Week 8. Malawi. Mbatata Cookies.

As I reach week 8, I have started to become a bit conscious that I need to steer away from “one pot” dishes. Whilst the first 7 weeks have all been incredibly different dishes, there have been 4 dishes which have been created in my big Le Creuset. So I’m giving it a rest this week and cooking a sweet for the first time.

I say, to whoever is bothered, that I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I don’t really base that on much fact.  My wife thinks I’m talking utter rubbish, considering I always fancy a piece of chocolate after a big meal….but that’s just normal right? I suppose my theory as to why I don’t have a sweet tooth is that, given the choice, I would choose cheese and crackers over a creme caramel – so I think that my reasoning is watertight. That being said I am looking forward to cooking something different today and cookies from Malawi certainly do the job.

This isn’t a difficult cookie to cook that’s for sure, and it shouldn’t take long, but what interested me in it is the fact that it has sweet potato in it. I’m not a massive fan of sweet potatoes as, unsuprisingly, I find them a little sweet….when eaten with savoury food. You know, a bit like when you put sugar (not salt) on your chips by mistake and only realise when you have stuffed a handful in your salivating gob. Nasty. Anyway – I think that their sweetness might just work here, when eaten as a sweet. We shall see.

19:57 – they enter the heat in which they will grow:

The process of cooking these cookies was pretty simple. I par boiled some sweet potato, blended it with some milk, threw in the other ingredients, moulded it into a dough and cut it into cookie sized biscuits – that was it.  The sweet potato gave the dough a great orange tint.

Taste wise they were good but nowhere near as sweet as I thought they should have been or could have been. The texture was good as the potato gave the cookie a softness, but if you are going to make these make sure you lace them with sugar. The flavour overall was relatively bland which makes me think that these would be superb for kids as rusks/ biscuits. They have a slight sweet taste to them but they also hide veg inside.

As always – I have never tasted these before, so I don’t know if mine are as you would eat in Malawi, but overall I think they were fine. I wonder whether the Malawian taste is not to have such a sweet finish to a meal, or these biscuits are not eaten as a sweet but an energy pick-me-up. Will I make them again? Yes I will – primarily for my little boy – but I might steal a nibble.

Recipe:

Parboil the sweet potato. Then mix everything together, need, roll, cut out cookies and bake for 40 mins at 200 degrees.

180g  sweet potato
60ml milk
4 tbsp melted butter
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp sugar (I used six – I recommend you use 10!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinammon

Finally – thanks to Viki Beaney for choosing this week

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