I don't normally like sweet cornbread. I like my corn bread in true Southern style with no sugar in the batter and cooked in an iron skillet until it forms a nice crust. It's cornbread, not cake. This recipe for sweet potato cornbread has a texture like the most delicate cake, and is slightly sweet. But, what would you expect when the recipe calls for one pound of sweet potatoes? I certainly wouldn't eat this with butter beans and collard greens. But, it's nice for a change of pace. And adding special ingredients to cornbread always shoots a little buzz into a meal. You tell people sweet potatoes are in their cornbread, they sit up and take notice.
Be prepared, this cornbread is so tender it threatens to fall apart if you try to spread butter on it. Actually, it doesn't need butter. The taste of the sweet potatoes comes through and all that beta-carotene will do you a world of good. My Aunt Scotty, the Queen Of Corn Bread, makes a version of this where you grate the potatoes, rather than boiling them. That's interesting. I found many versions of sweet potato cornbread on the Internet, and some of them call for as much as a cup of sugar. A cup of sugar?? Good grief! Not in my cornbread.
Sweet Potato Cornbread
I lb. (500 g) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1 cup (5 oz/155 g) unbleached all purpose plain flour
1 cup (5oz/155 g) fine or medium ground yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of Cinnamon
pinch of allspice
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
Bring a sauce pan filled three quarters with water to boil over high heat and add the potatoes. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and drain. Transfer to food processor and pulse until fluffy. Scrape into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease a 9 by 9 inch (23 CM) square baking pan.
In a small bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda, allspice and Cinnamon.
Add the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter to the sweet potatoes and mix well. Then add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, taking care not to overmix. The batter should be a bit lumpy. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake until the top is golden brown and the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan, 30-35 minutes. Cool pan on rack, then cut into squares.