Sweet potato biscuits with “blood”-splattered white chocolate bark.
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
The unusual combo of sweet potato and white chocolate makes this a unique sweet-salty Halloween treat. Vegan, gluten free.
Do you believe in ghost stories? No? Not even when it feels that we’re in one? The ghosts of our pain-laden memories, monsters of our own minds, joy-sucker vampires lurking all around us, skeletons laughing, hiding in our closets…. isn’t life itself a ghost story from time to time? It can be scary as hell and you don’t know the way to turn the rerun off.
You still don't believe, huh? Yeah, me neither!
Why then I’m talking about such horrific things all on a sudden? You know why; it’s Halloween!!
What? Did you really think I’m that morbid brooder? Tricked you there pal! Boo!!
I really like Halloween you know? Not because of the spook. I enjoy the other side of it. The fun side! Curving pumpkins, decorating the house, hay stacks and scarecrows, and of course the party! Parties with social distancing? A virtual party? A party that only two people and a dog attend? Yeah, I’m up for all kinds! As long as there’s good food…I’m game.
So, what are we making this year? What’s your Halloween food style? Do you like them cute and fun? Like rice cereal pumpkins, candied apples, cookie owls? Or are you for the scary and gross type? Like skeleton shaped meringues or breadsticks looking like witch’s fingers? Well, we’re not doing any of it! Don’t get me wrong. They are all great. But overt Halloween food is just not my style. I like it refined and a bit understated. I was thinking of something that will have the full spirit of the occasion, will reflect the season, and mandatorily taste great. That’s when I thought of these sweet potato biscuits.
When you think of biscuits, it doesn’t seem too Halloweeny, right? But sweet potatoes are in season right now and they impart a very classic Halloween orange color to the biscuits. They are also a celebrated food in ‘Dia de los muertos’, the ‘day of the dead’ celebration in Mexico right next to Halloween. The original recipe I was inspired by, is from Jenné Claiborne of the blog “Sweet potato soul” (Thanks Jenné!). I revised it to fit my gluten free life.
Biscuits can be really hearty, but to make these a better fit for the party, I wanted them to be in the dessert course. So, I made them thinner than a usual biscuit. Don’t worry guys, although thin biscuits typically read dense and hard, these are not! I promise, they’re light and melt in your mouth.
There are a few tricks you need to know before you make biscuits.
i) Your flour, and fat needs to be really really cold. I even put the blade and bowl of my food processor, along with the flour and the fat in refrigerator for at least half an hour. If they are not cold enough, the dough will be hard to work with. Also, cold fat produces steam that ensures light and flaky biscuits. Otherwise, they’ll be dense and hard.
ii) You must not overwork the dough. So, make sure you just pulse it until just mixed. Don’t over knead or overmix.
iii) While cutting them, you can use biscuit cutter or lid of a jar, or even a wide rimmed glass. But do not twist the cutter. That will flatten the edges and keep the biscuits from rising. Just press down, move a little with your fingers to loosen it up and lift them.
Sweet potato already gives a nice sweetness to these puppies (the name says it all, duh!) but to give it a more dessert appeal I brought the white chocolate bark to the scene. This is not your everyday chocolate bark either! I have added crushed pink peppercorn to make it more ‘grown up’ and splashed it with red food coloring to make it look like blood splattered. It’s our subtle way of dressing it up for the Halloween theme. If you don’t like using food coloring, you can use beet juice. Schmear a spoonful of apple-butter on top of a warm biscuit and put the bark on top. These sweet-salty biscuits will be talked about for many parties to come!
Let’s tie the apron tight, you ready for the (ghost)ride?
About the dish :
Course – Dessert
Servings – 10 biscuits to medium
Difficulty level – Easy
Recipe type – Vegan, gluten free
Does it keep – Keep in an air-tight container in room temp for 3 days. Warm it up before serving.
