Something sweet from the White House: Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Something sweet from the White House: Sweet Potato Cheesecake

via @gailciampa

Adrian Miller, an alum of Stanford University and Georgetown University Law School, and the author of “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas,” will speak in Providence this week.

The event is “Opening the Oyster: A Black Culinary Extravaganza,” a full-course dinner supported by Stages of Freedom, at 12:00 PM on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Wes’ Rib House, 38 Dike St., Providence. The supper will highlight dishes arranged by the African-American culinary specialists of the White House. Seating is limited. Tickets are $75 and are available at

Miller was also a special assistant to President Bill Clinton and the deputy director of the President’s Initiative for One America, the first White House office in history to examine and focus on closing gaps that exist for minorities in the U.S.

Here is recipe Miller shared for Sweet Potato Cheesecake from his book.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

For the pound cake crust

1½ (3 sticks) butter

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons pure lemon extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted

For the cheesecake

2 cups (about 1 pound) mashed sweet potatoes

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

1½ cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Fresh berries to taste

To make the pound cake:

Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Using a mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the lemon and vanilla extracts.

With the mixer set to low speed, gradually add the flour and beat just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in a cold oven and turn the temperature to 325 degrees; bake for 1 and ½ hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Cool completely before slicing.

To make the cheesecake:

Boil the sweet potatoes for 40–50 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes and run them under cold water to remove the skin.

Mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl; set them aside and allow to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and spray the sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Lay flat six or seven ¼-inch slices of the pound cake in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then gradually add the sugar until it is well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes. Add the half-and-half, vanilla, and nutmeg and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the center is almost set.

Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.

When the cake is cool, run a knife along the edges and remove it from the pan by inverting it onto a plate.

Transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter, crust-side-down, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh berries.

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