Ube (taro) Cheesecake

There are certain flavors that would immediately bring me back to the thought of home…days of going from one family event after another every weekend, stuffing ourselves with all the cultural delicacies. My family, and we are quite an “extended family”, would always find an excuse to have a gathering of sorts…weddings, birthdays, first day of school, someone lost a tooth (ok, maybe that last bit was an exaggeration, but you know what I’m getting at), just so we can eat, eat and eat! (at the time no one cared about calories…) Hmmm I miss those days 😛

So recently, when I got invited to attend a FilAm community event I thought, “what better way to bring back some memories by making some mini ube cheesecakes!”  I found a recipe online from: Annie’s Chamorro Kitchen and since I did not have access to raw purple yam at the time, I came up with my own twist to make it easier and quicker, without losing the taste of home.  I visited our local Asian market and found myself a jar of sweetened ube (purple yam) also known as “ube halaya”.

The directions are pretty straightforward.  Since this recipe does not use any eggs, we can also skip the baking part which was a big time saver….

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 6 pcs Graham crackers (crushed)
  • 1/4 c of butter

For the filling:

  • 1 package of cream cheese (I like Philadelphia cream cheese but feel free to use any other brand, I would only recommend not to use the fat-free version)
  • 8 oz (1 cup) of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
  • 1 jar (approx. 2 cups) of ube jam

Since, the jam is already sweetened, I skipped adding any sugar or condensed milk to the recipe.

Directions:

  1. Line your mini cupcake or cupcake pan.
  2. Crush the graham crackers finely using either in a food processor or by hand.20160802_220359_HDR
  3. Melt the butter and pour into the crushed crackers.  Mix until the crackers are evenly coated.
  4. Place about 1 tbsp of the cracker mixture into your paper cups.20160802_220731_HDR(1)
  5. Press down firmly until you have an even layer at the bottom of the liner.20160802_221653(1)
  6. On a mixer, combine your heavy whipping cream and coconut milk.  Whip until it has increased in volume (about double). Begin at slow-medium speed and increase the speed to medium high.
  7. Add your ube jam and cream cheese. Continue to  whip until smooth. 20160802_223203(1).jpg
  8. Pour about 2 tbs of the ube mixture into the paper cups.20160802_225209(rotated)
  9. Place in the freezer and allow to chill for at least 1-2hrs.
  10. Remove from the freezer and move to refrigerator or room temp. about 10-15 mins prior to serving.
  11. You can add a small dollop of whipped cream, ube jam or toasted shredded coconut if desired.

Yum…yum…yum 🙂

Just a little heads up, this version of cheesecake is very light and not as creamy compared to a New York cheesecake recipe. If you want a similar consistency as the NY cheesecake, you can add more cream cheese for a richer flavor.  I wanted to have more of the taro taste than the cream cheese so this was perfect for us…

I hope you try it and share with me how it turns out 🙂

Til next adventure…

~CW

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