Sweet Potato Bars with Chocolate

Thanksgiving has passed. It was a warm occasion in our house with lots of family. Thanks to my New Yorkers for making the trip! We jokingly called our set up a commune because my generation crashed at my brother's (the dorm) and then would head over to my mom's (the cafeteria) when things were ready. There were too many of us. That's my family- go big or go home! I picked up a few cool recipes along the weekend, one of which was these sweet potato bars which I've been dying to make.

These suckers are intense. I cannot imagine someone eating an entire helping because the chocolate is thick. This is my fault; I should have used less chocolate than the recipe called for because I got gipped with an 8x8 pan; the recipe calls for 9x9. This doesn't make it bad! You just need a smaller helping- or maybe I just need a bigger tummy.

The part I liked best was the sweet potato, so much so, that I would spoon it off the top. Shame on me! I know! It's very soft and smooth; the flavor is delicious. For some reason, sweet potato tastes a lot like pumpkin to me when served this way. Use one or the other; I don't think it would dramatically change the flavor profile.

What had me smitten about the crust was the use of ginger with the graham crackers. That's a new one for me! A little savory with the sweet. I think it was needed though with the chocolate on top. Helped unify the flavors across the layers- there's a little ginger in the sweet potato too! These bars cut beautifully!

This recipe requires sweet potato puree. Now I didn't look for the canned junx if such things exists. But heads up, you really should prepare this part first. I baked my potatoes the night prior and it worked beautifully. Pick your battles - there's no shame in boiling them if you're short on time. I promise no one will make a fuss. If they do- send them my way and I'll take care of it.

Tip from White on Rice: to make sweet potato puree, you can either bake skin on sweet potatoes for about 1.5 hrs (until soft) @ 375 °F, then peel & press through fine mesh sieve, or you can peel, boil for @ 20-30 min or until soft then press through fine mesh sieve. Baking is slightly more flavorful, boiling is much quicker. Makes about 12 bars.


Sweet Potato Bars with Chocolate
by White On Rice Couple

Graham Cracker Crust
8 oz (225g) Graham Crackers, finely ground
3 oz (85g) finely ground Almonds (optional)
1 t fresh Ginger, finely grated
1 t ground Cinnamon
1/2 c (120g) unsalted Butter, melted

Chocolate Layer
1/2 lb Dark Chocolate, cut in small pieces
1/2 c (120ml) Milk

Sweet Potato Layer
2 c (455g) Sweet Potato Puree-- make ahead of time!
3 lrg Eggs, slightly beaten
1 t Sea Salt
1 1/2 t ground Cinnamon
1/4 t ground Cloves
1 t fresh Ginger, finely grated
1 c (135g) Sugar
1 1/2 c (360ml) Milk
1/2 c (120ml) Heavy Cream
Pecans for garnish (optional)

Whipped Cream (optional)
1 c (240ml) Heavy Cream
1 t Powdered Sugar
1/2 t Vanilla Extract

Combine graham cracker crust ingredients in a bowl & mix until well combined. Spread into an even layer in a 9″x9″ baking dish.

Gently heat milk in small sauce pan; pour over chocolate in a heat proof bowl and mix until completely combined. Pour over graham cracker crust (spread & gently shake to even out) and set aside to cool at least 15 min before layering in the following sweet potato mix.

Preheat oven to 350°F

Combine sweet potato ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Gently pour over chocolate layer and put baking dish in middle rack of oven. Bake for 40-50 min, or until outer 1″ appears set (inner will still have a little wiggle when gently shook.) Set aside to cool, then put in the refrigerator until fully chilled.

Slice with a clean knife into even squares, wiping knife clean between each cut. Garnish with whipped cream and/or pecans. Oooooo layers!