to do with the oven is make a variety of quick breads, and my roasted sweet potato bread with butterscotch chips and a cashew brown sugar crust is always a crowd-pleaser.
This is a great dessert to serve warm with dulce de leche ice cream. It's also a great snack for chilly outdoor fall afternoons with tea or coffee. For a little more flavor pop, try adding a shot of good bourbon whiskey to the mix before pouring it in the pan.
Need less sugar? Substitute the butterscotch chips with walnuts, or use artificial sweeteners or molasses in place of all or part of the sugar.
You can always reduce the overall amount of sugar used as well. This will allow the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes to dominate your palette.
A great alternative to the mostly artificial choices in your local grocery store. Buy big and it will last and last.
- Ready to get started? Here's what you will need:
- 1 large sweet potato, roasted (enough for 1 cup + 1-2 tablespoons)
- All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
- Sugar (refined, or half refined and half brown.) 1 1/3 cups
- Vanilla extract: 1 1/2-2 teaspoons
- Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda: 1 teaspoon
- Table salt: 3/4 teaspoon
- Either: Cinnamon: 1 1/2-2 teaspoons + 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
- OR, if you have all the individual spices on hand:
- Cinnamon: 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Nutmeg: 1/2 teaspoon
- Ground ginger: 1 teaspoon
- Ground cloves: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon
- Butterscotch chips: 1/4-1/2 cup
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature (30 seconds in the microwave to speed it up.)
- 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature.
- 1/4 milk
- 1/4 cup whole cashews, salted is fine
- Preheat the oven to 355 degrees
- Be sure your sweet potato or potatoes are well roasted, to the point they will puree with a fork. The well-roasted sweet potato will yeild more flavor and mix thoroughly into the batter.
- Oil a loaf pan or line it with wax paper.
- In a large bowl, mix butter with sugar until smooth and lightened.
- Add eggs, lightly scrambling first if you prefer. Thoroughly incorporate into sugar/butter mixture.
- Add vanilla extract and milk.
- Whip in pureed sweet potato. If cooked well enough, scoop out the flesh and add directly. It will mix in smoothly.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices until thoroughly incorporated. Add in batches to 'wet'(sweet potato mixture) bowl, stirring in slowly with a spatula.
- Mix in butterscotch chips.
- Pour/scoop mixture into loaf pan and shake to distribute.
- Using a mortar and pestle, or pulsing in a food processor, break up the cashews and brown sugar to a crumb-like mixture. Sprinkly with a liberal hand over the top of the batter in the pan.
- You can also add cinnamon and other spices to this topping. Shredded coconut and brown sugar makes an amazing alternative!
- Bake in the top rack for 50-55 minutes. Insert a fork or skewer to test for doneness. If it comes out clean it is done. Now let it cool for about 30 minutes, or let it settle for about 15 before scooping it up and serving it with some ice cream.
On a final note, the batter is easy to make with a wire whisk and a good spatula, but for those of you who prefer your power tools, I recommend an inexpensive hand blender.
A simple, effective hand held immersion blender from Proctor-Silex. For the price, this is a valuable tool you will find infinite uses for.
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