Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting (Vegan and Gluten Free!)
The old cookbook hadn’t been used in years when I picked it up earlier this year. The traffic light yellow cover is well worn and reads, in brown letters, The Eleventh Commandment: “You shall not cook without this book.”
It was my grandmother’s, a favorite of 1970 when she was session secretary at the St. James Catholic Women’s Club in Arlington Heights, Ill., Which included a cookbook committee and a priest, Father Ed Hughes, who had a sense of humor. . Sloppy Joes’ recipe is called “Fun on a Bun”. There is also a “They Whimper” Beef Bourguignon recipe, a Chicken Tetrazzini called “Poultry Game, Italian Style” and instructions for making an “O ‘Hole in One”, better known as Jelly. ‘orange. O Surprise Cake.
The inside cover is dedicated to women from another era:
âTo any woman who has seen a good dinner go cold; he still had to stay late at the officeâ¦ Or conversely, to any woman who has just received a phone call; he brings two of his salespeople home for dinner; it’s 5.30am and what is she doing now ??? â
Verbiage is associated with the theology that it is perfectly right “to recognize that the taste and enjoyment of food (as in all of God’s creation) is actually far more important than its immediate practical purpose.”
Throughout the cookbook, an assortment of tips are sprinkled, including a list of birthday stones and flowers for each month of the year, flavor profiles for various herbs and seeds, and intricate diagrams explaining different cuts of beef, veal, lamb and pork.
In the Cakes and Frostings section is a list of baking tips. One in particular caught my attention: “A good, quick frosting is made by boiling a small potato, crushing it, and adding powdered sugar and vanilla.“
Could this be true? Mashed Potato Frosting? Considering the ingredients, I knew it was vegan and suited my son, who has a host of allergies and sensitivities.
So I tried to do it.
I boiled a potato for 30 minutes, peeled and mashed it, then combined it with powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla using a stand mixer. Unfortunately, it turned out, forgive the picture, a slimy, gooey snot. It was quite disgusting.
Prior to this experience, I had read a bit about sweet potato frosting. But upon doing further research, I discovered that almost all recipes call for coconut oil, and like my preschooler is allergic to most nuts (coconut is indeed a nut), I didn’t want to go that route.
I opted for olive oil instead, although it doesn’t whip as well as coconut oil. The solution: one part olive oil, one part dairy-free butter, plus a few tablespoons of gluten-free flour to make it chewy.
I also didn’t want to bother boiling the potato; instead, I decided to roast in the oven so I could ‘set it and forget it’ while I did other things. And I have determined that the almond extract (I don’t use fake stuff) gives the frosting more depth, which candies often lack when there is no butter.
After a lot of trial and error, I have developed a vegan and gluten free recipe that is quite good to share. Like most good things, it starts with a potato.
Vegan Mashed Sweet Potato and Chocolate Frosting
It’s more of a smooth, creamy frosting than a chewy frosting. Despite all the ingredients, the recipe doesn’t taste too sweet, which is my favorite. But it has a richness and depth that many vegan recipes tend to miss. If you need it sweeter, just add some nuggets.
- 1 large sweet potato (or 2 smaller ones)
- Â¼ cup olive oil
- Â½ cup maple syrup (I prefer a darker, more robust Grade A profile)
- 1Â½ tsp. vanilla extract
- vs. almond extract
- vs. salt
- Â¼ cup dairy free sticks, ambient temperature
- 3 tbsp. gluten free flour
- â cup + 1 tsp. Cocoa powder without sugar
- cup of powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp. non-dairy milk (I use Original unsweetened ripple)
- â cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the sweet potato, with the skin on, for 40-50 minutes (depending on the size of the potato). Test the potato with a fork. It should be soft and tender, almost pasty.
Remove the skin from the potato. To do this, just use your hands to peel it off. (It’s easier than peeling an orange.) Using a knife or fork, remove any brown spots from the potato that would color the frosting.
Place the potato in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 1-2 minutes until the potato is mashed.
Add olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla, almond extract and salt; beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add the butter sticks and beat again.
With the mixer on low, add the gluten-free flour, one tablespoon at a time, until combined.
Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. (Add a little at a time, or you’ll get a cloud of dust all over the place.)
Finally, I created a double boiler by putting a pot on the stove with 4 inches of water. I put a smaller pot in it to float in the water. Add the chocolate chips to the inner pot and when the water heats up it melts the chocolate without burning it. It takes less than 5 minutes.
Once melted, add the chocolate chips to the recipe and beat again until combined for about a minute.
The frosting can be chilled in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to harden, or you can start decorating right away. I put all the frosting in a pastry bag and used it to decorate cupcakes.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a legitimate decorating bag (which most people don’t have), get a zippered bag, pour the frosting in, then cut a hole in the bottom corner and squeeze the icing this way. If you decide to use a decorating tip, place the decorating tip in the bag before filling the bag with frosting; otherwise the hole in the bag works fine without end caps. To frost, start at the outside edge of the cupcake and work your way up the middle, swirling upward at the end to create a peak.