Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweet Potato Pudding

This is easily one of my favorite side dishes of all time. What is so fantastic about this one dish? It's dessert hiding out next to the main course. But it doesn't stop there, the sweet crispy brûlée combined with the spicy cinnamon and ginger wakes up your tastebuds to the airy splendor that is baked pudding. Have I convinced you yet? This dish takes sweet potatoes to an entirely new level.

I have always been a pretty big fan of sweet potatoes. Give me a garnet yam, some butter, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. That combo makes for a happy tummy. (My only request, no marshmallows! Ugh!) My sister does not like them. Don't put anything remotely orange in front of her. Something about sweet vegetables makes her metaphorical boat hit rock bottom. I wanted to change that. I wanted her to ask for more of an orange vegetable just to prove I could do it.

You see, a few years ago my sister made an off hand comment. It was probably completely out of the blue, and she may not remember saying it, but it stuck with me. She told me, "you know, Mom's food is okay, but you are a really good cook." I was, pretty much, floored. I was 17 or 18, my culinary experience involved watching far too much of the Food Network and saving up my paychecks to buy extra groceries. I may have fiddled around in the kitchen some. I was going to be a choir teacher, not a cook.  Little did I know you can sometimes end up with two passions.

I still love teaching music, and writing music, I really love anything involving music. I am still saving up to go back to school and become a music teacher. But I love cooking too. This is now one of my sister's favorite side dishes at holiday meals. I proved her orange.

You'll Need:
2 eggs, separated, room temperature
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a dash ground ginger (fresh is best)
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

In a small bowl beat your egg yolks

In a mixing bowl cream together your butter and sugar. Add in your egg yolks, milk, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and sweet potatoes. Mix until everything is fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl beat your egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then gently fold your egg whites in to your sweet potato mixture.

Pour your mixture into a well greased 2 quart glass dish and bake at 350 for 40 min. Or separate into brulee ramekins and bake for 30 min.

After fully baked sprinkle lightly with sugar and melt sugar with a brulee torch until a crispy crust forms.

Happy eating!