Sunday, July 7, 2013

Japanese Sweet Potato Cakes

When I was meandering through my local health foods store I jumped at the sight of a "Japanese sweet potato" sign nestled among the other potatoes. I have been looking for the ever elusive purple sweet potato for years and now I finally get to experiment with it! When I cut into it today with the intentions of making some purple hippie hash I was shocked to find that the inside flesh was bright white in color instead of the purple tone I was expecting, come to find out there are TWO types of Japanese sweet potatoes, the Okinawan "purple fleshed potatoes" and the Satsuma-imo white variety. The Japanese sweet potato is a red or purple-skinned, yellow-white fleshed potato that tastes similar to American yams, but are more sweet and starchy in texture. Because of it's starchy texture, Natives typically use this potato as a thickener, but in the chilly winter months, they mix it with cream and sugar to make potato cake, leading us to the recipe below!

Now this recipes says cake but it's unlike any American cake you've ever had, it's more of a custard-like texture and the taste reminded me of a delicious sweet potato pie. This recipe is authentic (I had to translate some of it) but I added the cinnamon and a little extra vanilla for added flavor.

Japanese Sweet Potato Cakes

makes 12

500 grams Sweet Potato(skin off)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 TBS Unsalted Butter
2 egg yolks
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon


1.Preheat oven to 420 degrees F spray muffin tins (or whatever mold you choose) with nonstick spray.

2.Steam the potatoes in the microwave (I usually cut a small slit in mine and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, or just use Steam Fresh bags) Peel the skin off then cut into small cubes and place in a pot over a stove top set on low heat.

3.Mash them in the pot then add butter, sugar, then gradually add the cream.
Remove the pot from the heat, then add egg yolk, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Mix until smooth.

4.Let the mixture cool down slightly before putting into mold, then brush with remaining egg yolk and bake for 20-25 minutes or until dark brown in color (they are not burnt, the egg yolk gives them that color).

5.Let cool for at least five minutes and enjoy!

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