Chef’s Winter Recipes: Sara Thomas’ Sweet Potato Cake and Ice Cream

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Chef Sara Thomas earned her Associates Degree in Pastry Arts from Pennsylvania Culinary in Pittsburgh. Her work experience includes nationally-acclaimed luxury properties, like her most recent position as pastry chef at The Dunes Gold and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach. She also held pastry positions at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, The Ritz Carlton both in Florida and Colorado.

Chef-Sara-Thomas

Chef Sara has brought her vast talent and skills to The Carolina Inn, where she created various Modern American and European pastries and breads, different specialty sculptures, chocolate, sugar, and modern-class wedding cakes.

Sweet-Potato-Cake

We are very lucky that Chef Sara is sharing one of pastry masterpieces with us today. Her take on “Sweet Potato Cake and Ice Cream” is undeniably a work result of her creativity and gastronomic ingenuity.

Sweet Potato Cake and Ice Cream

-Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cake-
6 oz. Melted Brown Butter
1 1/2 C. Sugar
2/3 C. Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1/3 C. Buttermilk
1 1/2 C. Sweet Potato Puree
9 oz. AP Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Cloves
3/4 tsp. Salt

1. Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
2. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, cream together sugar, brown sugar, and eggs.
3. Add the buttermilk and sweet potato puree. Then add all the dry ingredients.
4. Add the brown butter until all ingredients have been incorporated.
5. Pour mixture in two 10” cake pans.
6. Bake at 350° for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until done.
7. Completely cool cake. For best results refrigerate to cake overnight.
8. Slice the cake into 3 slices.
9. Place a layer of cake on a plate and add a thin layer of icing on top.
10. Add another layer of cake and add a thin layer or icing; repeat one more time.
11. Refrigerate cake for approximately 2 hours.
12. Cut cake into 12 – 16 slices.
13. Add Toffee Sauce on plate.
14. Place slice of cake on the plate, and add a scoop of Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream.

-Brown Butter Sweet Potato Icing-
12 oz. Brown Butter
24 oz. Cream Cheese
1 tsp. Maldon Salt
1 C. Brown Sugar
10 oz. Powdered Sugar
1 T. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Pecans ~ Toasted & Chopped

1. Brown the butter the night before and set aside to room temperature.
2. In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and salt until creamy.
3. Add the brown butter and mix until completely incorporated.
4. Add the brown sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
5. Finally, add the chopped pecans.

-Roasted Sweet Potato Ice Cream-
12 oz. Roasted Sweet Potato
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch Ginger
Smidgen Nutmeg
Smidgen Cloves
250 Grams Sugar
500 Grams Heavy Cream
500 Grams Milk
1 Vanilla Bean
100 Grams Corn Syrup
1 tsp. Maldon Salt
240 Grams Egg Yolks

1. In a saucepan, heat up the sweet potato, all the spices and sugar. Mix everything together.
2. Add the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil.
3. Temper the egg yolks with the hot mixture.
4. Combine the cream mixture and egg yolks completely.
5. Place in an ice bath until cool.
6. Place mixture in a container and refrigerate overnight.
7. Pull that vanilla bean out.
8. Spin mixture in an ice cream machine.

-Butterscotch Sauce-
6 oz. Brown Butter
3 3/4 C. Sugar
2 1/2 C. Corn Syrup
2 1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1 3/4 tsp. Salt

1. Place butter in a pan on medium heat and cook it until it starts to brown – a medium dark color. Place in a container until cool.
2. Add the sugar and corn syrup; bring to a boil.
3. Add the salt and heavy cream; bring to a boil again.
4. Refrigerate.
5. Store in the refrigerator. Butterscotch Sauce will last for about one month.

The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar of The Carolina Inn is located at 211 Pittsboro St Chapel Hill, NC 27516.

Hours of Operation

-Breakfast-
Monday - Saturday — 6:30AM – 11:00PM
Sunday — 6:30AM – 10:30PM
-Lunch-
Everyday — 11:30AM – 2:00PM
-Afternoon Tea-
Thursday – Sunday — 2:30PM – 4:30PM
-Dinner-
Everyday — 5:30PM – 9:00PM (open until 10:00PM Friday & Saturday)
Bar 11:30 am  — 11:00 pm
Sunday Brunch — 11:30 am – 2:00 pm

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Chef Ken

Chef Ken

A chef by profession, a foodie at heart. He's been passionate about food and cooking since he was young. He is the online Community Manager of FriendsEAT.
Chef Ken

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