As I was testing this chocolate yam recipe and it wasn’t behaving exactly how I’d imagined, I was thinking that I could perhaps start doing specialty posts called Cleo’s Confessions ….. oops, make that Cleo’s Cooking Confessions —- we don’t want to get too personal!
So, first confession …… my intention when I began creating this recipe was to make chocolate yam brownies but honestly, upon testing it, the final product is really more like a cake. Good news though — the addition of “yam” includes a whole host of nutritional benefits, making this dessert a healthy choice for a dessert or a snack.
The yams we are familiar with in the store, are actually sweet potatoes and they pack a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals not to mention assisting the body with maintaining balance and good health. Containing calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin B1 (thiamine, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), pantothenic acid, fiber, folate and small amounts of lipids and amino acids, “yams” contribute to healthy gums and connective tissue, lower cholesterol, protect against heart disease, and are high in carbohydrates which trigger the production of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that can help fight depression. A substantial resume for a root vegetable!
As I was creating, I was imagining this recipe with pumpkin instead of yams, with an addition of carob nibs or chocolate chips, grated ginger to replace the candied ginger, or even including cranberries for a festive Thanksgiving holiday touch. If you have an inventive spirit, I encourage you to try any of these ideas. Bake away!
Chocolate Yam Brownie Cake
A nutritious snack for the whole family
- 1 ½ cups spelt flour (or substitute)
- ¾ cup cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp. ground flax
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups cooked yams, mashed up
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup candied ginger, chopped
Heat oven to 375F. Brush 8-inch square baking pan with butter, line with parchment paper and brush again with butter. In a bowl, sift together flour and cacao powder. Add flax, baking powder, and salt; then stir in the candied ginger to coat, making sure pieces are separate. In a separate bowel, add yam, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Stir. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour batter into pan and dust the top with cinnamon. Bake approximately 20 minutes. Do not over-bake. And most importantly, enjoy!!!
Food for Thought: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~ Marcel Proust