It was the annual Courtauld Christmas ball this weekend. The Christmas ball is always a very posh, very extravagant affair, with everyone dressed fabulously. To fit in, let alone stand a chance of standing out, you really have to make an effort. It’s always quite stressful.
This year I decided (due to a severe lack of funds to buy a brand new ball gown) to borrow from my sister. The dress I wore was a floor length, incredibly tight (my sister is skinnier than me) back-less, with a slit up one leg, black dress. The anxiety of my belly hanging out, especially after the three course meal we were to be served at the ball, was enough to send me over the edge.
Or very nearly.
So I have been on a strict diet of kale, spinach and sweet potatoes. Health foods.
This cake is sweet potato. However it is not healthy. It did not fit into my ball-dress-diet. What it is is delicious and moist and light and you should make it immediately. It tastes sort of like carrot cake, but somehow better. (Although, to be honest, after a week of kale and skipping lunch, anything was bound to taste good!)
This cake is made even better with the addition of ginger icing. Ginger icing is my new favourite,thing- seriously I put it on everything! I think its so good, and so surprising a flavour to have in icing, that it is sure to please!
Spiced Sweet Potato Cake (recipe from Whisk Kid)
3 large sweet potatoes
230g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
400g caster sugar
315 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Begin by microwaving the sweet potatoes for about 7-8 minutes on each side, until soft enough to mash. If you don’t have a microwave, this can be done in the oven too, just for longer! When they are done, remove the skins and mash them with a fork and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
In a separate bowl combine the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil and beat. Then add the cooled sweet potato and the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
Bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the cake feels springy to the touch. I baked mine in two separate tins, but you could also do one big one.
For the icing:
280g icing sugar
splash of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. This can take a while if you are doing it by hand, and it helps if the butter is fairly soft before you begin.
Add a splash of milk, which will help loosen the icing.
Add the ginger and vanilla, to taste. Start slow- you don’t want to overpower with ginger! Add half and taste, then add more if you are feeling brave. This is also a wonderful excuse to stick your finger right in the icing (not that you need one of course!)
Lather the icing on both halves of the cake and stick together. Give a generous helping to the top too. I attempted to decorate my cake with come sweet potato rosettes, but they look a bit silly, I admit. Feel free to not do that!