This is an experiment that’s been brewing in my head for a while. I don’t know what made me think of it, but I wanted to make a dessert gnocchi using Korean sweet potatoes. The reason was I don’t like bahm goguma 밤고구마, the “chestnut” style sweet potatoes. Unlike the orange hobak goguma (pumpkin sweet potatoes), bahm goguma have light starchy dry flesh that I need a gallon of milk to chase down. But because of this starchiness, I felt it was a prime candidate for gnocchi.

Keeping with the journal aspect of this site, this is what I did, and I’ll note what I would do differently next time.

I boiled three sweet potatoes until they were tender. Just poke them with a chopstick to see when they’re ready.

I shocked them in cold water to make the skins come off easier and peeled them. EJ snagged a bite. Again, these are the chestnut variety of sweet potatoes. That’s why they’re whitish.

Now, when I’ve made gnocchi in the past, they’ve turned out heavy and gummy. A few people then suggested that I put the potatoes through a ricer. Well, I don’t have a ricer. So I put a mesh colander over a pot…

And smashed them through with my big wooden pounder. This was the first time I tried anything like this, and it actually worked. I’ll make mashed potatoes this way from now on. It does beef up your arm a bit.

This was the end result. Throw in some butter and cream, and we’d have a nice side dish. But for gnocchi, I put in 2 1/2 cups of cake flour, a pinch of salt and an egg.

I then shaped it into a ball.

And kneaded it a bit. Not too much.

I took a piece and rolled it out like a snake. This is where that pre-school training comes in handy.

Cut them into pieces with a knife. EJ convinced me to make them bigger after this batch.

She helped me by scoring them with a fork. They looked like white beondaeggi.

I cooked them in salted boiling water until they were blurry floating. Then scooped them out.

In another pot I melted a stick of butter with around three tablespoons of dark brown sugar. The taste was heavenly!

I tossed the gnocchi in the butter and sprinkled a little more brown sugar and a few dashes of cinnamon.

How I would do it differently

I could taste the sweet potato in the gnocchi, but it wasn’t immediately evident. Next time, I’ll mix a tablespoon of sugar with the egg and add it, along with some more salt.  Maybe garnish the end product with some apples or more sweet potatoes.

Even though I can think of improvements, it turned out pretty darn good. This made a lot of gnocchi. Make sure you have a child around to help you. We brought a bowl downstairs to our neighbor.

Korean Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Sugar Butter

3 Chestnut Sweet Potatoes (Bahm Goguma 밤고구마)
2 1/2 C Cake Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 TBS Sugar
1 Egg
1 stick Butter
3 TBS Dark Brown Sugar

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender and then shock them in cold water.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes.
  3. Push the sweet potatoes through a strainer or ricer.
  4. Add flour and salt and combine.
  5. Mix sugar with egg and add to dough. Mix.
  6. Roll into a ball.
  7. Put on a counter and knead for less than five minutes. Just until it comes together.
  8. Take off a piece of dough and roll it into a snake.
  9. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  10. Press with a fork. Repeat until the dough is all used up.
  11. Put the gnocchi in boiling water until they float. Remove and strain.
  12. Melt the butter in a separate pot over low heat with the brown sugar. Whisk until incorporated and bubbling. Turn off the heat.
  13. Toss the gnocchi with the butter mixture.
  • Garnish with sprinklings of brown sugar, cinnamon, sweet potato or apple and serve hot.
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