If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you would know how much I love sweet potatoes. (As evidenced here, here and here.) I love the soft texture it takes on when it is roasted well and the flavor, to me, is as comforting as chicken noodle soup. So when one of my favorite bloggers posted a video about “perfect sweet potatoes”, I had to give it a try.
Well, it was quite delicious and nearly perfect! I just tweaked it a little by adding salt and omitting the freshly chopped garlic. (If you love garlic, or are in a garlicky mood, mince a few cloves of garlic and add it to the seasoning stage.)
Aimee’s way of roasting the sweet potatoes gives it a crisp exterior and a smooth and buttery interior, and the addition of the “everything but the bagel” seasoning gives a savory edge to the sweetness of the sweet potato. We’ve been making these a lot in our house lately because it is Whole 30 friendly. My sister has been on the whole 30 diet and turns out no sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy really cuts down the things that you are allowed to eat. But this has been the sweet-savory snack that has been helping her stay on track.
You can watch the video of Aimee making it here.
Everything Bagel Sweet Potatoes
3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes (use organic potatoes if you are eating the skin)
avocado oil (or any high smoke point oil)
everything but the bagel seasoning (I got mine at trader joe’s but you can technically make your own)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (shiny side down).
- Thoroughly wash your sweet potatoes. Trim both ends and cut lengthwise.
- Coat the sweet potatoes with avocado oil, and place on baking sheet cut-side down.
- Roast sweet potatoes 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove sweet potatoes from oven; flip sweet potatoes so they are cut-side up.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt, bagel seasoning, and garlic (if using).
- Move baking sheet back into the oven and roast 10-15 minutes more.
- Turn off oven and let sweet potatoes sit in oven for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Song of Style.
I’ve been kind of obsessed with flower everything on my cakes these days. Real or buttercream, I love them all. I actually made this cake back in May, and by the time I got to editing photos it was the peak of summer. And because the filling is sweet potato pastry cream, it just didn’t go with the season. But now that it is on the cusp of fall, I feel like it’s appropriate to post this. (Although, personally, this is my favorite pastry cream of all time and I love it any time of the year.)
The star of this cake is the sweet potato, but not the orange fleshed kind but the purple skinned, yellow fleshed kind. This type of sweet potato is popular in Korean desserts and tastes similar to a roasted chestnut. In the past, I’ve also featured this type of sweet potato in this post: Mini Green Tea Cake.
If you’ve never made pastry cream before, my advice for you is to go slow with pouring the hot milk into the egg mixture, as in a slow drizzle, not a pour. You want to avoid curdling at all costs. But if you do it right, man oh man is it worth it. Gone are the days of powdered mixes. You will never look back. Fill it between your favorite vanilla cake and watch the compliments roll.
As for the decoration, I’ve always loved ranunculus and decided to try to pipe it. It is easier than It looks but is quite time consuming to pipe each flower, especially since they have so many petals. Here are the steps to pipe the flower:
- Cut out many squares of parchment or wax paper. You will use one square per flower. (I usually cut mine around 3×3 inches.)
- With a flower nail in your hand, pipe a small amount of frosting onto the center of it. (As shown in Photo 2.)
- Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the frosting. (As shown in Photo 3.)
- Using a small round tip (wilton #2 or #3), pipe a small amount of green frosting in the center of the flower nail in a round, circular shape. (As shown in Photo 4.)
- In a piping bag filled with light green frosting and fitted with a petal tip with the wider side facing the flower nail (wilton #102, or larger pending on the size of the flower you want to pipe), pipe a square around the circle, overlapping each other on the ends. (As shown in Photo 5.)
- In a piping bag filled with light pink frosting and fitted with a petal tip with the wider side facing the flower nail (wilton #104, or larger pending on the size of the flower you want to pipe), pipe 5 dashes around the light green square overlapping the ends. (As shown in Photo 6.)
- Using the same piping bag, pipe 6 dashes around the pink circle. You want to show a little bit of the circle beforehand to create an illusion of overlapping petals. (As shown in Photo 7.)
- Continue piping dashes along the outer edge of the flower, increasing the number of dashes by 1 until you reach the size of the flower you desire. (As shown in Photo 8.)
I hope you try it soon! I know it’s been a while I’ve missed you!
Sweet Potato Pastry Cream
3 medium sized Korean sweet potatoes, roasted and peeled.
2 c. whole milk
½ c. sugar, divided
2 egg yolks
1 egg, large
¼ c. cornstarch
a pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a food processor, mix the sweet potatoes until a smooth puree forms. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk the milk and ¼ c. of sugar and heat until the milk boils.
- While the milk heats, grab a medium bowl and whisk together the egg yolks, egg, ¼ c. sugar, cornstarch and the salt until smooth.
- Once the milk is heated, slowly drizzle in the milk mixture into the egg mixture with one hand while whisking the egg mixture with the other. Once the milk is completely incorporated into the egg mix, return the entire mixture into the saucepan.
