A few days ago I shared my review of Grow Your Own Cake, published by Frances Lincoln. Click through to read more and to enter my giveaway to win your own copy of the book.
This intriguing cookbook features 46 recipes for savoury and sweet cakes and bakes featuring vegetables and fruits you can grow yourself. The author Holly Farrell, an experienced gardening writer, shares invaluable tips on how to grow and harvest each crop, before putting it to use in the recipe provided. Photography is by Jason Ingram, who illustrates both gardening tips and recipes throughout the book.
Pete and I have thus far made two recipes from the book, an Upside-down Pear Cake and this Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Cake, published below with permission from Frances Lincoln. I love the idea of taking a combination associated with American Thanksgiving menus and turning it into a cake.
We weren’t sure what to expect from this cake – in taste, in texture, in appearance. To our surprise the crumb is actually fairly light and not overly sweet, in fact it’s a lovely gently flavoured sponge which would work very well on it’s own, without the ganache filling or marshmallow fluff topping. We over-baked by just a few minutes, which gave the outside a slightly darker colour, but it didn’t affect the taste at all.
I am not sure adding mini marshmallows into the batter serves much purpose – as the cake cooks they seem to melt away leaving odd pockets in the sponge, lined with a crunchy sugar glaze – so I might skip those next time. The sweet potato cake is the real winner in this recipe, and you could lose the marshmallow elements if you wanted to and serve it as a simple unadorned sponge.
Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Cake
If sweet potato & marshmallow casserole, the traditional Thanksgiving dish, is too sweet for your turkey dinner, use this great pairing in cake form instead. It is perfect after a long winter’s walk.
For the mashed sweet potatoes:
- 800-900 g sweet potatoes
For the cake:
- 400 g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 nutmeg finely grated (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)
- 165 g unsalted butter
- 250 g light muscovado sugar
- 4 eggs
- 450 g mashed sweet potatoes
- 90 g mini marshmallows
For the ganache:
- 45 ml double cream
- 100 g white chocolate
For the decoration:
- 100 g marshmallow fluff (about half a jar)
- 100 g marshmallows
- 2 deep, round 20cm cake tins , greased and base-lined
For the mashed sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roast the sweet potatoes for around 45 minutes until they are soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, then pop them out of their skins. Mash well (use a potato ricer if you have one).
For the cake, preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well; leave to one side. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each egg. Mix in the mashed sweet potato, then the flour and spice mix
Quickly stir in the mini-marshmallows and divide the cake mixture between the two tins. Make sure that all the marshmallows on the surface are coated with mixture to prevent them burning.
Bake for 50–60 minutes. To check if it is ready insert a skewer into the cake; if it comes out clean the cake is cooked.
Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes in the tins, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat until just under boiling point. Pour over the chocolate and stir until it has melted and is smooth. Leave to cool until the mixture is thick enough to spread without running.
To assemble, sandwich the two cake layers together with the ganache, spread marshmallow fluff on the top and sprinkle with whole marshmallows.
Kavey Eats received a review copy of Grow Your Own Cake from Frances Lincoln, part of Quarto Publishing Group UK. Grow Your Own Cake by Holly Farrell, photographs by Jason Ingram is currently available from Amazon for £14.88 (RRP £16.99).