Peel and wash the sweet potatoes.
Cut the sweet potatoes into small (1 inch) pieces and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
Grease a 9-inch round baking tin and set aside.
Add 4 - 5 cups of the chopped potatoes to a blender with 1 cup of coconut milk.
Blend the sweet potatoes on high until smooth, then pour it into a large mixing bowl. Follow this technique to blend the chopped potatoes: Blend the mixture for 5 seconds, stop, then stir it completely before blending for another 5 seconds. Blend and stir a few times more until the mixture is smooth. (the blended potatoes should have a thick, lumpy consistency).
Blend the remaining chopped potatoes with 1 cup coconut milk then add it to the large mixing bowl.
Add the sugar, vanilla, almond essence, rum, and liquid mixed spice to the bowl of blended potatoes then combine well. If you have powdered mixed spice, add it to the flour mixture in the step below.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and other dry ingredients then whisk together.
Use a large spoon to fold the dry ingredients into the blended sweet potatoes, then mix well until there is no trace of the flour.
Add the coconut flakes and mix well.
Toss the raisins in a small bowl of flour then sieve off the excess flour. Drop the raisins evenly into the batter then stir the batter lightly until there are no raisins visible.
Pour the mixture into the greased baking tin, place it on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 2 hours 20 mins.
Prepare the custard mixture in a small bowl and set aside.
After 2 hours 20 minutes, remove the pudding from the oven and use a knife to test the center of the pudding for doneness. When the center of the pudding is relatively firm and the knife comes out mostly clean, the pudding is ready for the custard.
If the center of the pudding is still soft, allow the pudding to bake for another 20 - 30 minutes, then test it again.
When the pudding is firm in the center, pour the custard mix on top. Use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the custard over the entire surface of the pudding.
Return the pudding to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Remove the pudding from the oven and let it rest on the countertop uncovered for at least 4 hours to cool (you may cover the pudding with a dishcloth which allows the steam to escape). The pudding must cool completely so that it's firm enough to slice. If you can resist the delicious smell, let the pudding rest overnight in the refrigerator before slicing it. ***I find that sweet potato pudding has the best flavour and texture 1 - 2 days after baking. Please note: As soon as the sweet potato pudding cools, refrigerate it, and keep it refrigerated to enjoy your pudding for longer.
When the pudding cools, enjoy it on its own or with a scoop of your favourite ice cream.
Bless up, slice, serve and enjoy it!
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