Confession time: I love croquettes, oh my god do I love them! Every time I go to a restaurant and it’s an option as a side instead of fries I’ll order it, guaranteed. The crunchy outside and the soft mashy inside are just such a joy to eat! Unfortunately for me croquettes are a lot more popular in Belgium/France/The Netherlands than they are here in Ireland and the UK but they are still sold in supermarkets so I can have still have my occasional treat.
I’ve made my own croquettes in the past as well, especially when I have visitors over but I’ve always wanted to try sweet potato croquettes, as I never really found them in store or in any restaurants. Luckily for me, my late grandpa once gave me his old croquette maker as well as his old chip cutter, which makes it so much easier to roll the croquettes, no matter whether they are sweet potato ones or regular ones.
The way it works is fairly easy, you make sweet potato mash, then leave it cool down and then put the mash in the croquette machine. Then push it down and rolls of mash will come out. Then it’s just a matter of cutting them in chunks. If you’re interested in this ‘machine’ as well, have a look for Millecroquettes on Amazon, which is the same one I have too. You can of course do it all manually and shape them into balls or the same shape as I did mine, but the latter will take quite a lot of patience to get it right.
Anyway back to the recipe! I used my own potato croquette recipe to base my sweet potato version on as well, but as the mash was a lot wetter, I had to add a good bit of flour to it as well as it was impossible to pick them up without them falling apart.
Making these is quite easy but I do recommend leaving them to firm up overnight so you do need to keep that in mind as they aren’t a ‘spur of the moment’ kind of food.
As I can’t have wheat or dairy myself, I used gluten-free breadcrumbs as well as sunflower spread instead of butter and it turned out great. The quantities remain the same weather you go for the ‘free-from’ option or not.
Either way I was so happy with the result, the sweetness of the mash inside with that crunchy outside layer, full of delicious spices was absolutely amazing! I cannot wait to make them again and to eat them as often as I’d like!
- 1kg sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 100g panko breadcrumbs, this can be gluten-free
- 25g butter or dairy-free alternative like sunflower spread)
- pepper & salt
- all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
Start by peeling the sweet potatoes, chop them in half and put them in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt. Boil for about 30 minutes, or until you can pierce through them easily with a fork.
Drain the water well. To prevent any water from being left behind, put the potatoes back in the pot and let the water steam off by putting it back on the stove. You can leave the heat off, unless you have an induction stove and it’s no longer warm of course.
Once the potatoes are dry enough, start mashing them.
Split your eggs, put the egg whites in a bowl and add the egg yolks to your mash. Stir in well and add butter as well with a few grinds of pepper, salt and at least a teaspoon of nutmeg. You can add more if you want, but make sure to taste the mash first before adding more herbs/spices.
Now you have two options, you can leave the mash in a cool dry place overnight or you can continue to make the croquettes already and then leave them overnight in a cool place.
Before making the croquettes we have to make sure the mash is not too wet, or it won’t hold its shape and it’ll become a big mess in your fryer. So start by adding one tablespoon of flour, mix it in well and try to shape your croquette. It doesn’t have to be a very dry mash, as long as you can pick it up without the structure falling apart you’re golden. Keep adding more flour until you’re happy, I had to add about 5 tablespoons.
You can now either shape them into croquette balls or use a croquette maker to turn them into cylinders (about 4 cm long). Once you have your desired shape, prepare two bowls: one with the egg whites and one with the breadcrumbs. Use a fork to loosen up the egg whites a bit and add another pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg to the breadcrumbs.
Roll the croquettes around in the egg whites first, make sure they are completely covered. Then dip them in the breadcrumbs, again making sure they are full covered. If you’ve made them into cylinders: don’t forget about the top/bottom!
Heat your deep fryer to 180°C and fry them for a few minutes, until golden-brown.