Bake

Sweet Potato Swirl Brownies

October  4, 2021
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Photo by Carolina Gelen
Author Notes

I must admit, this Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure caught me off guard. I was sure everyone would vote for cake, pumpkin, and an upside-down technique, and I’d end up making a glossy pumpkin upside-down cake. Well, guess what? The poll results came through, and they were the complete opposite of what I was expecting. You picked: brownies, sweet potato, and a swirl technique. And I’m so glad you did. Because this month’s recipe is out of this world: fudgy brownies swirled with creamy sweet potato—truly a match made in heaven. The worst thing you can do to a brownie is make it too sweet, which is why my recipe uses dark chocolate and just enough sugar. Cinnamon-infused brown butter makes every bite extra cozy for fall.
Carolina Gelen

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Sweet Potato Swirl Brownies
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • makes 16
Ingredients
  • Sweet Potato Swirl
  • 1 small sweet potato (about 4 ounces), cooked, peeled, and puréed
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk of your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Brownies
  • 200 grams (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 300 grams dark chocolate (preferably 70 to 80% cacao), chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso (optional)
  • 198 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 100 grams (¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (21 grams) cocoa powder
  • Flaky salt, for sprinkling
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, line with parchment (with overhang on two sides), and grease the parchment.
  2. Prepare the sweet potato swirl: Combine the sweet potato, sugar, egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until combined.
  3. Prepare the brownies: Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks. Let the butter simmer until it turns golden brown and smells nutty, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the chocolate and coffee (if using) to a large, heatproof bowl. When the butter is brown, turn off the heat and remove and discard the cinnamon sticks. Pour the butter on top of the chocolate and let it sit for a couple minutes to melt. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
  4. Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs and salt. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix just until there are no more dry spots.
  5. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Evenly top with dollops of the sweet potato mixture and swirl using a skewer or a knife. Sprinkle flaky salt on top and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the edges look set.
  6. Let cool completely (you can refrigerate if you’d like), then cut into squares.

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Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

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