Golden-orange has been the color of the season here in Tuscany ever since October. Once the Autumn arrives here, you easily find you are surrounded by the golden orange colored leaves on the ground, trees on the mountains, ingredients in the market, and dishes on the table.
I remember my favorite food of this period of the year used to be the baked sweet potato. The golden-orange sweet potato! In my hometown Shenyang, after entering into October, you could find vendors with their simple set-up stalls on the side of the street selling charcoal baked sweet potatoes. I would ask my Dad on the way back from school to buy one. And I still can recall when we approached to the stall, the vendor, who had stood there for hours with his hands hiding into the sleeves, put on his winter cotton gloves, then took out a steaming hot baked sweet potato, and wrapped it into a piece of newspaper before passing it to me. That hot sweet potato with the charcoal burns on its wrinkled skin was like a hot-water bag, and I usually held it close to me to warm myself.
“Don’t eat it all! Otherwise you won’t be hungry for dinner.”
It was kind of a default warning from my parents, if they allowed me to have a snack close to a proper meal.
Indeed I never really finish a whole sweet potato. I was only into the caramelized part close to the skin. Every time after eating those parts off, I lost my interest.
Here in Florence, it is not very popular to eat sweet potato. I only find them available in few stall in the fresh market, while almost never in the supermarket. The other day on the way back from school with my son, I passed by a vegetable shop run by an individual farm and found they had sweet potatoes! And to make sure we consume every part of it, I make it into muffins.
Because of the natural sweetness of the ingredient, you can substitute it for sugar to make it healthier. And now my son is also having baked sweet potato after school!
- Sweet potatoes 100g
- Butter 50g
- Sugar 20g (or less)
- All purpose flour 120g
- Baking powder 1.5 tsp
- Egg x 1
- Milk 50ml
- Melt the butter in a bowl using hot steam of boiled water. Then mix and combine well the sugar with the melted butter.
- Mash the steamed sweet potato, then combine it into the butter sugar mixture.
- Combine the baking powder and the flour together. Sift ½ into the sweet potato butter mixture. Mix them well.
- Break the egg into the milk. Stir and mix them well. Add ½ into the mixture of Step 3.
- Add the rest ½ flour into the mixture. Following add in the ½ egg-milk into the mixture.
- Mix everything well, make sure no chunk is left inside. Divide them into muffin cups.
- Place it into pre-heated oven of 180C, bake for 15 minutes.
Decorate it according to the festival season. It can be a nice dessert for a festival gathering as well!