Do you know that scene in the movie 'Ratatouille', where the feared food critic enters the restaurant, and is served the most simplest dish, Ratatouille. As soon as he take a bite, he's entire self is being transformed in an instant, to the time when he was a small child, enjoying he's mother's Ratatouille, made with endless amounts of love.
No this is not exactly my story here. My mom did cook for me dishes that will forever be ingrained in my memory, and I am sure to share some of those dishes here with you in the future. This dish however, revolves around one of my favorite old time restaurants, called 'Orna and Ella'.
Orna and Ella, was situated in the center of the city in what used to be then, a chic and upcoming neighborhood. It was small with a beautiful backyard, cosy, hestatiscly clean, and just screamed 'comfort' from every corner and every wall. You immediately felt like you were transported to somewhere else entirely, downtown New York, Paris or Berlin maybe. The dishes were simple but with so much thought and care behind them. This 'Sweet Potato Pancakes with Crème fraîche' was one of the restaurant's greatest hits, which made it instantly famous and sought after.
I clearly remember the first time I tried it. The sweetness of the potato combined with the savoriness coming from the soy sauce, and then the crème fraîche and chives on top, cooling the flavors at the top of your palate with the added umami coming from the chives. It was one of those simplest dishes, that took you all by surprise, and you would never stop thinking of it again, until the next time you had it... and the next... and the next after that.
This is my attempt at recreating this dish with a small twist, which is using the Japanese Pancake technique, turning these pancakes into these sweet and savory heavenly clouds.
So... Let's do this!
1 Large sweet potato
1/2 Cup All Purpose flour
1 Tsp baking powder
2 Large eggs
1 Tsp light soy sauce
1 Tsp Sugar
6 Tbsp room temp unsalted butter
For the Crème fraîche:
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp buttermilk
2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
For the Crème fraîche recipe please use the link below:
What is Crème fraîche
Crème Fraîche is a decadent, French-style cultured cream that will enhance any recipe that calls for sour cream. The rich taste and unique cooking advantages of crème fraîche will bring depth of flavor and a smooth texture to dips, baked goods, soups and finishing sauces.
Let's do this
* Makes 4-6 sweet potato pancakes
Using a fork, poke the skin of the sweet potato, place on a baking sheet and roast for 30 min at 400 F (or 204 C).
Once done, set aside to cool, then peel the skin and puree the potato.
Place in a medium size bowl.
Grab two small-medium size bowls.
Break 2 eggs separating the yolks from the egg whites
Place the egg whites aside and grab the bowls with the egg yolks
Add the soy sauce, 1 Tbsp melted butter and sugar.
Give it a good whisk until all liquid is combined and the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Using a wire mesh, swift the flour into the mix along with the baking powder
Add the sweet potato puree and and mix together
Grab the bowl with the egg whites and add 1 Tbsp sugar
Using a hand mixer (you can use a regular whisk instead), froth the egg whites until fully whipped.
Then combined folding the egg whites with the sweet potato mixture, 1 quarter at a time.
To successfully make these soft cloudy pancakes, it is imperative to gradually fold the egg whites into the mixture, retaining the air in the batter.
Then set aside preferably in the refrigerator for upto 30 minutes. This will allow for flavors to further develop and for the pancake batter to hold better.
Place a medium size non stick pan over medium low heat.
Add 1 Tbsp butter and using a small spatula or fork, butter the entire surface of the pan.
Using a large spoon, add the pancake batter using the bottom of the spoon to shape the pancake.
After 2 min, add another spoon of the batter, spay some water (1 Tbsp), and cover with a see through lid.
2 min later remove lid and flip the pancake (you may need to use two spatulas here).
Cook for another 1 min and remove from pan.
Repeat process with other pancakes
Place pancakes in a plate and top with chives - Crème Fraîche.
Enjoy while hot!