I didn't know date syrup is now used as an alternate sweetener. One of the recipes on the cookbook, NOPI, by Yotam Ottolenghi is Sweet Potato Pancakes Topped With Yogurt and Date Syrup. Sounds really yummy.
The date syrup in the book's photo is smooth, dark, and thick. I didn't have date syrup so I made a little by cooking California dried dates with water until pulpy. I strained it but the syrup although thick is not smooth and not sweet enough. I also tried making raw syrup by chopping dates and soaking in water but the result also lacks adequate sweetness and even coarser than the cooked syrup. Maybe it's really not that sweet like sugarcane. I'll have to get the ones that come from Israel just to try.
I ended up making my own pancake recipe because I prefer to have more sweet potato in the mix. I topped the 4-inch pancakes with drained kefir milk mixed with raw honey and the cooked date syrup. They are good enough for me. The pancakes are soft, fluffy, and sweet potato-y just the way I like them.
Korean sweet potato is my choice for sweet and savory dishes. The orange flesh sweet potatoes or yams are bland in comparison with these sweet potatoes. They have dark purple skin and pale to bright yellow flesh, very very sweet, and smooth. Roasted Korean sweet potatoes are my favorite snack always paired with spicy kimchi. [I got the idea of eating them together from watching too many Korean dramas.]
Oven roast sweet potatoes at 375°F for 45 minutes until fork tender, turning them once. Boiling is not recommended as they become too watery and lose some of the sweetness.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup half and half
1 cup mashed roasted sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons melted butter or light olive oil
butter for the pan
or kefir milk cheese mixed with honey (to taste)
or sweet butter
date syrup or maple syrup
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix in egg, half and half, mashed sweet potatoes, and melted butter; stir until mixture is smooth.
- Heat a skillet and add a little butter. Use a 2-tablespoon measuring cup for 4-inch pancakes. Cook until both sides are golden to dark brown. Top with topping of your choice.