If you ask a Filipino what their favorite dessert is, more than likely their answer would be Leche Flan and/or anything with Ube (Purple Yam). I love them both so I didn't hesitate to put them together in this dessert so you get to enjoy two sweets at once: Ube Chiffon Flan Bundt Cake.
I first learned about the awesomeness that is Flan Cake from Tracey of Tangled Noodle last year when she posted her birthday cake recipe that combined a creamy coconut flan atop an airy mocha chiffon cake. I never even thought this was possible. Sure, I've added cream cheese to my flan before that resulted in Leche Flan Cheesecake. But this combined two totally different flavors and textures; and somehow both layers complemented each other. Very awesome.
I used my Leche Flan recipe and Banana Chiffon Cake recipe substituting ube for the banana. Well, technically I didn't use ube in this recipe since fresh ube is not available in the US. So for this flan cake, I used purple sweet potato (sometimes called Okinawan sweet potatoes) that I oven-roasted until cooked through and put through a ricer. As noted by Jun-Blog, purple sweet potatoes make a worthy substitute for ube. (And while I am being technical here, those orange-fleshed tubers sold as yams are NOT but really belong in the sweet potato family. A wiki search on yam explains more. Also, ube is not the same as taro.) If purple sweet potatoes cannot be found, I'm sure imported prepared ube halaya (in jars, available in Asian markets) can be used.
While preparing the chiffon cake batter, I was disappointed to see the vibrant purple color of the sweet potatoes turn into yucky cement-color gray when mixed with the yellow yolks so I resulted to adding in several drops of ube extract to recover some of the color and I'm sure this added even more ube flavor. The usual chiffon cake recipe makes for one bundt cake. The addition of flan to the pan means less cake batter so this recipe yielded me one big bundt cake and a smaller llanera (flan mold).
Ube Chiffon Flan Bundt Cake
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
12 egg yolks
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
For Ube Chiffon Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 medium purple sweet potatoes, roasted and passed through ricer, 3/4 cup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
7 large eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Ube extract
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Make the caramel. Mix sugar and water together in a small saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to boil in medium high heat until golden brown in color. Then pour into bundt pan and llanera. Swirl caramel around until it covers the bottom and sides of pan. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bring a pot full of water to boil needed for bain marie.
In a bowl, stir egg yolks. Add both milk and vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine completely. Pour mixture through a strainer and set aside while you prepare the chiffon cake.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.In a medium bowl, place sweet potatoes, add oil, egg yolks, vanilla, ube extract and water; mix to combine. IF UBE IS LUMPY, PASS MIXTURE THROUGH A FINE STRAINER. Add to flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
In another large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold beaten egg whites into batter just until incorporated. Set aside.
Pour about 2 cups of leche flan mixture into the caramel-lined bundt pan. Put the remainder (about 1 cup) into the llanera.
Spoon the chiffon cake batter into the bundt pan. DON'T WORRY, THE CHIFFON CAKE BATTER WILL STAY FLOATING ON TOP OF LECHE FLAN. Fill only up to 2 inches from top of pan. Pour remaining batter in the llanera.
Pour boiling water into a bigger pan that would fit both the bundt and llanera. This is your bain marie, place the cake pans in and bake for 30 minutes. Check doneness of cake by inserting toothpick; the llanera should be ready since it smaller. Take out to cool. The bundt will need another 15-25 minutes. Check doneness by using toothpick. Take out of oven and let cool completely.
Cover top with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
To serve, invert onto a plate and enjoy!
November 15 is National Bundt Day. Mary, The Food Librarian has been celebrating for a month, posting one bundt each day leading to this day. She had invited her readers to celebrate with her by posting a bundt cake - I'm glad to join the celebration!