Savory cooking is fun because there’s lots of wiggle room. If cooking is like fine art then savory food is like abstract expressionism. You can just throw stuff together and make magic happen. Baking is less forgiving. I would say it’s more like fine wood working. There are very small margins for error that can be the line between crepes and birthday cake. That being said, I also love to bake. I love the nervous feeling I get when I pull something out of the oven, and cut it open to see if it came out how I expected. This whole cooking thing started when I was a kid making chocolate chip cookies. Baking was my first love and I still make bangin’ chocolate chip cookies but I can’t eat cookies all the time so now I spend most of my time in the kitchen cooking real food.
For the sweet potatoes I went back to my baking roots and turned them into quick bread. It came out so moist and aromatic that I decided to bring it to work and share, lest I eat the whole loaf myself.
Adapted from Chow
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup sweet potato flesh, scooped from 2 medium roasted sweet potatoes
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for coating the pan
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup whole pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with butter and flour; tap out the excess.
- 2Combine the measured flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
- 3In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the sweet potato flesh, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the melted butter and mix on low speed until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing until fully incorporated, then mix in the vanilla.
- 4Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. On low speed add half of the reserved flour mixture, then 1/4 cup of the milk. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk, mixing until just combined, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the nuts.
- 5Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. It will last covered for up to 5 days.