Sweet Potato Cakes with Lemon Crème Fraiche & Capers

Pairs perfectly with our 2021 Convergence Pinot Noir

Our 2021 Convergence Pinor Noir has been paired with this crowd-pleasing Sweet Potato Cake appetizer.  Serve it in place of a salad on those cooler Fall & Winter days when you need something warm and cozy, but not too heavy.  The lemon brightens the dish, while the potatoes add a natural sweetness which complement the lighter, more delicate aromas of this stunning Pinot Noir.

Wooden bowl filled with sweet potatoes, rosemary and a paring knife


  • Sweet Potatoes – 2

  • All-Purpose Flour – 1 tsp

  • Egg – 1

  • Tarragon – 1 bunch

  • Butter – Clarified or Ghee for frying

  • Crème Fraiche – 1 cup

  • Lemon – 1

  • Capers – 4 tsp

  • Salt & Pepper to Taste


Crème Fraiche
Zest and juice 1 medium sized lemon.  Combine 1 cup of crème fraiche with the lemon zest & juice.  Add a pinch of salt & pepper (to your preferred taste) and set aside.

Sweet Potato Cakes
GratePeel 2 medium to large sized sweet potatoes, then great on the larger side of a box grater.  Place the grated sweet potato in cold water, just covering the potatoes to rinse off as much starch as possible.  Allow to soak for 30 to 60 minutes. 

Rinse, Drain & Dry – Drain the water from the grated sweet potatoes.  Lay a clean kitchen towel out and place the grated sweet potato directly onto the towel, then roll the towel and lightly press on it to absorb as much water from the sweet potatoes as possible.

Mix – To make the mixture, add the grated sweet potato to a large mixing bowl.  Chop 1 bunch or tarragon, add to the bowl, add 1 egg, and salt & pepper (again this depends on your preference, but we used approximately 1/8 tsp of each – or a larger pinch).  Sprinkle 1 tsp of flour over the mixture.  Use your hands to gently mix all of the ingredients, being careful to not squish or compress the potatoes too much or they will be very dense after cooking. The ideal texture will be just stuck together and still lacey on the exterior.

Clarify the butter – Use ghee, clarified butter, or clarify your own at home to remove the milk solids to prevent burning and smoking.  To clarify your own butter by heating butter (we prefer high quality European style butter for this dish) over low heat.  Do not boil or stir the mixture, just slowly bring it up to temperature until the milk solids start rising to the top. Skim the white milk solids from the top of the pan with a slotted spoon or ladle.  When the milk solids have been removed, simply transfer the golden, clear clarified butter to another dish to use for frying.

Pan Fry – Heat a frying pan over medium heat, pour in a thin layer of clarified butter, when the mixture is warm and starts to look very shiny, place spoonfuls of the potato mixture directly into the pan, letting them naturally take shape.  Do not press down.

Once the first side becomes crispy and a deep golden brown, flip the rounds with a spatula and begin cooking the other side.  They will be relatively loose, so ensure you are gentle when flipping them and removing them once they are done on both sides.  This will ensure they stay light and fluffy.  Carefully transfer to a paper towel to absorb some of the remaining butter.  Season with salt & pepper very lightly (a small sprinkle per each cake).  Serve with the crème fraiche mixture and capers.