If pumpkin wasn’t so busy basking in the limelight come autumn, it would know that sweet potato is quickly coming for the throne. But until Starbucks figures out how to turn a sweet potato into a latté, pumpkin is safe—for now.
Where pumpkin and sweet potato differ is in the inherent sweetness of sweet potato. Unlike squash, it doesn’t come with an overt vegetal undertone. This means with very little sugar added, sweet potato quickly transfigures into a ingredient worthy of many dessert applications. My favorite as of late is this banana sweet-potato quick bread. Whole-wheat flour is swapped for all-purpose to soak up some of the added moisture the combination sweet potato and banana lends, and cinnamon and olive oil give this bread a seasonal earthiness.
Perhaps my favorite part of this bread is the rivulet of dark chocolate that seeps alongs its interior. You add half the batter, then shave over dark chocolate to cover before adding the remaining batter. This thread of elegance makes the loaf worthy of dessert and a welcomed breakfast companion to your morning cup of coffee.
As with most quick breads, it’s better the next day, so if you can resist the urge to slice into it once it’s out of the oven, let it cool, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
Yield: 1 loaf
- 1 medium sweet potato, cooked and cooled
- 2 medium extra-ripe bananas
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 T. milk
- dark chocolate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9×5 Pullman loaf pan with parchment paper and oil the sides.
Mash together the sweet potato and bananas. Set aside. In a larger bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Set aside. Mix together egg, milk and oil.
Add the egg, milk and oil mixture to the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and bananas to the mixture until fully incorporated. Pour half the batter into the pan.
Add a layer of shaved dark chocolate until the batter is completely covered. Pour the remaining batter into pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes. Remove from the pan, and cool completely. Wrap cooled bread in plastic wrap and store 12 to 24 hours at room temperature before serving.