La. Sweet Potato recipe contest seeks entries

The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, along with Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, invites all cooks whether amateur or professional to showcase their culinary creativity with one of the most nutritious and versatile vegetables around.

The commission is hosting its ninth annual Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest for fresh, canned and frozen sweet potatoes.

Interested cooks can enter an original sweet potato recipe in one of five categories, including professional, appetizers, side dishes, entrées and desserts. Multiple entries from one individual will be accepted. There is no entry fee. Complete details are available through the Commission’s website at

The contest will continue through June 7. One overall grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000. The top winner from each of the five categories will receive $500.

Previous Sweet Rewards contests have produced delicious and mouth-watering recipes featuring Louisiana yams, including Baked Sweet Potato with Banana-Cranberry Chutney; Caribbean Sweet Potato Cups with Poached Eggs and Mango Hollandaise; Iced Sweet Potato Gazpacho; Zydeco Sweet Potato Crab Chowder; Sweet Potato Sausage Sliders; Sweet Potato and Apple Upside Down Caramel Cake; and Autumn Harvest Sweet Potato Spice Flan Cake. Each of the recipes can be found on the commission’s website.

Finalists’ recipes will be prepared by culinary students at Delgado Community College in New Orleans and judged by an independent panel of food industry professionals.

Prize winners will be determined based on overall flavor, visual appeal and creativity. Judges’ decisions will be final.

The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission will notify all potential winners by phone or email by July 30.

Winners and their recipes will be posted on the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission website and will also be featured in the October 2012 issue of Louisiana Cookin’ magazine.

Those interested in submitting a recipe can log on to the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission’s website at Click on the Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest icon.

Entries can also be submitted by printing an entry form from the website and mailing it to Louisiana Cookin’ magazine at P.O. Box 19084, New Orleans, La 70179. Entries received by April 30 will qualify to win one of 10 autographed copies of Holly Clegg’s new book “Too Hot in the Kitchen.”

Along with the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission and Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, the Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest for fresh, canned and frozen sweet potatoes is being co-sponsored by Bruce’s Yams, Alexia Foods, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and Delgado Community College Culinary Arts Program.

For detailed contest rules, tips on cooking with sweet potatoes and additional information about Louisiana sweet potatoes, log on to www.sweet

The 2011 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest overall grand prize recipe was created by Patricia Harmon of Baden, Pa. Her winning recipe was:


¾ cup jarred caramel topping

½ tsp. imitation rum or brandy extract, optional

15 oz. can Louisiana cut sweet potatoes in light syrup, drained, reserving ½ cup syrup

18.25 oz. package spice cake mix

11/3 cup water

2 Tbsp. canola oil

7 eggs, divided

8 oz. cream cheese, softened, cubed

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup evaporated milk

¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Heat oven to 350 F.

Spray a 15-cup capacity Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.

Place caramel topping in a small bowl. Stir in rum or brandy extract, if desired; pour into bottom of prepared pan.

Add sweet potatoes and reserved syrup to a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade and process until pureed smooth.

Place cake mix, ½ cup sweet potato puree, water, canola oil and 3 eggs into large mixing bowl and blend with electric mixer until moistened. Beat with mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into cake pan over caramel topping.

To make the flan layer, place softened cream cheese cubes into a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth. Add remainder of sweet potato puree and pumpkin pie spice and process for about 15 to 20 seconds until combined.

Pour condensed and evaporated milks into processor bowl and process carefully until mixture is smooth, pulsing at first so the mixture doesn’t splatter. Add remaining 4 eggs, one at a time, processing only until combined and mixture is smooth.

Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray, and cover the pan tightly with foil (tight fit is very important).

Place the covered Bundt pan, fluted part down, into a larger pan with at least 2-inch sides and place on oven rack.

Pour very hot water (heated to just below boiling) around Bundt pan about ½ inch from the top of pan or a bain marie. Bake for 2 hours.

Remove Bundt cake from pan of water and allow cooling for 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and invert cake onto a large platter. Cool completely at room temperature.

Sprinkle pecans over top of flan cake. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Servings: 14-16

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