Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Baked Sweet Potato

_DSC9118Strolling up the hilly Gerbera Street in Jiyuugaoka (自由が丘) for 10 minutes, a pastry shop Mont St. Clair was in our view. It was a tad smaller than I imagined but that in no way squashed my anticipation of what I was sure would be an amazing array of pastries to see. That was June of 2009. My voracious appetite to discover pastry shops drove me to this store. My husband was a willing partner in this search.  IMGP2143

Hironobu Tsujiguchi (辻口博啓) operates this store and twelve others. He was born in Ishikawa prefecture, the son of the owner of a Japanese pastry shop Beniya (紅屋). He could have followed in his father’s foot steps if not for a strawberry shortcake he had for the first time at his friend’s birthday party. His training  to become a pastry chef started right after graduating from high school. He won numerous and prestigious awards. He appeared on many variety/talk television shows – he beat iron chef Masahiko Kobe in Iron Chef in February of 1999, secret ingredient – Banana! He teaches Super Sweet cooking School on line as well as on-site in Jiyuugaoka. I’m short on space to list all his accomplishments though, I have to mention that in 2004, he opened a Japanese pastry shop ‘Waraku Beniya’ (和楽紅屋) to revive his father’s store which folded in 1985.

Sweet Potato is a familiar sweet to Japanese. I have not yet seen it in the US market. I followed his method almost entirely from his cook book ‘Sweets Done Right’ (ちゃんと作れるスイーツ). The only difference is that I mashed sweet potato all the way then strained it through the mesh to make it ultra creamy. Anyway, that’s how I dealt with the sweet potato that was getting new shoots.

Ingredients and instruction. Make approximately 8-2inch cups._DSC9079

Equipment: food scale, sieve, 8-2inch diameter (Wilton) party cups or 4, 2-1/2inch cups (available in craft store). Pastry brush

  • Sweet potato 400g cook and peel skin. I wrapped in foil and put in the oven for about 1-1/2 hour. You could also steam whole then peel the skin. Roughly mash it while it’s hot.
  • Butter 80g softened
  • Granulated sugar 50g
  • Honey 20g
  • A pinch of salt
  • Egg yolk 30g about 2 eggs. Beat well
  • Rum flavoring 1/2 teaspoon or if you are using real rum 6g
  1. Put butter and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk well until color gets light and creamy.
  2. Add honey and continue to whisk
  3. Add salt and mix well.
  4. Add egg in three parts and continue to whisk.
  5. Add rum and mix. Heat oven to 340F at this point.
  6. Mash sweet potato with potato masher until it is like paste. Do not over mash if you like some texture. If you prefer smoother texture strain through a sieve.
  7. Combine mashed sweet potato and butter/egg mixture using a spatula. Do this with a quick and light motion.
  8. Fill potato batter into a piping bag with large star tip. Pipe out into each cup - this is optional process - Simply spoon out and use butter knife to make a mount.
  9. Brush with mixture of 1egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water for shine._DSC9107
  10. Place filled cups on cookie sheet and bake for 25minutes._DSC9125Plain looking sweet potato needs some dressing up to do. Here I topped with whipped cream, chopped chestnuts and sprinkled with cinnamon._DSC9144


We participate in beautification of our city park last Saturday. WERK Day is in it’s 13th run. Volunteers were treated to a pancake and omelet breakfast then divided into 5-6 groups for bark dusting, gravel paving in the dog run section or poison ivy and other noxious species removal.IMG_0451Memorial Park is the largest park in our city.

IMG_0439Here is my husband shoveling gravel into the wheel barrow.

IMG_0444IMG_0445IMG_0446City gave each of us the lovely orange t-shirts…IMG_0453and free coupon to Wendy’s.

On the home front, we have our own beautification task to do also. Honey, can I volunteer to take a nap? The golden chain tree in our back yard is in full bloom. The vibrant yellow color lasts only for a week._DSC9053_DSC9049The enjoyment was shared with bees too._DSC9056The fig tree looks promising._DSC9050I’m sure I didn’t plant the strawberry there. Over thriving strawberries delight my husband._DSC9066

That evening my husband took me to Urban Farmer Steak House in downtown Portland for early Mother’s Day treat. We split the wagyu rib eye steak yet it was still too much! The food was great and  the décor sooo urban chic!IMG_0463

Super moist petit cakes arrived just in time for Mother’s Day from Japan. The gift is from my son and daughter-in-law._DSC9075

And bouquets from my husband and my daughter._DSC9048 _DSC9130

Striking peony like multi-layered petal roses. Ahhh..nice to be pampered._DSC9045Thought about my late mother all day… filled with gratitude.



  1. As someone with a big passion for Japanese cuisine, I find desserts and in general sweets the most intimidating part (but I love dried squid, rare chicken breasts, aji no hiraki and many dishes that foreigners might find scary!). I have tasted last year in Tokyo extraordinary rice balls (mochi?) coated in powdered black sesame... They looked so out-of-space but they tasted like heaven! I still keep on regretting I haven't bought several boxes to bring home.
    Your sweet potato dessert looks beautiful, so sunny and appetising! I wish I could read kanji... I would love to explore Japanese cuisine in original cookery books.
    I see you have been pampered indeed. If I had to choose, I would exchange all the flowers in the world for just one wagyu steak ;-)

    1. Thank you for your comment Sissi. I'm so glad that you like Japanese cuisine and I love kuro goma daifuku (black sesame mochi) too.

  2. Your Golden Chain Tree is absolutely beautiful!! BTW, I didn't quite catch the outcome whether your husband agreed to your suggestion of a volunteer nap-per?...Ah...afterall, you must have been so tired after baking the prettiest sweet potato cupcake...Ameki, you deserve all the pampering:) It's nice to read about your fun filled week, and of your loving family:)

    1. Thank you! I know, it was really busy weekend but we're so glad to help out for our city.

  3. Your baked sweet potato looks so delicious. I can't resist this moist and creamy dessert. I made it once but it didn't look so pretty like yours. Beautiful post!!

  4. すっごく美味しそう!!


    1. ありがとう!結構好きなスイーツなのに、めったに作らないのが不思議。いろいろ他にためしたい八方美人的思考です。

  5. Lovely post, with beautiful pictures! Sweet Mashed potatoes look fantastic and absolutely mouthwatering!
    I hope you enjoyed mama's day, i see you got some goodies :D delicious and beautiful! Have a great weekend ahead

    1. Thank you very much for your comment and compliment.

  6. Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing...

  7. スイートポテト大好きです。私もいつか作ってみたいです。レシピっておかないと。作るの楽しみにしてます。