Monday, October 11, 2010

Candied Yam Cupcakes

Happy Thanksgiving! No, I don't have my calender all screwed up - today is, in fact, Thanksgiving. Sorry, America - all the turkeys and pies and pilgrims in the world don't belong to you. Canadians have been celebrating since 1879. Actually, when you think about it, October 11 makes a bit more sense for a holiday celebrating a good harvest. I mean, who's still picking corn and pumpkins in late November? Plus, sometimes the Thanksgiving roulette falls on my birthday - which stunk when I lived in New England. While I was concerned with cake and presents, everyone else had stupid little turkeys on the brain. Not even tofurkey - plain old meaty turkeys. Ew.

There is one thing about Thanksgiving I can get behind, though. Pie. Especially of the squash and nut variety. Pumpkin and pecan are my favourites - I cannot get enough of them this season. Lately, though, I've been trying to experiment. Butternut and acorn squash pies are amazing this time of year. I also delved into my Canadian heritage and looked into butter tarts (which, if you haven't experienced, it is a must). This year, however, I took a note out of an American thanksgiving cookbook.

yam (11)

I can't say I ever understood the whole 'yam and marshmallow' thing. Is it a dessert? Is it a side dish? And who the heck thought it was a good idea? I really don't think they had marshmallows in colonial Plymouth. This year I really tried to understand candied yams - but I couldn't get past the sweet marshmallowy mess. So I did what I do best - and changed it into a cupcake. Cupcakes make everything better.

yam (8)

Mashed yams make this cake incredibility moist, but not enough to take away the wonderful light and cakey texture. It carries the spice flavour well - you can taste every bit of freshly ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace . You could eat the cake by itself, I promise you, but we decided to top it with a traditional marshmallowy topping. Our fluffy seven minute frosting did the trick - especially when we sprinkled a little extra cinnamon-sugar and topped it with a candied pecan.

So, if you in the mood for a bit of a non-traditional Thanksgiving, give these bad-boys a try. And, if you happen to like them, let us know! We'll be entering them into this month's Mystery Box Challenge. What better orange ingredient to use than the seasonal and bright yam? Nothin', I tell ya. Nothin'. Voting begins October 20th, and the prizes this month are once again pretty super. They include:
Super duper nifty, hey?

yam (14)

Candied Yam Cupcakes with Marshmallowy Seven-Minute Frosting
Makes 12 Cupcakes

1 pound yams, boiled and mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a pinch finely grounded mace
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 sugar
1/2 brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in mashed yams and vanilla.

3). With a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture slowly until just incorporated. Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners and bake for about 28 minutes (or until your cake tester comes out clean). Set out to cool before icing.

Marshmallowy Seven-Minute Frosting
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
candied pecans

1) In heatproof bowl, whisk together the water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Set the bowl over saucepan of simmering water and beat constantly until mixture holds stiff peaks (about 5 to 7 minutes).

2) Remove from saucepan. Beat until frosting is cooled, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and decorate with candied pecan. Enjoy.

yam (4)

Not a big fan of Thanksgiving? These can also make wicked Halloween cupcakes. Boo!


Lina Thomlinson said...

Awesome x 1000! So creative to use yams and what you've come up with truly sounds delicious. What a great seasonal cupcake. Yet another of your creations I'll have to bookmark and try for myself. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Very creative, and I love the look of them, they are so cool!

Leanne said...

"I really don't think they had marshmallows in colonial Plymouth." Ha!

the whole yam-as-dessert thing is something i'm still trying to get behind, but maybe these will help me along...

Monet said...

So I love your cupcake wrappers, and these cupcakes. The name alone made me smile! These look and sound delicious, and I would love to try one, or two, or three! Thanks for sharing such a creative cake recipe with us!

Unknown said...

That is freakin genius.

GreenGirl said...

cupcakes made from yam sounds delicious and look ten times better, i already bookmarked the recipe and give it a try it lit over 2 weeks for my treat-or-trick guests

BakingWithoutABox said...

Oh my goodness. Flove it! Perfect combo since that really is a veggie dessert anyway!

Daydreamer Desserts said...

Those look amazing, what a perfect little Thanksgiving dessert!

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

what a beautiful cupcake:)

Anonymous said...

I am loving this recipe!!!!!!!

Art and Appetite said...

So innovative and definitely creative! What a nice twist for holiday cupcakes too! Fabulous!

Dimah said...

These look amazing!

Lina Thomlinson said...

Damn, the competition is fierce this month but yours definitely stand out by being both unique and delicious-looking. Just voted for you and hope you get oodles more votes! Good luck!

anna said...

I love this idea! Personally I don't like yams with marshmallows as a side dish (too sweet!) but in a cupcake it's perfect. And pecans make them even better!

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