The love of some foods must be hereditary. While my dad likes them just fine my sweet potato fixation clearly comes form my mother's side. I don’t know a single one of my numerous southern aunts, uncles, cousins, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and kissing that would turn away a sweet potato. Any sweet potato. - Summer of Eggplant
While reading Gourmet a few years ago I came across a recipe for sweet potatoes with smoked paprika. And if I didn’t say it out loud I certainly thought to myself ‘Eureka! That’s brilliant!’, or something like that. I use more paprika (and butter and cream) than the original recipe because I’m about as crazy for that stuff as much as the potatoes. I also dust the top with turbinado sugar, get out the kitchen torch and fire it up to create a slightly sweet crunch against the backdrop of the creamy smoky potatoes. —Summer of Eggplant
Test Kitchen Notes
Between the smoked paprika and the cayenne, an otherwise run-of-the-mill mashed sweet potato side becomes a sensual, smoky player that refuses to be relegated to a supporting role. The crunchy sugar crust boosts this to a recipe worthy of top billing. One word of caution: Summer of Eggplant, who confesses to wanting to eat smoked paprika right out of the tin, would have you add a tablespoon of the stuff right off the bat. We started with a quarter-teaspoon, and worked our way up to about three-quarters of a teaspoon, which gave it just the right amount of smoky punch without the whole thing tasting like a Bac-o. We recommend tasting as you go! - wssmom —wssmom
Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and place in a 400° oven for approximately 45 minutes until they are soft to the touch like a ripe avocado. I place them directly on the rack with aluminum foil underneath to catch any drips.
Peel, coarsely chop and place in a bowl with the cream, butter, paprika, salt and cayenne. Using a hand mixer blend at medium speed until the potatoes have a creamy consistency and most of the lumps are gone. This can be done in advance if needed.
Fill a 7" ramekin, or 4 4" ramekins, with the potato mixture and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
When they have been reheated remove the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle the sugar on top. Using a kitchen torch heat the sugar, working in a circular motion, so it forms a crunchy, brown crust. If you don’t have a torch you can place the ramekins under the broiler for 20-30 seconds.