What you need :
For the biscuits
One and a half large sweet potatoes (you’ll need ¾ cup mashed)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1.5 cups gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Redmill all purpose gluten free blend) + more for the surface [use regular all-purpose flour if you’re not gluten free]
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (cane sugar is fine too)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold non-dairy butter or coconut oil (I used Earth balance brand)
6 tablespoons ice cold vodka (or water)
For the chocolate bark
4.4 oz white chocolate (I used Pascha vegan white chocolate chips)
A pinch of ground cinnamon (1/8th teaspoons or so)
1 teaspoon pink peppercorn, crushed (Optional)
2 tablespoons chopped pecan (or any nut you prefer)
5 drops of red food coloring dissolved in ½ teaspoon vodka (I used Chef master’s plant-based food coloring) [or 1 teaspoon beet juice]
Homemade or store-bought apple-butter, 2 teaspoons per biscuit (you can use maple syrup or apple jam instead, or honey if you’re not vegan)
What you do :
1. Put your flour, vegan butter (or coconut oil) and the mixing bowl in the fridge.
2. Wash the sweet potatoes and slit the skin in 3-4 places with a knife.
3. Put them on a microwave safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel and nuke for 10 minutes.
4. Cut the potatoes in the middle to let the steam escape. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
5. While these are cooling, let’s make the chocolate bark. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces if you’re using a bar. If using chips, you can use them as is.
6. Take ¾ portion of the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke for 30 seconds. Give it a stir and do 30 seconds more.
7. When the chocolate is totally melted, add the remaining ¼ portion that you kept aside to it.
8. Stir until they’re melted and it becomes smooth. Add the cinnamon and keep stirring until slightly cooled. This step is called ‘tempering’ the chocolate. It adds a shine to it and the bark will ‘snap’ nicely later.
9. Line a tray with tin foil or parchment paper. Pour the chocolate on it and spread with a spoon to ¼ of an inch thickness. Sprinkle with crushed pink peppercorn and chopped pecans. Splatter with red food coloring or beet juice using a clean brush.
10.Let it set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When totally hardened break into irregular pieces.
11. Pre-heat your oven to 425◦F /220◦C/gas mark 7.
12. Now, to make the biscuits, scoop out the cooked sweet potato in a bowl. Add plant milk and vinegar to it and stir.
13. In your cold food processor bowl (or mixing bowl), add flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
14. Add the cold vegan butter (or coconut oil) to the flour mixture and pulse 5-6 times or until it looks like coarse sand with pea size pieces of fat in it. If not using a food processor, cut the fat into the flour with a pastry cutter or two forks.
15. Now add the sweet potato mixture to it. Add the cold vodka or ice water and pulse a few more times until it just comes together. If mixing by hand, make sure you don’t overmix it. Just fold it 2-3 times onto itself.
16. If the dough feels a little warmer, put it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.
17. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a ½ inch thick disc.
18. Cut into 2.5” diameter biscuits. Gather the scraps together, roll again and cut more biscuits. Repeat until all the dough is used.
21. Put the biscuits on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 minutes.
22. To serve, put apple-butter (or jam/maple syrup/honey) on top of a warm biscuit and top with a piece of the “blood splattered” white chocolate bark.
Nutritional info per biscuit (without the toppings) :
Calories – 88 Cal
Carbohydrate – 7 g
Protein – 1 g
Fat – 5 g
Saturated fat – 2 g
Sugar – 4 g
Sodium – 581 mg
Dietary fiber –1 g
In the south, when we’re very surprised, like unbelievably surprised, we use an expression that says “butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” Not too close to a Victorian politeness, I know! But these Halloween treats are so unbelievably delicious that you would like to use that saying! Yeah, apple butter my b*** and call me a sweet potato biscuit! Mmm..hmm!
Have a very happy Halloween guys! Ooh, what’s that white shadowy figure behind you?!!
Light, peace and avocados; from my heart to yours!
Do you have any questions? Any feedback after you’ve made it? I’d surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.
11/4/2020, at 5.35 AM
11/4/2020, at 10.29 AM
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.