Brulee'd (or not) Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes

November 7, 2011

It's Crazy Cooking Challenge time again!  The challenge presented this month by our hostess, Tina of Mom's Crazy Cooking, was mashed potatoes.  I immediately thought of mashed sweet potatoes - I love mashed sweet potatoes.

When I came across a recipe for sweet potatoes mashed with maple syrup at Fight the Fat Foodie, I knew that was the recipe I needed to use for this Challenge.  I am originally from Vermont, after all, which just so happens to be famous for it's maple syrup.  I may have left Vermont behind, but I certainly have not left behind my love for it's purely decadent and delicious liquid gold!!  (You can read about this love in my whole wheat waffles post.)

In working with this recipe, I then I had the wild-and-crazy idea to add a maple sugar brulee topping to the sweet 'taters.  Yum!  Well, the brulee ended up being yum ... but the maple sugar part of the idea, not so much. 

Here's how this experiment went down.

First, I whipped up maple-mashed sweet potatoes, following Fight the Fat Foodie's recipe.  I did make modifications, increasing the maple syrup and decreasing the cinnamon to really let the maple flavor shine through.

Mashed up

Then I spooned the maple-mashed 'taters into individual ramekins.  You could just as easily spoon the 'taters into a casserole dish, rather than individual serving-sized ramekins.

Spooned into ramekins

Next, I grabbed my trusty granulated maple sugar (love this stuff!!) ...

Granulated maple sugar - so good!

... and sprinkled it on top of my 'taters.


And here's where my little experiment went wrong.

You want to know what I learned?  Well, granulated maple sugar does not do well being brullee'd!  I have no idea why, but rather than making a nice, crystallized sugary top, granulated maple sugar burns and becomes a charcoal-y charred mess.  Oops!  Oh well, it was a nice idea.

A charred mess

On to Plan B. 

I grabbed my even-more-trusty light brown sugar.  This time when I took my torch to it, I got what I was hoping for ...

Now that's more like it.

 ... a beautifully crystallized, yummy brulee topping. Yes!  Brown sugar is the way to go.

So whether you think you'd like these brulee'd ...

Brulee'd Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes

... or not ...

Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes

... these sweet 'taters are super maple-icious!!

Brulee'd (or not) Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Source:  Adapted from Fight the Fat Foodie 
(Printable recipe)
3 large sweet potatoes
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. pure maple syrup (preferably pure Grade B from Vermont!)
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
Brown sugar for brulee topping (optional)

1.  In a medium or large pot, just cover peeled potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Strain and return potatoes to pot.  (Or, cook unpeeled potatoes in the microwave.  I wrap them in damp paper towels and microwave until soft, about 8-15 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.  When soft, cut in half and scoop out the pulp into a mixing bowl.)

2.  Add  milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Mash until smooth and well-combined.

For optional brulee topping:
3.  Spoon mashed sweet potatoes into a casserole dish or individual ramekins.  Top with a dusting of brown sugar.  Use a kitchen torch to melt the brown sugar.  Or, place under a broiler (watching closely!) until brown sugar is melted.



  1. I have seen the granulated maple syrup but never knew exactly what to do with it. Now my imagination is running wild with the possibilities, thanks!! I'm # 5 in the Challenge.

  2. Wow, these sound great! My son and I love sweet potatoes but my husband doesn't. I will have to give these a try when he has to work late. I'm #9 on the challenge.

  3. Oh my, I have to make these. Looks fantastic!

  4. wow! those look gorgeous! Great Choice for THE CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE!!

  5. I'll be honest, I'm not a sweet potato fan, but these look really good!! I like that you tried something different!!!

  6. Ouch on the maple sugar but your end result looks wonderful.

    If you haven't already I'd love for you to check out my Crazy Cooking Challenge entry Aloo Tikki

    Cook Lisa Cook

  7. What a great idea to make a Potato Brulee, I love it! Great recipe for the Crazy Cooking Challenge, it looks delicious! Hope you are having a great day.
    Miz Helen

  8. Great recipe -- I LOVE the flavors in it.

  9. This looks amazing, it's like you've turned potatoes into desert!

  10. Oh WOW these look delicious! How inventive! I'm # 37 on the challenge! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. I love anything brulee'd. This looks wonderful. Very creative! Thanks.

  12. Brulee? I'm in! This looks and sounds delish.
    I've always wanted a kitchen torch but have been hesitant...why? I don't know! :-)


  13. Glad you liked the recipe. Love the idea of doing a brulee. For a light take on creme brulee, I use a base of fruit and non-fat Greek yogurt, topped with brown sugar and broiled them.

  14. I'll take mine brulee'd, please! They look amazing! I am determined to make these for my man and change his mind about sweet potatoes :) I'm voting for this one!

    I'm #71! :)

  15. Oh I love this recipe! I love mashed sweet potatoes but turning mashed sweet potatoes into a Brûlée is genius! I so want a blog torch thingy but my husband says he doesn't trust me with it, lol! I'm voting for this one :) I'm #50 :)

  16. Tracey, that bruleed top sounds amazing on sweet potatoes!! Thanks for sharing on Mangia Mondays - I featured you today!

  17. Thank you so much for linking these for me!!! Liv LOVES anything bruleed, and I'm thinking she might even eat some of the potatoes along with the brûlée part. Especially if they are made with the maple syrup, I see these being a total hit!!!


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