Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review

Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review

Coming up with the menu for the holidays can be a challenge. With holiday potlucks and family gatherings, it’s important to have tasty, go-to recipes in your back pocket. I usually scour Pinterest for recipes when I’m in need of some dessert inspiration, and while Pinterest is a great resource, sometimes the recipes don’t turn out, or just aren’t good. Luckily, my mom is a cookbook collector, so if we are really in a pinch, I can usually find a good recipe in one of her many books.

A few years back, my mom and I were watching one of those “best of” travel food shows. Brown Betty Bakery was one of the restaurants featured. Known for their sweet potato pie and pound cake, the bakery was begun by mother/daughter team Linda Hinton Brown and Norrinda Brown Hayat. The restaurant was named Brown Betty in homage to Linda’s mother (Norrinda’s grandmother) Betty. In fact, all the cakes on the Brown Betty menu were named after influential friends and family members. Because my own mother is a southerner, a fan of southern-style cuisine, and a foodie traveler, we discussed the possibility of visiting the bakery. In the meantime, I gave her The Brown Betty Cookbook as a gift. Unfortunately for our travel plans, the bakery, located in Philadelphia, closed in 2016. Nevertheless, Brown Betty lives on. Their cakes were in such high demand, they moved into the wholesale business. You can now buy their pies and cakes from Walmart under the Pattie LaBelle label.

I’m bummed we never got to visit the brick and mortar location, but we still had the cookbook, so I decided to try out one of the recipes from the book. I try to keep my diet relatively gluten-free, so instead of trying to de-glutenize one of the cakes, as it wouldn’t be the same, I found a recipe for Sweet Potato Cheesecake. As you may remember from our month of sweet potato recipes last November, I’m a fan of the sweet potato, just not so much a fan of anything that adds sugar to a sweet potato recipe. This cheesecake changed my mind. To me, it’s nicely balanced. The potato isn’t overwhelming in flavor. It’s not too sweet. It’s tangy, a little earthy, and, more importantly, the family loved it. If you’re looking for a little southern comfort for your next holiday meal, I would highly recommend this recipe. If you are looking for a fun gift for a friend who loves southern cuisine, the cookbook not only has delicious recipes, it also has interesting anecdotes about the women for whom the cakes are named and how the recipes came to be.

Print Recipe
Uttori Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review
Sweet Potato Cheesecake. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 80 minutes
Passive Time 2.25 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Mashed Potatoes
Cheese Cake
Sour Cream Topping
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 80 minutes
Passive Time 2.25 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Mashed Potatoes
Cheese Cake
Sour Cream Topping
Sweet Potato Cheesecake. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com.
Instructions
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  1. To make the mashed sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and rub the skins with oil.
    Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com
  2. Roast the potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, 50-55 minutes. Set the potatoes aside until they are cool enough to handle. Using a knife remove the skin of the sweet potatoes and place the flesh of the potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
    Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com
  3. Beat the potato flesh on medium high speed to remove the pulp, about 1 minute. Push the flesh through a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 175 F.
    Mashed Potato. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com
Crust
  1. To prepare the crust, in a small bowl, use your fingers to mix the crumbs, butter, and superfine sugar until blended. Firmly press the crumb mixture onto the bottom, and 2 inches up the sides, of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
Filling
  1. To prepare the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. Scrape the bowl. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, beat on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and beat until well blended.
    Filling. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwysuttori.com
  2. Increase the oven temperate to 440 F. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any drippings. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. Pour the batter into the crust and bake 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 F and bake until the filling is set, 80-85 minutes longer.
    Ready-to-bake. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review.Alwaysuttori.com
  4. First Bake. Photo Credit: Always Uttori.Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com
Sour Cream Topping
  1. Meanwhile, prepare the sour cream topping. In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, superfine sugar, and vanilla to blend. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    Sour Cream Mix. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com.
  2. Immediately spread the sour cream topping quickly and evenly over the cake. Return the cake to the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes; do not let the topping brown.
    Sour Cream Topped. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com
  3. Remove the cake from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the pan sides from the cake. Use a large cake spatula to remove the cake from the bottom of the spring-form pan and transfer it to a cake plate. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.
    Sweet Potato Cheesecake. Photo Credit: Always Uttori. Girl + Food: Sweet Potato Cheesecake + Brown Betty Cookbook Review. Alwaysuttori.com.

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