The recipe below, from Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland is published by and used with permission from Chronicle Books; text copyright 2014 Tanya Holland; photographs copyright 2014 Jody Horton.
Sweet potatoes and chocolate chips seem like an unlikely combination, but they work really well together. I like to tell myself that the sweet potatoes help make the cake a nutritious snack as well as a sweet one. If you want to gild the lily, drizzle with Chocolate-Chicory Sauce (below). If you like baking cakes, it’s worth investing in a nice Bundt pan. They’re a simple way to make pretty cakes.
1½ pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
3⅓ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
In a medium pot, cover the sweet potatoes with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Drain.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cooked sweet potatoes and eggs on medium speed until smooth. Add the melted butter and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix just until combined. Remove the workbowl from the mixer and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Loosen the cake from the pan using the tip of a dinner knife, then invert a rack over the pan and turn the cake out onto the rack.
Serve at room temperature.
(To make ahead, cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.)
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups heavy cream
½ cup brewed chicory coffee, such as Café du Monde brand
1 cinnamon stick
To make the sauce: Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, coffee, and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let stand, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick, then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is blended and smooth. Keep in a warm place while you make the beignets.