Have you ever head of Ube pronounced “oo-bay”? I hadn’t, until the colourful purple yam kind of broke Instagram recently with Manila Social Club’s 24-carat gold-glazed, Cristal-and-ube mousse-flavoured doughnut. Since then Ube has been been showing up in all kinds of sweet treats from cakes and pies to ice cream.
Ube hails from the Philippines and is often eaten boiled or as a sweetened spread. Its taste is quite unique and very subtle – somewhere between pistachio, coconut and vanilla. You will be hard pressed to find it in the UK (although purple sweet potatoes are sometimes available at specialist markets) but you can buy the spread and Ube flavouring on Amazon and Asian supermarkets.
I decided to make doughnuts filled with Ube pastry cream and they were a sweet (purple!) success. The dough can be either fried or baked as it is essentially choux dough. I found the baked version kept its shape much better than the fried but both taste equally delicious! Make sure you make two batches of the pastry cream in the recipe below and chill overnight in the fridge for best results.
Here's what you'll need...
Makes 8-10 doughnut or eclairs
Prep time: 25 minutes + cooling
Oven 220C | 200Fan if you are baking them
Oil heated to 175C if frying
For the doughnut/eclairs
50g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking parchment
150g flour, sifted
3 level tbsp cornflour, sifted
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 level tsp baking powder
5 large eggs
rapeseed oil for frying
For the pastry cream
NOTE: Double the recipe to fill 10xdonuts
375ml whole milk
2 large eggs
100g caster sugar
4 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp Ube flavouring
couple drops pink food colouring (optional)
4 tbsp Ube (sweet purple yam) spread
2 tbsp unsalted butter
For the glaze
500g | 10oz icing sugar
50g corn syrup
1 tsp Ube flavouring
a couple drops pink food colouring (optional)
enough water or lemon juice to create a thick glaze
sprinkles or gold leaf and edible lustre to decorate