To be perfectly honest, I feel a little bad about being this week's host since I haven't been a participant is sooooo long. So, thank you for letting me host anyway. This week's recipe is Sweet Potato Bread with Cinnamon-Rum-Orange Glaze (recipe after my ramblings below). I chose this recipe because it doesn't have any dairy in it!! Who-hooo! I can eat it. The recipe is so simple, so quick, and SO DELICIOUS. I strongly encourage all to try. May be more of a fall or winter bread, but if you like these flavors, who's to say you can't enjoy it year round. Check out how all the wonderful and talented SMS bakers did this week here.
So, in order to explain (notice I didn't say excuse) my absence from baking and blogging (yes, not just a lazy blogger), here goes: I'M PREGNANT!!! It will be our first, and we are so darn excited. I am due October 6th. This is something I have wanted for a while now, waiting for everything to line up. So, world's greatest husband - check, good job - check, house - check, baby - soon! Horay!!!! I was not expecting the fatigue that comes with the first trimester, oh wow. I used to be able to work my demanding lawyer job, then come home and bake and blog. Now for the last few months, it was barely get myself to work, barely make it through the day (a shortened one at that), barely make it home, then fall on the couch and not get up except for the bathroom or bed. Rinse and repeat. I did NOTHING other than that for a few months, not lying. So, no baking, no blogging. Thankfully, I have my energy back. Work picked up in a major way - I have worked long full days every day since Easter Sunday, but that should get back to a more manageable pace after tomorrow, and then I can't wait to see what all my long lost baking friends have been up to and get myself back in the kitchen!
From the book The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.
For the Bread
Two 15-ounce cans sweet potatoes, drained
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 kosher salt
2/3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
For the Cinnamon-Rum-Orange Glaze
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rum
2 cinnamon sticks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed mash the sweet potatoes until smooth (this will make about 2 cups). Add the sugar and oil and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do no overmix. Stir in the pecans.
3. Pour the batted into the prepared bundt pan. Spin the pan to level the bater. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire wrack to cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto the rack for glazing.
4. For the glaze. Combine the orange juice, rum, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a small nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and reduce by half. REmove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly before glazing.
5. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze generously over the still-warm bread. Wait for 10 minutes, and glaze again.