Also, set a timer so you know when the time is up…
Believe it or not, these were really truly very tasty once I cut the burnt tops off. They looked ok as well, once I turned them upside down. ≥^!^≤
|The young woman at the little Korean grocery (Hyundai Asian Market) was arranging a display of pretty red sweet potatoes. They looked so fresh that two of them hopped into my basket before I knew it!
Oh sweet potato cakes!!
slice sweet potatoes
steam the sweet potatoes
butter, sugar, cinnamon
peel skin away
rice potatoes into sugar
add potatoes in batches
add 1 yolk & cream
squeeze balls in cloth
yolk glaze sesame seeds
arrange on parchment
Sweet potatoes are hot:
my co-worker brought one
to microwave for lunch
but something else came
along. She forgot it,
so I’m growing it:
Seems some cooks have a hard time making certain recipes. Sweet potato cakes are cursed for me: such a simple recipe, but something goes wrong every time. Click the pictures above for my previous attempts. And don’t let my failure deter you: these are too tasty to ignore.
To be Kyoto-style the final product should not be too sweet and the cinnamon should not overpower any of the other tastes. You want to bring out the natural taste of the sweet potato, enhance it with sweetness and richness. The cinnamon should be the grab your attention immediately but be the finish. Complexity and subtlety is the point, but by no means be dull!
Kyoto-style Chakin Shibori Sweet Potato with Cinnamon
Sui-to Poteto (スウィートポテト)
- 2 sweet potatoes
(each to fill the palm of your hand
~~about 1 pound~~)
- 5 tablespoons sugar
(white or brown)
- 1 ounce butter
(2 Tablespoons)(30 grams)
- 3 tablespoons light cream
(half and half)
- 2 egg yolk
(one for potato mixture one for glaze)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- sesame seeds
(about 2 or 3 Tablespoons—
—black or white, toasted
Wash the sweet potatoes. Cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) thick slices. Steam gently for over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove skins after the slices have cooled enough to touch. Gentle steam at a relatively low temperature will increase the natural sweetness of the potatoes. The alternative would be to roast or bake the potatoes which would add some caramelized undertones to the flavor.
I used a potato ricer to mash the sweet potatoes, but you could use a pastry cutter, two knives, or a fork. You could even use an electric mixer. The ricer does a nice light sort of mashing—old fashioned but it makes the best mashed potatoes in my opinion.
I mixed up the sugar, butter, and cinnamon and added the riced sweet potato in batches (you can only rice a few slices at a time), mixing between each addition.
Mix in egg yolk and half and half. Taste and add sugar and/or butter if needed. Add more cinnamon as desired.
Gently form into ping pong sized balls. Squeeze chakin shibori style if you like. Use a small square of damp muslin or a double layer of cheesecloth for this. Rinse occasionally as needed: the cloth gets clogged with the sweet potato paste.
Brush on egg yolk glaze and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. I made half with black and half with white sesame seeds.
Cook for 15 minutes in oven with broiler at low (200°C) or even better in a toaster-oven. The point is to dry cook the cakes so the egg-sesame glaze browns and the cakes dry just a little. They won’t be quite like western cakes or biscuits!
When the recipe says to broil on low (200°C) for only 15 minutes, believe it!