- Heat the saucepan while whisking until the mixture becomes thickened like pudding.
- Take it off the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
- Mix the sweet potato with the pastry cream until homogenous.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pastry cream and refrigerate until cool and set. (about 4 hours, or overnight)
There isn’t much that I remember about living in Seoul, South Korea as a little girl. But one memory that lingers after all these years is how the streets were perfumed with the scent of roasted sweet potatoes in the winter. I don’t know how it is now, but back then the streets were filled with carts that sold perfectly roasted sweet potatoes. Roasted Korean sweet potatoes are very different from their American counterpart. They are insanely sweet and the flavor is chestnut-like. And unlike American sweet potatoes, they don’t get watery. Instead, they are more fibrous and hold their shape when peeled. For many years, I’ve tried to recapture that memory by roasting Korean sweet potatoes in my oven. The smell was spot on, but I couldn’t get that same roasted taste that I remembered.
There is a Korean market that I stop by for snacks when I’m at my local Laundromat. If you stop by in the colder months, there is a small machine that churns out roasted sweet potatoes and the whole store smells has that warm roasty toasty smell. Anyways, after having one that was properly roasted, I became obsessed with trying to recreate it at home and scoured the internet on how to do it. I finally came upon a blog that featured this pot and after finding it in a Korean supermarket (It’s so much cheaper. I got it for less than $20 because it was on sale), I gave it a try and I finally reached sweet potato nirvana. Tip: The instructions say to roast on medium heat for 20-30 minutes but I found that roasting for about an hour on low heat produces the best results.
Armed with my new roasting pot, I wanted to feature sweet potatoes differently and made these macarons. Purple sweet potatoes are just as sweet but not as flavorful as their yellow cousins. However, I couldn’t resist their beautiful purple flesh. I suppose I could’ve made the frosting a vibrant purple by adding a little food dye, but I wanted you to be able to see what it would look like without it. The best part about the frosting is that it takes just one stick of butter and about ¾ cup of powdered sugar (which just might be perfect for filling cakes for babies since you are using minimal sugar).
Can you tell that I originally made these for Valentine’s Day? The purple ombre effect is easy to achieve by using an edible food color spray can. They’re easy enough to find on amazon. You want to be careful to be light handed or you will end up spraying the entire macaron purple. This is especially true if your spray can is new. There are so many options out there, I feel like you have a rainbow at your fingertips and it’s an easy way to spruce up a plain macaron.
Even if you don’t decorate it, they’re definitely worth giving a try and best eaten within two days. Since the frosting has low butter/sugar content, it will turn your macarons soggy as the days go by.
Okinawan Sweet Potato Macarons
For the macaron shells:
212 g. almond meal
212 g. powdered sugar
172 g. egg whites, divided to 82 g. and 90 g
236 g. sugar
158 g. water
purple edible spray paint
white pearl sprinkles
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond meal and powdered sugar and pulse until thoroughly combined.
- Sift the mixture over a large mixing bowl, throwing out the lumps as they appear. Add 82 g. of the egg whites and stir until you get a thick mixture.
- In a small pot attached with a candy thermometer, combine the sugar and water over medium heat and boil until the syrup reaches 200˚F.
- Once the syrup reaches 200˚F, start whipping the remaining 90 g. in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks are reached.
- Once the syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove the pot off the burner and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl with the egg whites on medium speed.
- Once the egg whites are fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium high until egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks
- Mix ⅓ of the egg white mix to the almond mixture and stir together until the batter is slightly lighter and less pasty. From then on, fold in ⅓ of the egg white mixture twice until the mixture “flows like magma”. The mixture should be smooth and run thick ribbons off the spatula.
- Fill batter in a pastry bag fitted with a ½ in. plain tip.
- The piped batter may have peaks but should smooth away in a minute or two. Sprinkle the top of the macaron batter with the pearl and heart sprinkles. Let the batter stand until the tops of the macaron batter are dry to the touch, about 30 mins to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Once you place the macarons in the oven, reduce the heat to 300˚F. Bake 10-13 minutes, until the feet are formed and the tops are smooth. The macarons are done when you slightly wiggle them and they start to come off of the parchment paper / silicone mat.
- Once you remove the macarons, reheat the oven to 350˚F for ten minutes before baking another pan of macarons at 300˚F.
- Once the shells are cool, spray one side of the macarons lightly about 7 inches away from the surface. Fill with frosting.
Okinawan Sweet Potato Frosting
1 ½ lb Okinawan sweet potatoes, roasted (about 3 medium potatoes)
4 oz. (one stick) unsalted butter
¾ – 1 c. powdered sugar
- Peel the outer skin of the sweet potatoes and put them the food processor.
- Puree the sweet potatoes until very smooth and silky. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in ¾ c. of the powdered sugar and the sweet potato puree and whip until a smooth frosting forms. If not sweet enough, add the remaining ¼ c. powdered sugar and whip until smooth. Fill the macarons.