When I saw this on the bon appetit blog, I thought, "Wow! Caramel sauce with no refined or processed ingredients? I have to try this!" Well, I tried it, and came away disillusioned. The recipe seemed simple enough: roast 3 pounds of potatoes in a little water, then let drain into a saucepan. Cook down the resulting liquid.
Here are the potatoes, ready to go into the oven:
Here are the roasted potatoes, draining in a cheese-cloth-lined strainer:
And, after an hour and a half of roasting, an hour of draining, and another half hour of cooking down the liquid, here is what I got:
A third of a cup of syrup (never got to a caramel-y state of thickness) that still tastes overwhelmingly like sweet potato. At least I had enough mashed sweet potato to make sweet potato pancakes (just add some of the mashed potato to your regular pancake batter) and sweet potato biscuits. :-) As for the "caramel sauce", I'm still skeptical, but I saw enough promise to try it again -- roasting the sweet potatoes uncovered for longer to concentrate the sugars more might do the trick. It just seems like a lot of time to take up just to make a small amount of caramel sauce. Still not sure what I'm going to do with the small amount of syrup I have, though. It seems a shame to just waste it. Simple syrup for a cocktail, perhaps? Send me any thoughts you have! :-)