Thursday, May 14, 2020

Ube Cheesecake w/ Oatmeal Cookie Crust

I'm always looking to experiment with unique ingredients, especially if they help achieve a vibrant color naturally. When I saw a contestant on Food Network's Spring Baking Championship use ube paste to make a bright purple cake, I had to try it out for myself! 

So what is ube anyway?!

Ube is a purple yam originally from the Philippines. You can buy it in vegetable, jam, or powder form. I predominantly used it in powder form for this recipe only because I didn't want to brave the grocery store to get the jam. 

I love ube because it provides this amazing color and a touch of sweetness while not overpowering the main flavor of the dessert or affecting the texture. 

Ube Cheesecake w/ Oatmeal Cookie Crust 

makes a single 9inch cheesecake 
Please note that this cheesecake takes about two days to complete before serving (with cooling and setting times).

Oatmeal Cookie Crust
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ube Cheesecake 
32 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature (I used the low-fat cream cheese) 
3/4 cup sugar  
⅔ cups sour cream 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
⅛ tsp salt 
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten 
1 tsp lemon juice (not required but recommended) 
5-6 TBS of ube powder OR ube jam (depending on how vibrant you want the color and how prominent you want the flavor of the ube to be. Keep in mind that if you're using jam, the flavor will be more concentrated vs if you're using powder). I would add 1 tablespoon at a time. 

Ube  Milk Jelly Topping
1/4 cup mashed ( steamed ) ube (or 4 TBS if you're using the powder)
2 tsp sugar
1 cup of milk (I used 1%)
1 gelatin powder envelope (1 oz) 

For the crust...
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
2. In a mixing bowl,  whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oats. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the brown sugar, butter, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides (about 1/4″ to 1/2″) of the prepared pan.
Place the pan on a lined, rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills. Bake 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While the crust is baking, start on the cheesecake batter...

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl (using a hand mixer) add cream cheese and stir until smooth and creamy (don’t over-beat or you’ll incorporate too much air). Add sugar and stir again until creamy. Add sour cream, ube, lemon, vanilla extract, and salt, and stir until well-combined. If using a stand mixer, make sure you pause periodically to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula so that all ingredients are evenly incorporated. 
2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add lightly beaten eggs, one at a time, stirring just until each egg is just incorporated. Once all eggs have been added, use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again and make sure all ingredients are well combined. Pour cheesecake batter into the baked oatmeal cookie crust. To insure against leaks, place pan on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with foil. Transfer to oven and bump the temperature down to 325F (160C) for about 70 minutes. 

Baking Notes: Edges will likely have slightly puffed and may have just begun to turn a light golden brown and the center should spring back to the touch but will still be Jello-jiggly. Don't over-bake or the texture will suffer, which means we all suffer. Remove from oven and allow to cool on top of the oven for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes has passed, use a knife to gently loosen the crust from the inside of the springform pan (this will help prevent cracks as your cheesecake cools and shrinks). Allow cheesecake to cool another 1-2 hours or until near room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator. 

For the ube milk jelly...
Prepare the ube milk jelly and pour evenly over cheesecake once cake has cooled for at least a couple of hours. To prepare: combine milk , sugar and softened gelatin in a small bowl , place bowl in a pan with barely simmering water. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved, take off heat and add in mashed ube and ube paste, mix until well combined.  

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