Kitchen experiment time y’all! I am diving into the ‘ber months in sweet treat style. Lately, the posts here in Amusing Maria have been about sweet stuff, see here and here and there’s more to come. My sweet mood the last few weeks have been about Ube or Purple Yam resulting in Purple Yam Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing.
Purple Yam or Ube is a highly used ingredient in the Philippines for desserts and candies. Ube flavored anything is usually all shades of purple. Yes! We have purple food in my country, and it is so good. I remember special occasions back home where dessert tables would have one to three each of the two-tiered Ube Cake with Coconut/Macapuno Strings, Ube Cake Roll, or Ube Halaya. The latter is a thick pudding made from Purple Yam, Sugar, Condensed and Evaporated milk.
I have always been more of a cook than a baker. I like chopping and tossing ingredients in a pan rather than precisely measuring each ingredient for baking. The recipe list to make good Ube Cake is long and many bakers can relate to the list. It’s three separate recipes for the icing, the filling, and the cake itself. Scary! Nuh-uh, Nope, I can’t. I just can’t. I was not blessed with patience by the baking gods. Unfortunately, the city I live in is miles away (at least a two hour drive) from any Filipino bakeshop that sells good Ube cake. What did I do? I reinvented the (purple) wheel by channeling inspiration from the english proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention”.
The idea came to me when I saw a recipe for Two Ingredient Pumpkin Cake. A can of pumpkin and a box of cake mix. Seriously? It can be done? I completed recipe experiments a few months ago using Ube instead of canned Pumpkin. The result was delicious but not worth the “look what I made” post for the blog. We had travels and wedding plans (see here) and work in the kitchen was put on hold. When my Ube Cake craving came a knocking 2 weeks ago I told Sister Craving to come in, sit, and relax! I patted her hand and said: “We’re going to figure this out.”
Cooking Notes for Purple Yam Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing:
I suggest preparing purple yam (mashed or rehydrated) ahead of time. Purple Yams are not available where I live so I used one pack (115 grams) of Powdered Purple Yam for the cupcake recipe.
- Rehydrate Purple Yam Powder with four cups of water and sweeten with 4 tablespoons of sugar.
- Place in pan, mix frequently for 30 minutes on medium heat,
- Cook the mixture down (equal to about 2-3 cups) to a paste-like consistency similar to pudding or baby food.
The coconut cream is made of coconut cream and confectioners sugar. Tools and ingredients need to be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Mix coconut cream with confectioners sugar according to taste
- Whip mixture until it thickens
- Store in a sealed container until ready to