I've never had Ube cheesecake before.
By the time I came to the states, making this purple root crop (called "ube", pron. as ooh-beeh) into a cheesecake was not yet a reality in the Philippines. If it was-I guess it was only being made in posh hotel-restaurants in Manila-which I have no reason to visit or go unless I have to visit a dear girlfriend (a sister not from my mother or dad) from Laguna who likes good food and knows the ins and outs in Metro Manila (and with a hubby as a professional butcher in a 5 star hotel; he was also a choir-mate during our younger years! And that's how they met!).
But that never came about since I came to the states and they are both now in London 😞.
Cream cheese is a new thing in the Philippines and just came about to be made or sold there early part of the 21st century.
This is the first time I made ube cheesecake. I have made jewel, red yams and white sweet potato cheesecakes but not Ube (purple sweet potato or purple yams).
Guess what? Here's the irony: Ube is THE NEW THING in the states. I'm even glad that it reached a grocery store where I live-a small desert town in the middle of nowhere. But that's the good thing of being close to California: the farming capital of the Western U.S.
Argh! This was one good idea to make for a purple root crop. No kidding!
Equipment/s you should have:
12 x 12 Aluminum/tin foil
1-9" cheesecake pan or springform pan (photo courtesy: Amazon.com)
1 round or square baking pan filled with just enough water to not boil over in the oven or 3 oven-safe coffee mugs filled with water.
Photo by: ConsumerAffairs.com
For the crust: milk-free polvoron
1¾ c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c unsalted butter
1/4 c margarine
1/4 t vanilla extract
Do at the same time: melt butter/margarine and toast flour.
Melt butter and margarine on low heat while toasting flour.
Toast the flour in a wok or large pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Flour is 'toasted' when the flour 'weighs' like talcum powder. It should 'feel' dry and should smell like baked pie crust. The color looks "dirty white".
Remove from heat and continue stirring for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Remove melted butter from heat and add vanilla extract; stir to combine.
Add sugar to the flour and mix well. Add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until well combined and not lumpy.
For the Filling:
2 medium sized ube (At least 4" long, 3" diameter. You should be able to have 1½-2 cups mashed purple yams.)
2, 8 oz cream cheese
1¼ c granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 c heavy cream
1/2 t salt
1 t ube extract (McCormick™ Philippines thru ebay™ or amazon™); optional
Bake the yams, prepare the batter:
Preheat oven to 350° F. wrap each ube with tin foil and place on a baking pan. Bake for 1½ hours.
Let it cool to room temperature inside the tin foil. When cooled, remove tin foil and peel skin; cube in fours or six.
Place ube cubes in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Remove canister from housing base (The on/off-motor part of your food processor.) and set it aside.
Transfer cream cheese in a large bowl. using a handheld or stand mixer, beat on low for 1 minute. Scrape sides. Add 1/4 c of sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape. Repeat procedure were you add sugar and scrape 2 more times until all sugar are used and incorporated and cream cheese mixture is creamy.
Add the pureed ube and ube extract into the cream cheese mixture. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape.
Add the 3 eggs into the mixture and beat for 1 minute. Scrape. Add the egg yolks and beat for 1 minute. Scrape.
Add the heavy cream, salt and ube extract (optional) beat for 1 minute. Set aside.
Place a round or square cake pan filled with water inside the oven (lowest rack). Or you can use 2 oven safe coffee mugs instead filled with water. Place on the middle rack, towards the back of the oven-away from the cheesecake.
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Prepare the cheesecake pan:
Lightly rub or brush with cooking oil or melted butter a 9" cheesecake pan or springform pan. You can use PAM also to grease the pan.
Wrap your cheesecake pan with aluminum/tin foil to secure the bottom.
Dump the loose polvoron into the greased pan and fill the center and sides of the pan with it. Use your fingers to equally distribute the polvoron. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to flatten and smoothen the sides. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes
After 15 minutes, take out the crust from the freezer. Slightly beat the cheesecake batter then carefully pour it into the polvoron crust. Lightly tap to release air and flatten the batter.
Bake for 1.5 hours plus 15 minutes on the middle rack or above the water. Cheesecake is done when you shake it and jiggles slightly. If it jiggles too much then it's not done yet. The "plus 15 minutes" should do it but you never know; oven heat varies.
Cool completely at room temperature BEFORE refrigerating for 5-10 hours.
Eat by itself or serve with coconut-flavored ice cream or homemade whipped cream. You can also blow torch turbinado or muscovado sugar sprinkled on top.
Coffee pairing: black kapeng barako or coffea liberica.
Heavily inspired by THIS post.