dan lepard’s sweet potato brownies

October 7, 2011

I’ve had this recipe for sweet potato brownies bookmarked for weeks, just waiting for the weather to cool off ever so slightly so that I’d feel like baking something so autumnal sounding.

Do you know who Dan Lepard is? He’s the man behind a zillion and one inspiring sweet recipes on The Guardian, a writer, photographer and champion bread baker.

I love reading Dan’s recipes; he uses such interesting ingredients to produce attainable, wholesome, down to earth sweet treats. Some recent examples: rye and oat blinis, wholewheat plum tart with sherry cream, spelt and corn batch rolls.

As Dan points out, lowering the fat and sugar content in a┬ádessert while still keeping the texture right is a pretty complicated affair. I’m not really one for low-fat desserts myself – what drew me to these was pure intrigue. Using baked sweet potato as a binder? Crazy talk. I had to try for myself.

The secret to the question of texture when reducing fat and sugar is to add some cooked starch – the soft baked flesh binds the mixture while at the same time adding moistness to it.

And you know what? It works like a dream – the texture is pretty much spot on.

The flavour is full impact dark chocolate; a really rich, intense cocoa. Chunks of pecans and more dark chocolate add a welcome additional layer of texture. Whether you’re after a less fattening brownie or just intrigued with this kind of fun experimentation: try ’em. You won’t be disappointed.

For the full recipe, visit The Guardian.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn October 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

Gorgeous pics! I saw this recipe floating around when it was published and was intrigued. They sound like they have a great texture and look delicious!


Marisa October 7, 2011 at 11:44 am

Oh wow – this is really intriguing! I love sweet potatoes and am always looking for new ways to use them. They are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Thanks for this recipe – I will definitely be trying this!


Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) October 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

whoa! i am bookmarking this recipe. looks delicious :)


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts October 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I have now just added these to my own bookmarks list :) Amazing – I had pondered the possibility of sweet potato brownies in the past, but never pursued a recipe. These look great.


David Whitehouse, Business Manager for Dan Lepard January 27, 2012 at 9:07 am

Hi there,

Could I ask you to take this recipe off your blog, and instead provide a link to The Guardian’s website at http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/19/sweet-potato-brownies-recipe-lepard where it was originally published.

Dan’s recipes are copyright and The Guardian employs Dan to write for them, and we ask bloggers to respect this and provide a link rather than copy the recipe.
Thank you,
David Whitehouse.


Angharad January 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hi David,

Thanks for contacting me. Of course, I’m happy to follow whatever your preference is. I appreciate you reaching out! Angharad


Greg G March 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Angharad’s note: I’ve edited this comment after talking to Dan Lepard about this situation. I’m not sure of the legitimacy of this comment any more (i.e. whether it’s a pseudonym or what) so I am removing the bulk of the comment. I want to leave the following links up however, since I refer to them in my comment below and I do think it’s a valuable conversation. Thanks, Angharad.






Angharad March 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

Hi Greg,

Thanks for posting this. Since receiving David’s message a couple of months ago I’ve been trying to educate myself on the matter more. Unfortunately I don’t have access to an intellectual property lawyer so I can only read the advice and opinions of others, read the law, and try to decipher it myself.

It seems to me that there are so many issues within this larger issue of copyright infringement (the “morality” of posting someone else’s work; the legality; whether anyone can really “own” a recipe; the issue of how damaging – or not- blogger’s adaptation of recipes is for the original publisher or source publisher) and it’s certainly an important and hot topic!

I personally think that knowing your rights is extremely important and something anyone publishing online should educate themselves on – it’s not enough to bury your head in the sand and pretend it’s not an issue. I always credit sources for recipes I’ve adapted or been inspired by and certainly I always take my own photographs, write my own head notes, and describe the method in my own language. As far as I am aware, I am therefore within my rights. In terms of what you cannot copyright I agree very much with Kate from Savour Fare’s comment on this blog post: http://diannej.com/blog/2012/02/trouble-for-two-recipe-adapters/comment-page-1/#comment-55246

In terms of David in particular, I do disagree with some of his tactics – contacting people via the comments section of their blog seems a little aggressive and unprofessional – but I also wanted to respect Dan Lepard’s wishes and learn more before disagreeing/arguing. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of so many great resources!


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