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Japanese Sweet Potato Creme Brulee with a Fantastic Texture

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Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes
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If you haven't tried a Japanese sweet potato creme brulee yet, this is the recipe you need!

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wrap the sweet potatoes in baking paper and aluminum foil. Bake in an oven preheated to 355°F (180°C) for about an hour until they soften.
  • Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven, place them on a plate, cut an oval shape from the top, and remove a little of the sweet potato. Mash the removed portion with a fork.
  • In a bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Add the heavy cream and mix well. Transfer to a small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring until it thickens. (The Japanese prefer it quite liquid, but you can cook it longer if desired; just be careful not to overcook.)
  • Immediately fill the sweet potatoes with the cream and let them cool slightly.
  • (Optional: You can put them back in the oven for half an hour, similar to crème brulee. For a cold version, refrigerate.)
  • Sprinkle sugar on top and caramelize with a kitchen torch.

MY NOTES

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

Can I use a different type of sweet potato for this recipe?

Yes, you can use a different type of sweet potato for this recipe, but the flavor and texture may vary. Japanese sweet potatoes have a distinctively sweet, nutty flavor and a denser texture compared to other varieties like the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes commonly found in the U.S. Using a different type of sweet potato may result in a slightly different taste and consistency. It’s worth experimenting to find your preferred combination, but the original recipe highlights the unique qualities of Japanese sweet potatoes.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

How can I tell when the sweet potatoes are fully baked?

You can tell when sweet potatoes are fully baked and ready to be mashed by inserting a fork or skewer into the thickest part of the potato. If it slides in easily with little resistance, the sweet potatoes are done. The skin should also be slightly wrinkled, and the potatoes should feel tender when gently squeezed. Baking typically takes about an hour at 355°F (180°C), but checking for softness is the best way to ensure they are fully cooked and ready for mashing.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

How to mash the sweet potato to ensure a smooth texture

The best way to mash sweet potatoes for a smooth texture is to first peel them after baking, as the skin comes off easily when they are fully cooked. Use a fork, potato masher, or a ricer to mash the flesh while it’s still warm. For an extra smooth consistency, you can also use an immersion blender or food processor. Ensure there are no lumps by mashing thoroughly and evenly. If desired, add a small amount of cream or butter to enhance the texture and flavor.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

Can I make this Japanese sweet potato creme brulee dairy free?

Yes, you can substitute heavy cream with a dairy free alternative in this Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe. Options like coconut cream, almond milk, or cashew cream work well. Coconut cream is particularly popular for its rich, creamy texture and subtle flavor that complements sweet potatoes. Almond milk and cashew cream offer a lighter consistency but still provide a smooth finish. Be sure to choose unsweetened versions to control the sweetness of your dish. Adjust cooking times as needed to achieve the desired thickness.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

How long should I cook the cream mixture?

Cook the cream mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to the desired consistency. This typically takes about 5-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture coats the back of a spoon and leaves a trail when you run your finger through it. Be careful not to overcook, as this can cause the mixture to become too thick or even curdle. If you prefer a thicker filling, you can cook it slightly longer, but monitor closely to avoid overcooking.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

Is it necessary to refrigerate the filled potatoes before caramelizing?

Refrigerating the filled sweet potatoes before caramelizing the sugar on top is not strictly necessary but can enhance the texture and flavor. Cooling allows the cream filling to set, making it firmer and easier to handle. It also helps the sugar caramelize more evenly when torched. If you prefer a warm dessert, you can skip refrigeration and proceed directly to caramelizing. However, for a classic crème brulee experience with a crisp top and cool interior, chilling is recommended.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

What type of sugar works best for Japanese sweet potato creme brulee?

For caramelizing with a kitchen torch, fine granulated sugar or caster sugar works best due to its quick melting and even caramelization. These types of sugar distribute heat evenly, resulting in a smooth and consistent caramelized layer on top of desserts like sweet potatoes. Avoid using powdered sugar or coarse sugars, as they may not caramelize evenly or may burn too quickly. Sprinkle a thin, even layer of sugar over the dessert before torching to achieve a golden, crunchy crust.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

Can I prepare the sweet potatoes and cream filling in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the sweet potatoes and cream filling in advance for convenience. Bake and mash the sweet potatoes ahead of time, storing them covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Similarly, prepare the cream filling and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat the sweet potatoes if desired, fill them with the cream mixture, and proceed with caramelizing the sugar on top. This approach saves time while ensuring a fresh and delicious dessert.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

How should I store Japanese sweet potato creme brulee leftovers?

Store Japanese sweet potato creme brulee leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 2-3 days for the best taste and texture. When ready to enjoy again, you can either eat them cold or gently reheat them in the oven until warmed through. Note that the caramelized sugar on top may soften slightly upon storage but will still retain its flavor. For longer storage, consider storing the sweet potatoes and cream filling separately and assembling them just before serving to maintain the crisp texture of the caramelized sugar.

Japanese sweet potato creme brulee recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

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