White People Discover #Ube

A sweet potato knows it has finally hit the “white people radar” when it gets a feature in GQ Magazine. And that is exactly what happened to purple yams when the magazine ran the article, “What You Need to Know About Ube, the Filipino Ingredient Invading the Dessert World”.

A more accurate title for this article would have been “The Filipino Ingredient Invading the White Dessert World,” because this beautiful potato has been a staple ingredient in asian cuisine and desserts forever. White people did not “discover this potato” into existence, that was America. Duh!

But anyway, as a white girl reading GQ Magazine, I decided I was going to mess around with this “new to me” ingredient in my test kitchen.

And like with all things foreign, I was going to work with only my feeble knowledge and broad assumptions–what could go wrong?

First, I had to find some purple yams. I grabbed a few at my local grocery store, but many of the recipes I found called for rehydrated ube, which required a visit to amazon.com for some powdered purple yam.

With my ingredients in hand, I settled on cupcakes and muffins, both of which I managed to screw up, but still produce edible final products.

For the cupcakes, I used fresh shredded ube and a recipe I grabbed from the blog of a woman in Australia. I failed to steam the ube before adding it to the cupcakes, which gave them a decidedly chewy texture.

Note to self: next time, cook the ube first.

Next up were the ube muffins. Here is the recipe.

This recipe was kludged together from other recipes and what I know, generally, about making muffins.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cub rehydrated ube
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp lavender food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin trays with baking cups.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until very light in colour and fluffy.
4. Beat in egg, ube, and lavender food coloring.
5. Switch to a spoon to stir (these are muffins so don’t over mix) In three additions, alternately add in flour mixture and yogurt, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape bowl as needed to ensure that everything is incorporated well.
6. Fill each baking cup with the cupcake batter about 3/4 full.
7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Transfer each cupcake immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: My Filipino friends were a bit surprised that my cupcakes didn’t involve coconut, so for authenticity, I gave the muffins a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut on the top before they went into the oven.

Another Note: For some reason, these muffins fell, which made them look sad, even though they were delicious and we’ll be making them again. And thanks to my Filipino friends for the coconut tip.

For more on ube, you can follow it on Instagram and Facebook.









Here comes the sun–for a minute

We’ve had record rainfall this winter in Sonoma County, which is more than welcome after years of drought, but I can honestly say that we are all ready for a bit of a break from the wet weather. The sun was out for a bit today so we all ran outside to play (and catnap).

Wheel pose (Chakrasana or Urdva Dhanurasana) by Jes. Cat pose (not actually cat pose) by Doug The Cat.


Wine Cake and Sonoma County Real Estate

Trying to find a house to buy in this country is no joke. Trying to buy a house in Sonoma County is basically impossible. As it turns out, all of the houses already have people living in them and there are no one plans to move or build any new ones anytime soon because:

  1. the housing bust of 2008 dried up all the new construction
  2. developers are building multi-family units because rents are really high but they aren’t building any new single family homes
  3. there are still a lot of homeowners underwater on their mortgages
  4. there isn’t enough inventory for those who are above water on their mortgages and who want to move.

Somehow, we can build a 2,000 mile wall between the US and Mexico, but we can’t agree on a plan to build more housing for the people who live here.

There are no houses to buy and when one becomes available, you better have your shit together or you will miss your chance. Sometimes, you may have to ask around, try to get some info on the down low, make an offer on a house that’s not even on the market.

You may find yourself trying to convince a sweet octogenarian, who happens to be the current owner of your dream house, to sell it to you when he or she feels ready to do so–no rush, you’ll just be right over here, pre-approved for a mortgage and keeping your checkbook warm.

I’m not saying this is me, but I am saying that if I WERE working that angle, I would bring that sweet octogenarian some baked goods; because they like that sort of thing and THAT is the kind of person I am.

You may have heard that a certain sweet octogenarian you would like to bake for has a bad heart, so obviously, you bake them something healthy and vegan from ThugKitchen because you really do care about their health, but you are NOT fucking around.

And, because this is a Sonoma County real estate deal you are working, you bring that sweet man some wine cake from ThugKitchen.

ThugKithen Wine Cake Recipe

Cake Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sweet Sugar Glaze Ingredients
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup wine (whatever you used for the cake)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Warm up the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a standard Bundt pan.
2. Make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, coconut milk, wine, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet, then mix that shit up until there aren’t any more huge dry spots. Don’t overmix this though, just chill.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick stuck into it comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then stick a plate on top of that motherfucker and flip it over to get it out of the pan and onto the plate to cool.
4. Once the cake has cooled, you can add the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, wine, lemon juice, and vanilla until there aren’t any clumps. Drizzle over the cooled cake and slice that sweet son of a bitch up.

I have a few notes to make about this recipe after trying it. First, I don’t know what is going on with the recipe for the glaze, but it needs some work. There is way too much liquid. I would say you could reduce the amount of wine in it, but that suggestion makes me sad. So, try a different glaze recipe if you have one. Second, as you can see from the photo, I made this cake into cupcakes and ate them on my Mom’s wedding china because octogenarians make you feel fancy and old-school.

Thanks to ThugKitchen for the recipe. We didn’t technically ask them for permission to publish it, but they can just fucking get over it.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com