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
1/3 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.
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