Tuesday, September 20, 2011

RECIPE - Sweet Potato Pudding (Pudim de Batata-Doce)

After two posts detailing the importance of sugar in the traditional regional cooking of the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, could we do anything other than post a VERY sweet dessert recipe from that state? I don't think so...

So here's a fairly simple recipe for making a caramelized flan/pudding/custard with a sweet potato base. The only tricky part might be making caramel, which must be done correctly and carefully to avoid mishap and injury. It's not complicated to make, and you shouldn't be too nervous about making it. The only essential thing is to watch the process carefully, especially when the sugar begins to take on color. The caramelization process happens fast, and if it isn't controlled you will end up with burnt caramel at best and a nasty kitchen fire at worst. If you want a tutorial for this process, including good photos, click on this link.

As we've mentioned in previous posts here on Flavors of Brazil, there is a lot of confusion, even among vendors at markets and supermarkets, about what is a sweet potato and what is a yam. They are two different things, and this recipe calls for sweet potatoes, not yams. Click here for more information on sweet potato vs. yam.
RECIPE - Sweet Potato Pudding (Pudim de Batata-Doce)
makes 10 portions

For the caramel:
1 cup granulated white sugar

For the pudding:
3/4 lb (300 gr) sweet potatoes, peel and cut into chunks
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
6 Tbsp granulated white sugar
6 Tbsp water
grated unsweetened coconut to decorate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

Make the pudding: Boil the potatoes until very tender. Drain and let cool. Put the cooked potatoes into a blender or food processor along with all the other ingredients for the pudding. Blend at medium-high speek until completely mixed and smooth. Reserve.

Make the caramel: Have a tube cake pan or Bundt pan (preferably non-stick) ready at hand. In a heavy-duty saucepan heat the cup of granulated sugar until it melts over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and bring to a boil. Watch carefully once it begins to boil and let it continue to cook until it reaches a medium caramel color. Remove from heat and immediately pour into the cake pan, swirling the caramel around the interior quickly. The caramel will begin to harden very quickly, so do this step as rapidly as possible.

Pour the pudding mixture into the caramelized cake pan. Place the pan in a lasagne pan or other oven-proof rectangular roasting dish. Put it into the oven, and pour enough boiling water into the rectangular pan to reach nearly the top of the pan. Cook for about 25-30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if it's done - a tootpick inserted completely into the pudding should come out clean.

Remove from oven, and place the tube or Bundt pan on a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely, then reverse the cake pan over a large deep cake dish. Sprinkle with some of the optional grated coconut if desired. Serve at room temperature.


  1. I have been looking for this recipe for a very long time! Thankyou!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Sorry Taylor, I deleted your comment by mistake. In answer to your question, yes, you can use the yellow or orange fleshed sweet potatoes very successfully in this dish.

  3. Hi James, I made this pudding on the weekend, following this recipe exactly, but the pudding wouldn't set. I cooked it for over an hour but it remained as liquid.

    Could it be that the recipe above is missing 2 eggs?