This week's SMS was chosen by the terrific founder of our group, Lorelei of Mermaid Sweets: sweet potato bread with cinnamon-rum-orange glaze! The recipe for this quick bread calls for canned sweet potatoes (though you could just as easily bake a sweet potato in your oven and mash it up instead), uses oil rather than butter (big cheer for not having to bring butter to room temp!) and includes a combination of spices that I'm more likely to associate with fall than spring - cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mother Nature must have known I needed to bake the bread this weekend because gone were the sunshine and moderate temperatures of the past few weeks, replaced instead by cool, damp air - in other words, perfect weather for curling up under a blanket on the couch with a slice of a hearty quick bread.
The instructions called for baking this bread in a bundt pan, but I went with minis instead so I could scale the recipe back. I made half of the recipe and wound up with five mini bundts, though the breads rose quite a bit in the oven (over the top of the pan even though I was careful not to overfill the tins) so I'd make six next time. The baking time for the minis was about 20 minutes. I was tempted to skip the glaze because I wasn't sure the breads really needed it - I could tell they were incredibly moist when I removed them from the pan. I ended up making it simply because I had everything on hand and it was easy: rum, sugar, fresh orange juice and a cinnamon stick are simmered until reduced by half and then brushed over the minis twice.
The verdict? The bread was wonderful! The flavor actually reminded me a lot of quick breads made with pumpkin rather than sweet potato. The aroma from the spices filled my house as the breads baked and the spices were definitely prominent in the final breads. I'd probably skip the glaze next time because I don't think it added a lot of flavor to the cakes and it made my minis all sticky. Also, as I mentioned, the breads are plenty moist (maybe even on the verge of too moist if such a thing is possible) without the glaze. Thanks to Lorelei for hosting this week! You can find the recipe for this bread on her site or on pages 21-22 of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.