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Indulging in Purple Paradise: The Irresistible MotherBee's Ube Cake

Updated: Sep 17, 2023


Ube Cake
MotherBee's Ube Cake

If there’s one color that resonates with me on a deep level, it’s purple. From my wardrobe choices to the dishes I serve, everything purple delights my senses. And speaking of delight, let me share one of my most beloved specialties - the Ube Cake, also known as Purple Yam Cake. This vibrant and flavorful dessert is sure to captivate your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


The Allure of Ube: A Journey through History and Varieties

The fascinating history of ube dates back centuries ago, with its origins tracing to the Philippines. Indigenous to the country’s warm tropical climate, this tuberous root crop has been cultivated since ancient times. Its vivid purple hue and unique taste have captured the hearts of generations, making it an essential part of Filipino cuisine and culture.

In the Philippines, there are several varieties of ube, each with its distinct characteristics. The most common variety is the “Dioscorea alata,” which boasts a bright purple color and a slightly nutty flavor. Another variety, “Dioscorea esculenta,” known as lesser yam, features a paler purple shade and a sweeter taste.


A Global Indulgence: Ube Beyond the Philippines

As much as Filipinos adore their beloved ube, its popularity has transcended borders. Other countries, such as Japan, have embraced this delightful root crop, cultivating their varieties known as “Purple Sweet Potato” or “Okinawan Sweet Potato.” In Japan, these purple treasures are utilized in various culinary creations, from sweets like ice cream and pastries to savory dishes such as tempura.


The Filipino Fascination with Ube

Filipinos share an unwavering love for ube, a sentiment that goes beyond its delightful appearance. When cooked, ube exudes a unique flavor profile - mildly sweet, nutty, and with a subtle hint of earthiness. Its enchanting taste pairs wonderfully with both sweet and savory dishes, giving rise to an array of mouthwatering treats.


In the realm of sweet delights, Ube Halaya, a traditional Filipino jam made from boiled and mashed ube, reigns supreme. This sweet purple paste is a staple in many Filipino desserts, often used to fill cakes, pastries, and even as a standalone treat.


Not to be outdone, Ube Ice Cream takes the spotlight with its captivating purple hue and delightful creaminess. The burst of ube flavor in every spoonful is simply heavenly.


In the realm of savory dishes, Ube plays a crucial role in enriching the Filipino culinary experience. Ube is incorporated into various dishes like “Halo-Halo,” a refreshing dessert made with shaved ice, assorted fruits, and, of course, Ube Halaya. Additionally, Ube is skillfully blended with coconut milk to create “Ginataang Bilo-Bilo,” a delightful sticky rice ball dessert with chewy Ube bits.


A Cake That’s Truly Purple

The Ube Cake is a true reflection of my passion for purple. Its gorgeous hue comes from the vibrant purple yam, also known as ube. In this recipe, I’ve crafted a cake base that’s moist, fluffy, and infused with the delightful essence of ube. Trust me; this cake is not just visually stunning but a heavenly treat for your palate.


Cake Base Recipe

Let’s start by gathering the essential components for our Ube Cake:

Dry Ingredients (Mix A):

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (sifted thrice)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


Liquid Ingredients (Mix B):

  • 7 egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 282 grams boiled and mashed ube (ube halaya)

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup corn syrup

  • 1/4 cup condensed milk

  • 5 grams ube flavocol (for that extra purple punch!)


Meringue Ingredients (Mix C):

  • 7 egg whites

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1-2 teaspoons violet food color (for that eye-catching color)


Delectable Filling and Creamy Icing

To make our Ube Cake even more delightful, we’ll use a heavenly Ube Halaya filling and a creamy icing:


Filling: 1 cup Ube Halaya

Icing:

  • 500 grams thick cream

  • 50 grams icing sugar

  • 5 grams ube flavocol


Baking in Purple Paradise

Now, let’s proceed with the baking process:

  • Preheat your oven to 150°C.

  • Start by mixing the ingredients from Mix A, sift them thrice, and set them aside.

  • Weigh all the ingredients for precision.

  • Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.

  • Combine all the liquid ingredients from Mix B, creating a smooth mixture without any lumps. Set this mixture aside.

  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually add the white sugar while whisking at high speed until you achieve medium peaks.

  • Divide the meringue into three parts.

  • Carefully fold the first part of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture.

  • Follow the same process for the second and third parts of the meringue, ensuring there are no white streaks visible. Be gentle to retain the airy texture.

  • Pour the batter into a 10-inch lined baking pan. Avoid greasing the sides and refrain from tapping to prevent air deflation.

  • Bake the cake for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  • Allow the cake to cool down in the pan, retaining all its marvelous purple goodness.


Embrace the Purple Dream

Now that your Ube Cake is ready to grace your table, it’s time to indulge in this exquisite purple paradise. Slice into this moist, purple-hued masterpiece and savor the rich flavors of ube. Each bite will transport you to a world of delight, where passion for purple meets culinary excellence.


A Slice of Purple Heaven

The Ube Cake is not just a dessert; it’s a celebration of my love for purple and my passion for baking. Whether you’re sharing it with family and friends or savoring it for a moment of blissful indulgence, this cake promises to be an unforgettable experience.

So, take a bite and let the sweet magic of Ube Cake sweep you away into a world of purple dreams. After all, life is sweeter when it’s draped in the hues of our favorite colors.


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