It was my nephew’s 26th birthday last Saturday and he requested an ube cake for his birthday. In the past, I’ve always opted for a “surprise” cake (whether made or bought). Ha! the surprise was on me last year because I picked a mint and chip ice cream cake which I assumed he would like because our kids love them and Murphy’s Law, I picked the one flavor that he actually hated :p…So since then, I decided to ask people to give me a few options or tell me their ultimate favorite.
For those of you who are not familiar with ube, it’s a sweet jam made from grated purple yam. This can be made from scratch or bought from Asian stores. I would suggest that if you have the time to do it, you should make it from scratch so that you can adjust the sweetness and texture to your liking. But, in a pinch, the store bought jams will do.
To make the sponge cake, separate the egg white and yoke from 4 large eggs. Beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy then add 1 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar and 1/2 c of sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
On another bowl, mix the egg yolks with 1/4 c vegetable oil, 1/4 c milk and 1/4 c of ube jam. You can also add a drop or two of purple food coloring if you wish to make a bolder colored cake.
Prepare the dry ingredients by combining 1 c cake flour, 1/4 c sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda and a pinch of salt. Mix with the egg yolk mixture to create the batter.
Slowly fold in the egg white mixture into the batter. I usually add a small portion of the egg white foam into the batter first to mix completely, then fold in the remaining egg white slowly.
Pour into a jelly roll pan (or a pan about 11 in. x 15 in.) lined with parchment paper and smooth the top either by gently shaking the pan or using a spatula. Bake at 350F for 20-25 min. until the top slightly bounces back up when slightly pressed.
While the cake is in the oven, cut a parchment paper larger than the size of your cake and dust with powdered sugar to keep the cake from sticking to it.
Once you remove the cake from the oven, immediately flip the pan on top of your sugar-coated parchment paper. Remove the paper backing from the cake, and while still hot, roll the cake with the larger parchment paper (just like rolling sushi :)). You can either do it vertically or horizontally depending on the size of cake you wish to make. Let it cool down on its rolled position.
(Sorry for the blurry pics, my daughter and I were trying to take the pictures quickly as I was rolling the cake…which was still very hot!)
Once completely cooled, you can unroll the cake and put in your desired filling. For this cake, we used more ube jam and sweet coconut strings as our filling. After adding the filling, you can re-roll the cake (without the parchment paper) and it would hold its shape. Finish by frosting as desired.
If you are familiar with this flavor, I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think. If this is a completely “foreign” flavor to you, I hope you’d let your adventurous self give it a shot 🙂 You never know…it might be your next new favorite cake 🙂
Enjoy! and til next adventure….