Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ube Macapuno Cake

Like most food bloggers, I have a long "to do" list when in comes to creating new desserts in my kitchen.  This particular recipe has many variations and is not your typical American cake.  It contains purple yam-which is not commonly found here.  The other unusual ingredient is the macapuno, or preserved coconut. Both of these ingredients can be found at an Asian Market.

Overall, I found the cake to have a wonderful light flavor with great texture.  It is not as sweet as most American cakes, but it was a nice change of pace. The whipped cream and cream cheese frosting was the perfect topper.  As you can tell by the above picture, the cake color is very eye catching which is an extra plus.  However, concerning the macapuno, I did not find it to be particularly appealing according to my tastes. If you have not tried it, it would be a good idea to try it prior to baking this cake. 

This cake, due to its appearance, would be a perfect finale to an Easter meal.

Ube Macapuno Cake
adapted from Heart of Mary  

7 eggs, yolk and white separated
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup cooked &/mashed purple yam/ ube
3 tbs baking powder
2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
violet gel paste (optional)

1/2 cup sugar
1-12 oz jar macapuno
1-8 oz package of cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Prepare 2-9 inch round cake pans and 1 8X4 inch loaf pan by greasing and lining the bottom interior with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In one bowl, beat together mashed purple yam, egg yolks, milk and olive oil until smooth.  If you are using gel paste beat 1/4 tsp.  Continue to beat in gel paste until desired color is met.  Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together baking powder, cake flour and salt. Using a wooden spoon, fold flour mixture into egg batter until smooth and no dry streaks remain.  Set aside.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the egg whites.  Beat on high until foamy.  Then, beat in the cream of tartar.  Switch the speed of the mixer to medium and continue to beat. Slowly pour in a steady stream of the sugar.  Once all sugar is in the whites, switch blender back to high and beat until the whites reach a stiff peak stage.

Fold the whites into the purple batter until evenly distributed.  Separate and pour the batter into the 3 pans.  Place pans in oven and bake until tester comes out clean.  Bake time should be about 30 minutes.  Pans should be rotated at the 15 minute interval.

Remove pans from oven and place on rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Then invert cakes onto rack and let cool completely before removing parchment paper and frosting.

Using a food processor, grind the 1 loaf cake until it all becomes crumbs.  Set aside. 

To make the frosting, place the cream cheese in a small bowl and beat until smooth.  Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add sugar, vanilla extract and whipping cream.  Beat on high speed until mixture has a stiff consistency and all ingredients are thoroughly blended together.  Add the cream cheese and beat on low speed until smooth. 

Fill a sieve with the macapuno and let some of the syrup drain. Using 3 small bowls, divide the frosting into thirds..  Choose which of the two cake layers to use for the bottom and top.  Top the bottom layer with 1/3 of the frosting.  Then spoon on 1/3 pf the macapuno.  Place the second cake layer on top and frost top and sides with another 1/3 of the frosting. 

Sprinkle cake crumbs on top of the cake.  Then, using handfuls of cake crumbs, press into the sides of the cake until crumbs are completely used and cake is covered.  With the remaining frosting, pipe big rosettes around the top edge and small rosettes around the bottom edge. Lastly, spoon and smooth the remaining macapuno onto the top center of the cake.

Notes and tips:
1.  I found the amount of cake crumbs to be too much.  Use your own judgement when it comes to the batter amount for the loaf pan.  Bear in mind the less batter will mean less cooking time.

2. When using the gel paste for coloring, consider that the addition of the egg white mixture will lighten the color quite a bit.  It is up to you how dark or light you want your cake to be in color.

3. The cake is very moist, so when it is inverted onto the rack, invert again so parchment paper is touching the rack.  Otherwise there will be a lot of cake sticking to the rack.  Once the cake has completely cooled then your can invert again to remove the parchment paper.

                                **LAST YEAR: Chocolate Glazed Zucchini Cake Slice**