Hello hello 🙂 I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend and a super messy Holi! Some of you might already know we spent ours in a maddening traffic jam outside of Chandigarh, so we missed our flight back to Mumbai and had to do a whole bunch of annoying rebookings etc etc to be back home as soon as possible. But, it did snow for three whole minutes while we were in McLeodganj over the weekend and I’d probably sit through another jam just to have snowflakes in my hair again. Or not, I don’t think I’m that big-hearted. But it was lovely! Freezing, bitingly cold but just amazing. I didn’t personally feel there was much to do in the area apart from walking around and eating, unless you’re very specifically going for a hiking vacation but if you can, stay at the Horizon Villa only so that you can stare at the valley outside while eating some really good, piping hot, homemade meals.
And with that, we’re back to dessert!
These hearty, sort of healthy, spiced muffins are filled with roasted sweet potatoes and are unlike any I’ve ever tasted because they’re packed with flavour, not too sweet and so perfect for snacking. Let’s bake!
I first saw this recipe in Rachel Allen’s book, Cake which is also where this lemongrass coconut beauty came from. Rachel’s recipe uses only agave as a sweetener, but I used half honey, half brown sugar instead and then sprinkled some more sugar on top for crunch. Feel free to go the all-honey way. She also calls for 400 gms of sweet potatoes which should give about 300 gms after roasting and mashing. But I used 500 gms and found I had only 230 gms after the cooking was done. Either Indian sweet potatoes have a higher water content which evaporates in the oven, or there was sweet potato voodoo going on. Honestly though, I felt like the amount I had was more than enough. The potato makes the muffins dense, so I’m thinking any more than that might be a bit too much, so I’d recommend up to 250 gms. Sorry if this is all super confusing, I’ll add it to the recipe 🙂
The muffins taste of sweet potato, but not excessively so, if that was something you’re worried about. They’re certainly unique but in a completely delicious way!
They are denser than the average muffins, but moist and fluffy even so. The spices go beautifully with the sweet potato and make them taste almost like Christmas which is always a win in my book. With a hot cup of tea or coffee, you have one of the best snacks in the world.
Let’s make some muffins 🙂
- 500 gms sweet potato*
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup wholewheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- ¼ cup butter, at room temperature (50 gms)
- ⅓ cup buttermilk*
- ¾ cup yoghurt
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tbsps brown sugar*
- 1 egg
- ¼ milk to thin the batter, optional
- First, cook the sweet potato. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Leave the potatoes whole and unpeeled, but scrub them very well. Dry them off with a paper towel and place on a baking tray, leaving a little space between each piece. Bake for about 1 hour or until tender when pricked with a fork. Set aside to cool till you can handle them, then slice each piece in half vertically, scoop out the flesh and set aside. I had 230 gms of cooked sweet potato, please see the recipe notes for more. I found it easier to do this step the night before, so that the next morning, all that needs to be done is mix the batter because the roasting and cooling takes some time. Make sure to store the cooked sweet potato in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease or line 12 muffin moulds.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and spices in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cooked sweet potato and butter until pale and fluffy. Add the buttermilk, yoghurt, honey and brown sugar and beat well.
- Add the milk and mix till combined, then fold in the flour mixture in two additions.
- At this stage, the batter might be thick, so you could add up to ¼ cup milk to help thin it out.
- Divide the batter equally between the muffins moulds, sprinkle the tops with some brown sugar and bake for 25 to 30 mins until a toothpick poked into each muffin comes out clean.
- Serve warm!
*Instead of the buttermilk, you can also use an equal amount of milk soured with a few drops of lemon juice.
*If you don't want to use any brown sugar, use ½ cup honey instead of ¼ cup.
*Given that these muffins have wholewheat flour and sweet potato, both of which make them dense, I do not recommend substituting the egg. Egg provides the lift and fluffiness it needs, so I'm not sure if these can be made eggless but you could experiment with more milk and leavener.