Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Yam What I Yam

I got into one of my periodic baking frenzies yesterday. It wasn't enough to make peanut butter cookies and gingersnaps, but I was compelled to go on and use up the two or three cups of cooked camote (Mexican yam) I had in the fridge.

Camotes in the raw. Ewww!
Camotes cooked. Yummm!
In past years at about this time, I'd make Pumpkin Quick Bread, from a recipe in The Fanny Farmer Baking Book, by Marion Cunningham. (See page 557 in the hard bound edition).

It's not difficult to see that cooked yam, sweet potato or camote can be subbed for pumpkin, making a few small adjustments.

This is the recipe from The FFBB. My changes are in italics.

Preheat oven to 350º F
Grease and flour two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. (I used two frames of Wilton 4 loaf individual quick bread pans, which are a little tricky to make it all come out all right. The use of parchment paper pan liners would be useful, but I don't have any of the right size.)

Dry Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (I started to get the two leaveners reversed in proportion, but corrected in time. Pay attention!)
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (I grated nutmeg and guessed at the amount.)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
(I am surprised by the omission of ginger in the recipe, so I added
1 tsp powdered ginger and
about a tsp of grated fresh ginger root, the latter to the wet ingredients.)
2/3 cup vegetable shortening. (I use Cristal Manteca Vegetal, if I can find it in the supermercado.)

Wet Ingredients

2 to 2 1/2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin (substitute yam or camote amarillo.)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/2 cups of sugar (YES! Not a mistake.)
2/3 cup milk, or more.
2 tbsps grated orange zest (optional.)
1 cup chopped pitted dates. (The original recipe calls for dates, but I think they are too cloyingly sweet, nor did I have any on hand. I subbed sweetened dried cranberries "CRAISINS", which I almost always keep on hand.)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts. (Best if lightly toasted then cooled before chopping. TIP: put the cooled, toasted nuts in a heavy plastic bag, such as a Zip-Loc, close the bag, run a heavy rolling pin over a few times. Don't crush the nuts too finely. Leave some textural interest.)

Sift or whisk the dry ingredients  together on a sheet of parchment paper or in a separate bowl.
Mash and puree the camote if it isn't already, using the flat paddle attachment on your mixer.
Add the shortening, eggs, sugar, milk, cranberries or dates and walnuts. (I usually wait to add the fruits and nuts until after the dry ingredients are incorporated.)

Add the combined dry ingredients to the blended wet ingredients and incorporate thoroughly, without over mixing.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans.
Bake loaves about 1 hour, mini loaves about 30 minutes, and muffins about 18 to 20. Ovens vary, and I also recommend exchanging the positions of the breads at about midway in the baking.

When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or the bread springs back at a light finger touch, they are done. They should be lightly brown. The color is not as orange as when made with pumpkin.

Cool on a rack and unmold carefully.
Quick breads at Horno Los Ortiz, Morelia

Admit it: some of you read this blog mostly to see what sort of wacky, surreal video may come as the prize in the package. I searched for a Popeye cartoon, with the theme, "I yam what I yam", but nothing appealed. However, I did find this cartoon with a stereotypical Mexican setting. If you are not a PC sensitive soul, you may enjoy it.

WARNING: moderate but persistent violence; racial and ethnic stereotypes, cantina setting. Duration: about 6 minutes of frenetic, insane action.


jennifer rose said...

What the world needs now is more Popeye and less PC. Thanks for starting my morning off the right way, but where are the gingersnaps?

DonCuevas said...

The gingersnaps are here. We might be able to arrange a drop off. Check your email.

Saludos, Don Cuevas

tancho said...

Making my mouth water.....set up a stand at Don Chucho's ......

DonCuevas said...

Ivo Mottes already sells multigrain bread at Don Chucho's.

Saludos, Don Cuevas

Lor said...

That cartoon made me a feel a bit seasick with all the up and down. It'd be interesting to put it with a modern dance music.

Jordan West said...