Sweet Potato Bars with Maple Mascarpone

I first made these bars a few weeks ago. I had wanted to make them with coconut whipped cream but my coconut milk failed to separate in the fridge so I put the idea to bed. I've hunted high and low in the supermarkets but cannot find a can of coconut milk that doesn't contain stabilisers. Without stabilisers the milk should separate in the fridge and you can whip up the solid cream that rises to the top to make coconut whipped cream. As soon as I can get my hands on a can of milk that contains just the milk I'll be able to make it.

I made the cake part last night and decided this morning that mascarpone was the way to go. I really love mascarpone at the moment and want to put it on top of everything. I also had mini 30ml sachet of maple syrup that we pinched from the hotel in America and had been waiting to be used. I think I was in one of those baking moods where I just kind of wanted to throw stuff in a bowl and hope it works. Luckily it did. And Luckily I kept measurements. The maple syrup was the perfect addition to the mascarpone and once I bit into a bar I was in sweet potato maple heaven.

Sweet potato is keeping me going until pumpkins are back in season (woo! only another 7 months to go). I should add 'Waitrose in a 20 mile radius' to my list of provisos for when we move, that way I will never be short of pumpkin puree, Lotus biscuit spread and Jimmy's iced coffee. I need to keep a check on this list of provisos before we find it impossible to find anywhere to live. Anyway, back to sweet potato...it has a similar flavour to pumpkin and that means it pairs really well with the same flavours like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and maple. The mascarpone frosting is dreamy, it can get a little messy - all part of the fun - so if you wanted it to be a little stiffer just add more icing sugar until you reach the desired consistency. I like the gooey frosting personally but we're all different and we all like different types of frosting.
 
I just want to add a big thank you for all the lovely things everyone has said about my interview in Sweet magazine. I was really pleased with the article and if you manage to pick up the mag I would definitely recommend you make the apricot cake recipe on page 26, it's a perfect breakfast cake (yep, breakfast...cake). Thanks again!
 
Sweet Potato Bars with Maple Mascarpone
(cake recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen's Blondies)
 
1 medium sweet potato
225g butter, melted
440g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
250g plain flour
 
250g mascarpone
60g icing sugar
30ml maple syrup 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Pierce the sweet potato and place on a baking tray. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Whilst the potato is baking, grease and line a square or rectangle baking tin and set aside.
  2. Remove from the oven and leave until it is cool enough to peel the skin off. Mash the potato with a fork in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Add the melted butter and sugar to the potato and beat until well mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until just combined.
  4. Finally fold in the flour and mix until smooth. Pour into the baking tin and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Check a cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before adding the frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, mix the mascarpone, icing sugar and maple syrup in a bowl until smooth. Spread over the sweet potato cake and smooth out with a palette knife. Cut into bars and try not to eat too many at once.