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!
WOW! My jaw just dropped! Two of all-time favorite Filipino desserts -- ube and flan -- in one dessert? This is absolutely a must-try! Just curious to know about the texture of the chiffon cake. Didi it soak up the caramel from the leche flan and made it soggy? I have to try this soon!
Looks like a winner, Carol. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!!
I've just booked marked this - I am definitely going to spend sometime searching for ube but it will be worth it!
Wow Caroline. I love this cake. I have had the normal sponge with the leche flan on top but this is a WINNER. Wait till I show my mum your post, I am sure you will get an email from Mama Eugenio asking you about tips on baking this baby.. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.
Am I missing something in the directions? I don't see the part where the flan and the cake come together. You say to strain the custard and set it aside, then you pour the cake into the caramel-lined pan and bake it. How does the flan get in there? I'm so curious now!
Jun, the chiffon cake was moist due to the fresh ube, not neccessarily the caramel. If you can see from the sliced cake, the darker purple shows caramel soaking through after I made the cut. Most of the caramel stayed in the bottom of pan while it baked which gave my bundt cake a flat top. Hope you give this cake a try, I'd love to see :) Thank for the birthday greeting.
Trissa, wow, what a compliment!
Kath, no problem having your mom email me. I hope you & your mom have fun baking this cake.
Bakelab, you pour the flan first then spoon the cake batter on top. I've updated post to reflect this, sorry for confusion & thanks for leaving comment. :)
oh Carol! What a beautiful cake! Maybe you make this for my next birthday and send it over :D
Wow, this cake looks amazing!!! I wish I had the patience to bake or I'd make this myself. :)
I never thought of making custard cake like that. I have to try this for Thanksgiving.
amazing is what this is! caroline, this is heavenly!
Awesomeness. This is amazing! - mary the food librarian
i'm going to resist being jealous of this ridiculously decadent and yummy cake. i shall tell myself that the Panda can afford to eat the calories and sugar. me, on the other hand, little piggy, need to fit in my yoga clothes.
Caroline, I have a Dessert Club at my place every couple of weeks and it was decided that we needed desserts that expand one of my friends horizons. (I'll eat anything, and have. Hello my nemesis Durian bubble tea... )
This is going to be the guest of honor and I'm sure the little floozy is going home with everyone. Bwahahahaha.
Carol, when i tweeted you yesterday saying how good and creative baker that you are, i meant it because of creations such as this! i love the 3 different layers. come on start na the sweet caroline... ill be your cashier... haha!
lol i was drooling over this again and i'm so glad you clarified the difference between yams, sweet potatoes, taro, and ube. finally someone understands! does that make me sound ridiculous or what? but seriously, yams are not sweet potatoes. sigh. imagine offering a dessert made of gabi but calling it ube. filipinos would start a riot.
miss ka na namin sa alembong alley. ikaw at si ninang :)
I believe purple sweet potatoes are from Hawaii. They are available here in Portland, OR when in season...and yes they taste so much like ube! I eat them plain steamed. I never tried cooking them as a substitute to ube. Your recipe here looks interesting.
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