Do you like moist, dense brownies? Do you like creamy, cinnamon-y sweet potato or pumpkin pie? Then I bring good news with me today, friend. This recipe is for you. It’s both those magical, wondrous foods combined into one cake. Hellooo.
This recipe was inspired by one I stumbled across on Gena Hamshaw’s website, The Full Helping. Gena’s recipes have always been a source of admiration for me. In Gena’s original brownie version, she used pumpkin puree instead of sweet potato. I had a bunch of baked sweet potatoes in my fridge and no pumpkin puree in sight, so I used what I had. It worked out perfectly, and I have been in a relationship with this cake ever since. Truly, do yourself a favour and make it ASAP. The cake itself is moist, rich, dense, gooey and nutty. The frosting literally tastes like sweet potato pie (or pumpkin pie if you use pumpkin). I added a light chocolate maca drizzle and chopped walnuts for these sexy food pics, but that’s optional. I promise it is delicious even without the extra toppings, because I happily ate two slices before I even made the drizzle.
One more thing I wanna mention today! It’s kind of heavy and personal, just a warning.
This week had me staying in hermit mode at home, recovering from a cold. In a roundabout way this has been a gift, because it gave me the time to stumble across an incredibly powerful podcast. It’s called the Food Psych Podcast, hosted by Christy Harrison, and it is rocking my world! The perspectives on the podcast about promoting an anti-diet movement, intuitive eating, body-liberation, and ED recovery are so healing and helpful to me right now. The messages about joyful movement, self-care and fat-positivity are exactly what I need to hear. As some of you know, I have struggled with severely disordered eating and exercise addiction in the past, and continue to today (hot tip: mental illnesses like to hang around). For the past few years, I thought I had done way more recovery than I actually had, as I am realizing now. This podcast has forced to me recognize I’m still practicing disordered eating and over-exercise. I am now seeking therapy (finally!) with a fat-positive, intuitive eating dietician; as well as a counsellor I can work with regarding my gender identity. Bodies are tough, hey?
Thanks to this podcast kicking my butt out of denial, I am now beginning a new journey with my body and food. I am trying to practice unconditional kindness, abundance and love with myself, instead of guilt, judgement and shame. It feels like the start of something powerful and life-changing. It is what I deserve. Remember to take care with YOURself this week, this month, this year, this life. You have the right to draw boundaries, say yes, say no, and do what you want when you want (as long as you aren’t harming others). Society’s rigid moral and “beauty” standards do not have to dictate your worth. You are enough right now. You are deserving of love, respect, nourishment, joy, shelter, peace, and freedom from oppression as you are this moment. I have plenty more thoughts I could share, but I will leave it here for today. I admit I am a little anxious about being this open and vulnerable on my blog, since I haven’t been doing it much lately, but I trust that my readers are kind and understanding… (right, guys??) For those of us moving through this complicated, capitalist, competitive culture, life can feel and be exhausting, but I get so much inspiration from my personal support systems and the resilience I see in those around me. Knowing and remembering that I am not alone – there is always a community for us, somewhere – provides deep relief.
Thank you for listening, for supporting me, for giving me space to express myself and my dynamic journey in this strange world. I send all my love to you! Try the cake (if you want)!
WALNUT CHOCOLATE CAKE with SWEET POTATO FROSTING
Makes one 6″ cake; 12 slices. Inspired by Gena Hamshaw’s recipe.
2 cups walnuts, soaked for 8 hours
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 3/4 cups sweet potato puree
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons cacao powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder, or pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch sea salt
2-3 tablespoons almond milk, as needed
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 teaspoon maca powder
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, as desired
1 teaspoon almond butter
1. To make the cake: throw all the ingredients in a food processor and process until you have a thick, moist, semi-crumbly dough. It should hold its shape when pressed between fingers. If it’s too moist, add more flax or hemp seeds. If it’s too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons water or coconut oil. Press into the bottom of a lined cake pan or brownie pan and leave in the fridge for 2 hours, or until the dough has set.
2. To make the frosting: blend all ingredients until lusciously smooth and delicious. Add more sweetener if desired. Leave in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to thicken.
3. To make the drizzle: whisk together the ingredients until you have liquid chocolate. If it’s too watery, add more cacao powder or almond butter. If it’s too thick, add more almond milk.
4. Frost your cake, drizzle with the chocolate sauce, sprinkle with extra chopped walnuts (optional), slice and enjoy! This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
You can use pumpkin instead of sweet potato. You can use any other nut instead of walnuts. You can use more dates instead of raisins.