I researched far and wide for a recipe I could adapt, but ended up winging it with my favourite flavours to create these crunchy, gluten-free baked treats.
The amounts are vague so you can create a mix that is to your own taste. See the footnotes for loads of suggestions for your personalisations.
Makes: 10 two-bite-sized croquettes
- 1 average-size sweet potato
- 1 average-size baking potato
- Handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
- Handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
- Some chives, snipped into small bits with scissors
- Quick shake of dried chilli flakes
- Dash of sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 handfuls of desiccated coconut nibs, or a mix of nibs and flakes
- Salt and pepper, to your taste
- White sesame seeds, to coat
- A baking tray
- Aluminium foil
- 1 large mixing bowl
- A potato masher
- A small, wide bowl for sesame seeds
- A small bowl with cold water, for hand-rinsing
- Baking/parchment paper
- A cooling rack
NOTE: if you have baked leftovers of both types of potato, skip to Step 4
- Preheat oven to 200 C (180 C fan-assisted). Line your tray with tin foil.
- Scrub both potatoes well under running water and pat dry. Slice the baking potato in half lengthwise and place on the prepared tray, cut sides up. Leave the sweet potato whole, but poke it with a knife for steam release.
- Bake the sweet potato for 30-40 minutes, until it feels quite squidgy when you poke it with your finger. Let the other potato bake for a total of 45-60 minutes, until you can see that the centre is fully cooked. Remove the tray and let the potatoes cool until they can be wrapped in foil and placed in the fridge to chill thoroughly. (You can do this the night before, and leave them in the fridge overnight.)
- When the baked potatoes are fully chilled, take the whole sweet potato and half of the baking potato, and scoop the flesh out of the skins into a large mixing bowl. Mash until they are completely smooth and combined.
- Add all remaining ingredients except sesame seeds. Taste as you go, and adjust amounts until it tastes right for you. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put back into the fridge for another hour or so.
- Preheat oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted).
- Pour sesame seeds into a small, wide bowl, and put cold water into another small bowl. Line your baking tray with baking paper. Place these on your counter: cold water to the left, then the bowl of mash, a clear space, then the sesame seeds, and lastly the prepared tray on the right.
- Wet your hands, shake off the excess, and scoop out some mash, rolling it along one palm to create a fat cylinder about the length of your thumb, and place on the counter. Rinse your hands, shake off the excess, and repeat for the rest of the mash. Warning – it’s really soft right now, so don’t worry about perfect croquette shapes yet.
- Roll each croquette in the sesame seeds to fully coat them, and place on the prepared tray. With seed-coated fingers, squidge each croquette into a better cylinder.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the tray halfway through for even baking, until they feel quite firm, almost hard. Remove the tray from the oven and let the croquettes cool until you can remove them to a serving plate.
Alternatives and Flavour Ideas
Although the mash is really soft when forming the croquettes, they do bake quite firm. However, you can make the mash firmer by adding very fine breadcrumbs, or plain flour.
The Thai rules for perfect flavour balance (salty-sweet-hot-sour) should be employed here. Sweet potatoes are, as the name indicates, quite sweet. I’ve used sherry vinegar for the sour, but you could use any vinegar you like. I’ve suggested dried chilli flakes for the hot, but you could finely chop fresh chilli if you prefer. Make sure you use plenty of salt, and add whatever herbs/spices you like the taste of. If you don’t like cloves, cinnamon and/or ginger would be excellent; if you don’t like coriander, flat-leaf parsley would be just fine. Instead of chives, you could add well-cooked onion.
You could also roll the croquettes in desiccated coconut nibs instead of sesame seeds. If doing this, bake them at a lower temperature and watch them in the oven carefully so the coconut doesn’t get too dark.