by

Chestnut and Sweet Potato Yokan

Chestnut and Sweet Potato Yokan

My masterpiece recipe! A perfect seasonal Japanese confection of autumn that features soft and fluffy sweet potatoes and chestnuts. Make them as a gift, as they are sure to please!

Ingredients: An easy-to-make amount

Sweet potato, peeled
400 g
Sugar
20 g
Salt
A pinch
Sweetened chestnuts, shelled (See recipe below. Store bought is fine)
80 g
☆ Kanten powder
2 g
☆ Milk
100 ml
☆ Syrup from the sweetened chestnuts
50 ml
Sweetened chestnuts
Chestnuts, shelled and skinned
80 g
Water
120 ml
Sugar
40 g
Salt
A pinch
Mirin
1 teaspoon

Steps

1. Peel the sweet potatoes, slice into 1-1.5 cm half moons, then soak in water for about 10 minutes.
2. Drain the sweet potatoes (they can be wet), put in a heat-resistant dish, cover loosely in plastic wrap, then microwave for 6-7 minutes at 600W.
3. The sweet potatoes are done when a skewer pierced into the center comes out clean. Pass the sweet potatoes through a sieve to purée. This step is tedious, but essential to the taste of this dish, so persevere!
4. Roughly chop chestnuts into 5 mm cubes.
5. Heat milk, the syrup from the chestnuts, and kanten in a pan, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes while stirring. Dissolve the kanten powder while simmering.
6. Add sugar and salt and mix well until they have dissolved. Remove from heat, add puréed sweet potato, then knead together.
7. Fold in the chopped chestnuts, fill a mold with the mixture, wrap in plastic wrap, then press with a flat object, as if you were making pressed sushi.
8. When it cools down, chill it in the refrigerator. After 2 or 3 hours, after it is well-chilled and set, remove from the mold, cut into desired sizes, then serve.
9. To make the sweet chestnuts: Soak shelled and skinned chestnuts in water. Put in a sauce pan, add water, sugar, and salt, then heat.
10. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Add mirin and simmer for 5 more minutes (without a lid) and allow to cool in the pan.
11. I used a 4.5 cm by 34 cm half moon mold. For molds without removable bottoms, I recommend lining the mold with plastic wrap.
12. They also turn out great pressed in a rose-shaped silicon mold! If you have silicon molds, give it a try.

Story Behind this Recipe

Chestnuts and sweet potatoes -- the bounties of autumn!
I had a craving for sweet potato yokan, but wanted something different, so I added sweetened chestnuts and the result was amazing. A total success!