Potato overload – Potato candy and baking recipes


When we ("we" meaning my family) prepare Thanksgiving, we always go overboard and make far more food than anyone could eat in one sitting, or even two. Leading up to the preparation, we also go overboard on the shopping. I bought five kilos of potatoes for the mashed potatoes and used maybe two kilos. I do not otherwise use or eat potatoes, so I was left wondering what on earth to do with three kilos of potatoes.

It occurred to me that I might be able to make some kind of potato candy the way people make potato bread. I ended up with three potato concoctions, only one of which worked properly – none of which were probably very good. I do not know because no one reported back about all of them. I know that the cake (a gluten-free cake that used mashed potatoes and polenta instead of wheat flour) was eaten but probably not particularly popular or well-received. The potato-peanut butter candy was also all taken but who knows if it was good? Especially because peanut butter is not universally loved, it might not have been a favorite. The third thing, a potato-coconut candy, failed in the kitchen so went directly from pan to garbage can.

Potato peanut-butter candy
1 small potato (2/3 to 3/4 cup?)
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 to 7 cups powdered sugar
peanut butter to spread (crunchy or smooth – you decide the age-old argument)

Peel and slice potato into quarters. Boil in water and cook over medium heat until soft. Drain potato and beat until mashed. Add the vanilla. Then add half the sugar and mix well. Mix in the remaining sugar.

Place a sheet of waxed or parchment paper, dusted with powdered sugar, on your work surface. Knead the potato a bit to get a feel for the consistency and make sure it will roll out and stay together. Flatten the dough and dust the top with more powdered sugar. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch. Spread peanut butter on the dough and roll it up into logs.

At this stage, you can chill your potato logs in the fridge, wrapped in plastic, until ready to cut and serve. Or you can cut into quarter-inch slices and serve.

Gluten-free lemon polenta cake
200g softened butter
200g sugar
4 eggs
175g almond flour (to make this nut-free, as I did, you could use polenta or corn flour)
250g mashed potatoes (cold and unsalted)
zest of 3 lemons
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

Drizzle for cake, if desired
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 180C. Butter and line a deep, 20cm round cake tin. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then gradually add the egg, beating after each addition. Fold in the almond flour or polent, cold mashed potato, lemon zest and baking powder.

Put cake batter into prepared cake pan, level the top, then bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Invert onto a wire rack after cooling for ten minutes.

Mix the granulated sugar and the lemon juice together, then spoon over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let the cake cool completely before slicing.

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