In need of something gooey, fluffy, sticky and sweet?
Well then say hello to these sweet potato and pecan brownies topped with a pillowy layer of marshmallow frosting- (slightly toasted of course!)
(Yes it may create a bit of a messy marshmallow explosion in your kitchen but then thats part of the fun of baking!)
I'm a big fan of the blog Deliciously Ella - it's such a good source of inspiration filled with really healthy but super tasty recipes. Ella has a great attitude towards food and all her recipes are gluten free and free from refined sugars which is great if you're looking for a tasty recipe without all the guilt and health problems that come with too much refined sugar, wheat and bad fats.
Inspired by Ella's sweet potato brownies and a recipe I recently came across for butternut squash cake, I decided to have a go at my own take on her brownies, adapting the recipe and topping it with a squidy and sticky toasted marshmallow frosting. Yes- these brownies are a healthier version of my normal recipe but then as a tea time treat I couldn't resist topping them with something sweet and delicious- and who can resist the smell of marshmallow frosting slowly toasting under the grill?!! (It's like the best bit of a campfire without the sogging, sleep-deprived camping bit!)
The frosting is actually way easier than it sounds- the basic recipe is a bit like Italian meringue and is cooked over a pan of simmering water.
Ingredients: (to make 10-12 brownies)
2 medium sweet potatoes (700g peeled weight)
1 large egg
1tsp vanilla paste (not flavouring or extract- you need the real stuff here!)
1.25tsp ground cinnamon
100g ground almonds
75g rice flour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder (or raw cacao if you have some!)
3 tablespooons runny honey
Pinch of salt
For the frosting:
4 large egg whites
200g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2tsp vanilla paste
Blowtorch or hot grill
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
Peel your sweet potatoes and chop into rough chunks.
Remove from the heat and add the sweet potato to a blender along with the dates, honey and vanilla.
Blitz until smooth and creamy. Let the mixture cool slightly before you blitz in the egg.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, ground cinnamon, cocoa, salt and the pecans, roughly chopped.
Then pour the sweet potato mix into the dry ingredients and mix well- if it is too stiff to mix by hand, then use an electric whisk. The mixture will be quite dense and sticky but this is fine.
Grease and line a rectangular baking tray with greaseproof paper. Pour in the mixture and smooth over with a metal palette knife. Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until firm and a knife, when inserted into the brownie, comes out clean.
Cool on a wire cooling rack and then cut into squares.
To make the frosting, add the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar to a heat-proof bowl. Mix together with an electric whisk until combined. Then place the bowl over a pan of simmering water on a medium heat (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.) Whisk the mixture over the heat with a balloon whisk continuously until it reaches 120 f on a thermometer (or hot to the touch- it will take around 5-6 minutes to get to this point.) At this stage the sugar should have all dissolved and the mixture should be slightly thicker and more pillowy. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk with the electric whisk on full speed for another 4-5 minutes until the mixture forms glossy and stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla paste for another 1 minute.
Then using a palette knife, top each square of brownie with a generous layer of the marshmallow frosting.
Use a fork to create little peaks on top of each one and then grill the brownies in batches under a hot grill for 15-30 seconds until the marshmallow begins to toast and turns a golden brown colour.
Then dig in!! (campfire sing-a-long optional)
PS: If you have any of the frosting mix left over, you could make a mini lemon meringue pie using a pastry base, lemon curd as the filling and then pipe over the frosting. Then put the whole thing under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top. (or you could just sandwich the marshmallow mix in between two digestive biscuits- YUM!)
Adapted from: http://deliciouslyella.com/recipe/vegan-sweet-potato-brownies-gluten-free/
Frosting recipe inspired by http://www.chow.com/recipes/30784-marshmallow-frosting