Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sweet Potato Brown Sugar Ice Cream

The people have spoken. They wanted sweet potato brown sugar ice cream, and I have (finally) delivered. This is my very first Official Fall Flavor. I'm pretty sure that means the leaves will now change, the temperatures will drop, and I'll have to start wearing socks again. I have to confess summer is my great love, but if we have to say goodbye, autumn is a worthy rebound. After all, who wouldn't want to lock lips with this seasonal sweet treat?

If you like pumpkin pie, you'll like this recipe because it tastes awfully similar. Instead of using brown sugar in with the ice cream base, I decided to mix in candied brown sugar bits.  It's like finding the marshmallows in your Lucky Charms. 

First the brown sugar bits. This required a lot of trial and error. I tried baking the brown sugar, and it burned. I heated it over the stove, and again it burned. I cooked it will butter, but it was too soft. Lastly, I tried boiling the sugar down on the stove with a little water. Ah ha! Basically, you want the sugar to melt and cook down into a thick bubbly syrup. Then spread it on some parchment paper using a spatula.

As the sugar cools, it will harden. Then, break it up into little bits that you will later add to the ice cream.

Mash the cooked sweet potato and blend it into your ice cream base.

I added some cinnamon, ground ginger, and clove for a little extra spice. 


1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 pound sweet potatoes
1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
OPTIONAL: 1-2 tablespoons rum

Brown Sugar Bits

Combine brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir continuously. The sugar will melt and begin to bubble up. Keep stirring for about seven minutes until it reduces into a very bubbly thick syrup. Spread the syrup thinly on some parchment papers and let it cool. As it cools, the sugar should harden. Break it into little bits and set aside.

Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Poke holes in your sweet potatoes with a fork and heat them in the microwave for about five minutes on high until cooked. Cool the potatoes (they're really hot!) and peel the skin. Mash them in the bowl and set aside while you prepare the ice cream base. In a small bowl, whip together the egg yolks and set aside. Combine milk, heavy cream, and white sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally Just before the liquid comes to a simmer, gradually add about half of the milk and cream to the bowl of egg yolks, stirring continuously. Gradually pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Continue to stir until the liquid forms a thick custard that coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add your sweet potato mash to the custard and puree it all in a blender or with an electric hand mixer. Add in the cinnamon, cloves, and ground sugar and continue to blend until smooth. Chill using an ice bath or refrigerator. If you'd like to add rum, mix it in now. The alcohol will make the consistency a lot smoother. Pout the custard into the ice cream maker in turn. As the ice cream begins to reach its desired consistency, pour in the brown sugar bits and turn for another minute.


  1. AKA LJBROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, Lauren, I do not think this will last to your visit to DC (unless you get here in the next 24 hrs :-)).


  2. Hahaha...I am a celebrity :)

    Well, either Benj and I will have to make it our selves (doubtful) or we will bust down DC sometime and bribe your roommate, the ice cream genius, to make it again!

    Thanks for the shout out Abb!

  3. Sounds delicious! I am trying to think of some new fall ice cream flavors myself. Your sweet potato ice cream was an excellent fall flavor idea! I may trying something with pumpkin. Always nice to read your recipes:)

  4. Very nice! I especially like that you put the brown sugar bits in it... for a little treasure hunt.

  5. Holy crap. This sounds amazinggggg.

  6. I'm SUPER excited I found your blog! I'm part of the TBD network too and was looking around and checking other members' blogs. My bf is buying me the same model you have for our anniversary in 2 weeks, and I'm so trying one of your cool flavors.

  7. Marie, I'm super excited you found my blog too! Let me know how your ice cream adventures turn out!