Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I found myself in a nickname quandary the other night. I was with 6yo H at cricket and a familiar face said hello to me. I instantly recognised him as an old high school friend and went to say hi back but then I realised… I had no idea what he’s real name was! None. I kept racking my brain but all I could come up with was his high school nickname, Piggy.
Now, Piggy is not a flattering nickname when you are 16 and is most certainly not something I felt I should be calling someone 20 years later. So I opted for a quick hello and ran.
This got me to thinking of all the other people I have known by names other than the one their parents spent days deliberating over. Sometimes there’s an obvious link from surname to nickname (like Macca for McDonald, Bucks for Buckley, Hilly for Hill) then there are the more obscure ones which leave you scratching your head. My high school was full of them! Like Egna; no clue how this one came about but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t to do with his traditional Irish last name. Or Spud; perhaps he loved eating potatoes? My brother was known as Rat, which was a reference to a long haired footballer who used to play for Hawthorn, but my brother was neither a footballer nor a rodent. There was Piddles (yes you read that correctly and I have no idea, nor do I want to know, of the origin of that embarrassing nickname), DJ (unoriginal yet well understood use of initials) and Fingers (he was good at piano?) just to name a few.
Thankfully most nicknames become a memory when we enter the adult world of offices and corporate email addresses. We grow up, leave behind our awkward teenage years and become a real grown up who is responsible and eats all their vegetables. But, if you still have a bit of 14 year old rebellion left in you (i.e. you refuse to eat your daily serve of vegetables) then this Sweet Potato and Caramel Slice might be your answer. I’ll admit, I ate it for breakfast!
This Sweet Potato and Caramel Slice is surprisingly good. I shouldn’t sound shocked as Sweet Potato and Caramel are two of my favourite things but I admit even I was a bit sceptical that this would work. The Sweet Potato Custard is made from lots of real sweet potato and made into a jelly like mousse by adding gelatine. It is set over a biscuit base which has a strong hint of Ginger flavour that pairs perfectly with the sweet potato. Drizzle some caramel on top, throw on some chopped nuts and there you have it; veggies that any teenager would approve of!
Each element of the Sweet Potato and Caramel Slice can be made ahead of time as they need to be cooled before using. Remember the Sweet Potato Mousse will need 4 hours to set once on the slice. Don’t pour it onto the base hot as you will end up with a gooey, floppy slice base. I found the Sweet Potato and Caramel Slice needed the crunch of the nuts on top, but you can choose to omit them if you prefer.
P.S. As it always happens, Piggy’s real name dawned on me soon after I actually needed it. Aaron; he’s real name is Aaron and I have no idea how his nickname came about.
- Gingerbread Biscuit Slice
- Sweet Potato Mousse
- 2-3 Tablespoons Caramel Sauce
- Chopped Nuts (optional) for decoration
- 2/3 cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 cup Almond Meal
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoons ground Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Cloves
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup (could also use Maple Syrup or Honey)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 170 grams Sweet Potato, measured after cooking (to cook Sweet Potato; place whole with peel on in a moderate oven for 1 hour or until soft on the inside. When cool remove peel and use)
- 1/3 Cup Milk (of choice)
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Cream (thickened part of opened can of cream/milk which has been in the fridge overnight)
- 2 teaspoons Gelatine
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1/2 Cup of canned Coconut Cream
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- dash of Salt
- 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Take the cooled biscuit base (still in the tin) and add the cooled sweet potato mousse. Place in the fridge for 4-6 hours to set (overnight is best).
- Remove the slice from the fridge and remove the slice from the tin using the overhanging baking paper. Drizzle the slice with the caramel sauce and top with chopped nuts if desired (I used walnuts).
- Slice and serve. Keep the slice in the fridge between serves.
- Preheat the oven to 170C/340F
- Line and grease a Medium sized baking tray (mine was 16cm (6 1/2 inch) by 25 cm (10 inch)) or 20cm (8 inch) square cake tin. Ensure baking paper is high on 2 edges to assist in removing the slice.
- Place all the ingredients into a kitchen processor and blend for 30 seconds.
- Scrape down sides and pulse until a dough forms.
- Place the dough into a cake tin and press to form an even layer (I used a shot glass as a mini rolling pin). Prick the base with a knife a few times evenly over the base.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Allow the base to cool completely before using.
- Place the mashed Sweet Potato, milk, egg yolks, maple syrup and vanilla in a saucepan and stir until combined.
- Turn heat onto medium and cook until the mixture almost reaches boiling point (i.e. little bubbles start to form and it will get really thick). The custard will want to stick to the bottom of the saucepan so stir constantly. Remove from the heat.
- Whilst the mixture is heating in the saucepan, sprinkle the Gelatine over the water in a small bowl. Allow to sit and thicken.
- Add the thickened gelatine and cream to the warm custard and blend until smooth and no gelatine lumps remain (use either a kitchen blender or a hand held immersion blender).
- Allow the mousse to cool slightly before using (otherwise the biscuit base will go soggy). If the mousse has gone firm whisk it to loosen it up before using.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce to a medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to simmer until quite thick and dark golden in colour. Stir regularly to prevent burning.This will take 5-10 minutes, depending on the quality of your coconut cream.
- Add vanilla and salt and continue to cook on medium heat for another 2 minutes.
- The caramel will be dark golden in colour and delicious.
- When cooler, place into container and keep in fridge. The caramel will thicken as it refrigerates. The caramel needs to be cooled before drizzling over the slice.