Chilean “Camotillos” are a very old sweet made in convents during the colonial period and have almost disappeared from the national recipe book. They are sugary on the outside and soft on the inside.
How to make homemade “Camotillos”?
“Camotillos” are sweets made from sweet potatoes and sugar that develop a hardened and darker crust on the outside, with a soft and moist golden center. The preparation still remains a completely artisanal process that can take several days.
Category: Typical Desserts
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 60 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Recipe for Chilean homemade “Camotillos”
- 500 g firm sweet potatoes
- 500 g granulated sugar
- 125 ml water
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Turn on and preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F) for at least 10 minutes.
- Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly, prick them with a fork, reserve a baking tray, and cook for 40 to 50 minutes until they are cooked, checking with the tip of a sharp knife, cool, peel, mash with a fork or potato masher. Reduce the temperature to 150°C.
- In a medium saucepan, add the sugar and water, heat over medium heat, stir until dissolved, and add the sweet potato puree and orange zest. Integrate everything homogeneously and keep on low heat for about 20 minutes until the mixture thickens, and the bottom of the pan can be seen when scraped. Remove from heat and cool.
- Cover a flat baking tray with parchment paper, shape small oval masses with the puree using two spoons, and distribute carefully. Bake for 60 minutes until the surface is dry and crystallized (). () Traditionally, “Camotillos” are rested covered in a cool, dark place for one day in summer and two in winter, and then transferred to a cabinet with enveloping heat for another 3 days.
History of Chilean “Camotillos”
“Camotillos” are considered sweets originated during the colonial era, made like other Chilean sweets traditionally in convents, as recorded by Oreste Plath in his book “Geographical Gastronomy of Chile.”
The recipe was so popular in the early 20th century that even Marta Brunet, National Literature Prize winner in 1961, included them in her book “La Hermanita Hormiga,” her treatise on culinary art and recipes, first published in 1931.
Did you know?
Sweet potatoes are tubers native to Central and South America, cultivated for over 5,000 years. They are currently produced in Chile in two varieties: one known as white sweet potato and another known as yam; the latter is characterized by its dark red skin, intense yellow pulp, and elongated-round shape.