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Published: November 2013
End Your Holiday Meal on a Sweet Note courtesy of Chef Sara Thomas  


A holiday celebration isn't complete without dessert. Finish the meal on a sweet (and yummy) note with a slice of Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake, served with Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream. Recipe is courtesy of executive pastry chef, Sara Thomas of Carolina Crossroads Restaurant at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream

yields 2 quarts

12 oz. roasted sweet potato

½ tsp. cinnamon

pinch ginger

smidgen nutmeg

smidgen cloves

250 grams sugar

500 grams heavy cream

500 grams milk

1 vanilla bean

100 grams Corn Syrup

1 tsp. maldon salt

240 grams egg yolks

In a saucepan, heat up the sweet potato, all the spices and sugar. Mix everything together. Add the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil.

Temper the egg yolks with the hot mixture. Combine the cream mixture and egg yolks completely. Place in an ice bath until cool. Place mixture in a container and refrigerate overnight.

Pull that vanilla bean out. Spin mixture in an ice cream machine.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake

yields 12 – 16 slices

6 oz. melted brown butter

1 1/2 c. sugar

2/3 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1/3 c. buttermilk

1 ½ c. sweet potato puree

9 oz. all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. cloves

¾ tsp. salt

Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, cream together sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Add the buttermilk and sweet potato puree. Then add all the dry ingredients. Add the brown butter until all ingredients have been incorporated.

Pour mixture in two 10” cake pans. Bake at 350° for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until done. Completely cool cake. For best results refrigerate to cake overnight.

Slice the cake into 3 slices. Place a layer of cake on a plate and add a thin layer of icing on top. Add another layer of cake and add a thin layer or icing; repeat one more time.

Refrigerate cake for approximately 2 hours.

Cut cake into 12 – 16 slices. Add sauce on plate. Place slice of cake on the plate, and add a scoop of Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Icing

12 oz. brown butter

24 oz. cream cheese

1 tsp. Maldon salt

1 c. brown sugar

10 oz. powdered sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 c. pecans, toasted & chopped

Brown the butter the night before and set aside to room temperature. In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and salt until creamy.

Add the brown butter and mix until completely incorporated. Add the brown sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Finally, add the chopped pecans.

Butterscotch Sauce

yields 12 cups

6 oz. brown butter

3 3/4 c. sugar

2 1/2 c. corn syrup

2 1/2 c. heavy cream

1 3/4 tsp. salt

Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.

Add the sugar and corn syrup; bring to a boil. Add the salt and heavy cream; bring to a boil again.

Refrigerate.

Store in the refrigerator. Butterscotch sauce will last for about one month.

photo courtesy of The Carolina Inn

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