Sunday, October 13, 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Dessert

My work has brought me to researching the baked potato growing in the past year. Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a warm climate loving vegetable, botanically not related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). I found out that in many countries sweet potatoes are grown by small farms and consumed a lot as street food. Often simply baked and as a dessert rather than as a savoury dish. In Europe it is grown on a small scale in south of Spain and in south of Portugal.

The sweet potato growing industry is getting more focus, meaning that more resources are spent on research and variety development. The growing consumer demand is driving larger scale industrial farming of sweet potato. I have seen sweet potatoes imported from Isreael, USA, Spain, Egypt on sale in supermarkets and farmers´markets here in Switzerland. The global easy access to exotic fruits and vegetables and the pressure on innovation has placed sweet potatoes into most new cookbooks. The wider awareness of the American Thanksgiving dinner outside the United States has brought the sweet potato onto dinner tables in Europe. Sweet potato crisps can be found in niche selection in supermarkets or eco-groceries.

I felt it my duty to get to know the vegetable I was researching a bit closer. I can say that sweet potato is great in soups, a delicious accompaniment to roasted lamb and a Thanksgiving turkey.


Baked Sweet Potato Dessert
Ingredients for one portion (multiply by as many portions as needed)
1 sweet potato per person, ca. 100g each
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp crème fraîche

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Wash the sweet potatoes and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
3. Stab each sweet potato twice with a fork.
4. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 60 minutes until you can feel they are soft.
5. Cut them in half, spread 1 table spoon of honey on each half and serve with crème fraîche.

The effort in preparation of this dessert is almost next to nothing. Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven while preparing the rest of the meal and spreading a bit of honey and cream is a matter of two minutes. Worth a try.