Saturday, February 10, 2024

Sweet Potato and Black Sesame Marble Bundt Cake


This sweet potato and black sesame marble bundt cake is from Hetti McKinnon’s Tenderheart. I believe I heard about it through Spilled Milk, and since I had black sesame paste (after making black tahini and poppy seed swirls), I knew I had to make this cake. The original recipe says you could swap pumpkin purée for the sweet potato; if you need it vegan, use flax eggs and vegan butter; for a gluten-free version, substitute an equal amount of all-purpose gluten-free flour. And if you are unable to find black tahini, you could try mixing a tablespoon or two of cocoa into white tahini.

I absolutely loved this cake! The sweet potato part was moist, the black sesame part was denser but nutty and delicious; the cake wasn’t too sweet, even with a dusting of powdered sugar. Really, a perfect cake; no notes.

450 g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-cm pieces
225 g (1 ½ cups) plain flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
220 g (1 cup) white sugar, plus extra for dusting
125 g (8 Tbsp.) lactose-free butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
150 g (½ cup) black sesame paste (black tahini)
3 Tbsp. lactose-free milk, oat milk or soy milk
icing sugar, for dusting

Pour 2-3 cm of water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato to a steaming basket, then place the steamer in the pan, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the steamer. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is completely soft. Remove the sweet potato from the steamer and transfer to a bowl. Mash until completely puréed.

Preheat the oven to 340 °F.

Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk together to combine well.

In another bowl, combine the sugar and melted butter and whisk until blended. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Divide the mixture in half, separating it into two bowls (I just eyeball this, though you can weigh it if you like). To one bowl of batter, add the mashed sweet potato and fold until combined. To the other bowl of batter, add the black sesame paste and milk and fold until combined.

Prepare your bundt pan right before you are ready to fill it – this prevents the oil from running to the bottom of the tin. Grease a 10–12 cup capacity bundt pan with non-stick oil spray, making sure to pay extra attention to any details and crevices in your pan, then scatter with sugar. Shake the pan to evenly distribute the sugar, then remove any excess sugar by tipping the pan upside-down over the sink (you can also use a 22cm/9in springform pan or large 25cm x13cm/10inx5in loaf pan lined with baking paper).

Add spoonfuls of the two batters alternately to the bundt tin, distributing it evenly. Run a single chopstick or knife through the mixture to create a marbled effect. (I didn’t run my knife deep enough – the top looked fine, but the bottom wasn’t marbled. I was too afraid of muddying the batter!)

Bake in the middle of the oven for 1–1 ¼ hours (It was 1 hour for me). Start checking the cake for doneness at the 1-hour mark. Insert a toothpick or bamboo skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean, it is ready.

Leave the cake in the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, before turning out to cool completely. Once cooled, dust the cake with a little icing sugar.

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