Japanese sweet potato and banana pancakes, and a word on rice flour

Hello, dear neighbors! It just so happened that I had leftover cooked Japanese sweet potato from a meal (and no, in case you are wondering, I didn’t need to go to Japan to get it) and thought of trying my latest pancake recipe with it. Japanese potato differs from the regular sweet potato in several ways:

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– its skin is a reddish purple, rather than orange

– it is starchier, less watery

– its flesh turns a pale yellow when cooked

With all this in mind, I had to make some adjustment to the original quantities. The result was even better than my previous pancakes! My daughter, who got to taste them while spending her Christmas break with us, found their texture extremely close to regular pancakes. Neither of us felt the need to add any sugar, but feel free to add maple syrup, as my husband did – lucky for us to be able to get the real kind here, made locally !

Ingredients (for about 9 pancakes)

for 100g eggs (about 2 extra large eggs)

100g cooked Japanese sweet potato (actually, 100g isn’t very much at all, and that is just fine, since we are talking about leftovers!)

100 g ripe banana (ripe, but not completely gone; any unused fruit may be frozen*)

40 to 50g whole rice flour (a note on rice flour after the recipe)

¼ tsp untreated sea salt

– 1½ tsp baking powder OR ¾ tsp baking soda, activated with freshly pressed, or freshly defrosted, lemon juice 

a little coconut oil or olive oil for cooking

* Frozen banana can be turned into vegan ice-cream by running it through a food processor, or defrosted to make banana nut bread, my daughter’s colleagues favorite treat !

How to:

1. Blend together 100g sweet potato, 100g banana and 2 XL eggs until very smooth.

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2. Add the remaining ingredients (40g to 50g rice flour, ¼ tsp salt, 1½ tsp baking powder/ ¾ tsp baking soda + lemon juice ) and mix until well combined.

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3. Warm a little coconut oil in a non-stick skillet. Lower the heat, pour large spoonfuls of batter onto the skillet, making sure they are not too close together. Cook on low, very low heat, to avoid browning of the pancakes, between 5 and 7 minutes for the first side*. You may cover the skillet with a large lid to slightly speed up the process.

* I will admit it takes a little patience to get the pancakes to cook on low heat. This is why I recommend making them on days when nobody is in a hurry (typical Sunday brunch food, right ?) or freezing them for a conveniently quick and easy weekday breakfast.

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4. Keep an eye on the edges at the bottom of the pancakes: when they start getting golden and the top of the pancakes doesn’t look wet, tart bursting, gently flip each pancake using a wide metal spatula (preferably a thin metal spatula, much easier to slide under the pancakes) and cook another two minutes or so. 

Her winter break over, our daughter went back to Boston, taking the recipe with her!  Here are the pancakes that she made on her electric range:

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She made a big batch knowing that they freeze very well!
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And she made sure they cooked on low heat!

So, rice flour. I thought it was as standard in gluten-free baking as wheat flour is for the rest of the world. Well, surprise, surprise! After making some banana nut bread in the States, I realized this year that the flour commonly sold here is not as fine as what I buy in France. While it didn’t make much difference in bread making, it added an unpleasant grittiness to my cakes. Not so great for a “bûche de Noël » that I was planning to make for our family! DuckDuckGo to the rescue (Sorry Mr Google, I avoid using your services) – et voilà, I found “superfine rice flour” online and ordered it. More expensive but worth it!

3 Comments

    1. Thank you for the info. In France I always use brown rice flour (more nutrients this way) and it seems to be ground very finely. I am planning to limit my usage of the bag of the American “superfine” flour for very special occasions and cakes. It was very pricey!
      Returning to France very shortly. I haven’t forgotten your nomination, Jillian!

      Like

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