Sourdough Sweet Potato Brownies (Vegan)

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! More hipster than a kale chip, I give you Sourdough. Sweet potato. Vegan. Brownies. I’m just going to leave the idea with you for a moment while I groom my beard, turn up my trousers and drink a green smoothie from a jam jar. You might be cautious. I urge you to throw any feelings of that nature to the wind, for these are awesomely good! Fudgy and dense, sweet with just a hint of that lip-smacking fermented sourdough tang – these are something along the lines of medieval bread maker meets modern chocoholic.

To cut a long story short, I recently had some of my eye-poppingly active sourdough starter leftover from the week’s bread making, and instead of making my usual Dutch pancakes or something lunch-worthy (although who’s to say brownies aren’t lunch-worthy), I had a sudden itch to make these. Of course it helps if you actually make sourdough on a regular basis, and keep your own starter. I’m definitely not suggesting that you cultivate your own starter solely for the purpose of making brownies. But if you’ve got recently-fed starter and you fancy trying something different, then this is for you.

I’ve already conquered vegan brownies (see my Magic Brownies here) and I usually use tofu, which gives the elusive fudgy structure which would otherwise be provided by eggs. Turns out mashed sweet potato offers the same magical properties – and you wouldn’t even know it was there. I promise these brownies do not taste like a vegetable patch – the chocolate and chopped nuts add all the chocolatey, nutty goodness they always did to brownies. I’m super proud of this recipe – let me know if you try it out!

You’ll need a 9″x9″ brownie tin, oiled and lined with baking paper. Cuts into 16 squares.

150g sweet potato, cut into small cubes
200g dark (dairy-free) chocolate, roughly chopped, or chips. (Reserve 75g until the end)
100g Stork (the foil-wrapped block) or use Earth Balance in the US
50g creamed coconut (like this)
175g recently-fed sourdough starter, at room temperature
1 tbsp cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g roughly chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, steam the cubed sweet potatoes for 10 minutes, until just tender enough to mash. Set aside to cool for a bit. In a separate bowl, measure just 125g of the chocolate, Stork and creamed coconut and microwave for 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until just melted. (Use a bain marie if you prefer.) Leave to cool slightly.

Mash the sweet potato and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, measure your starter.

Add the melted chocolate mixture to the starter and whisk thoroughly by hand. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Mix again until you have a lovely thick, chocolatey gloopy batter.

Now add the sweet potato and mix again. You’ll need to work it a bit to really break it up and get the batter smooth again. Lastly, add the remaining 75g chocolate and the nuts. Give it a final couple of stirs to spread ’em out evenly.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and place in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Mine needed about 27 minutes (same as all my other brownies really) but it’s worth allowing a couple of minutes’ difference depending on your oven. Like all brownies, they’ll appear very undercooked, but they firm up as they cool. As long as they’ve got that crackly top and slightly crispy look around the edges, they’re probably done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin before attempting to lift them out, and better still, chill in the fridge before slicing. Serve with Oatly cream or find yourself some luscious dairy-free ice cream!

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