Where I am from, no traditional feast would be complete without Leche (Spanish for milk) flan for dessert. In some provinces, they are more fond of Ube (Purple Yam). In most places here in the city where they offer iced desserts, Leche Flan and Ube are served together. And since I love both, I decided to have them in one cupcake serving.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Flan Filling and Purple Yam Frosting
Tip: One can make the flan earlier. They keep well in the fridge for a day or two.
• 2/3 cup butter
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 2½ teaspoons baking powder
• 2½ cups flour
• 1¼ cups milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt.
3. Add flour in batches of ½ cup, alternating with milk. (End with milk.)
4. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth and consistent.
5. Fill cups two-thirds full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
6. Cool on wire rack.
• 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
• 6 egg yolks
• 2 whole eggs
• 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional)
1. Prepare a baking pan that can hold about 2 cups of liquid (about an inch high in the pan). Melt 1/2 cup of the sugar in the pan over low heat. Tip pan back and forth to distribute caramelized sugar evenly and avoid burning. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, egg yolks, lemon and remaining sugar. Mix well and avoid beating to lessen bubbles.
3. Strain egg mixture twice and pour in caramel-lined pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a larger baking pan.
4. Set it in the middle shelf of the oven. Pour hot water in the bigger pan until it reaches almost halfway through the height of the custard pan. (Bain marie method)
5. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let cool to room temperature. To unmold, run a knife around the sides and quickly turn the pan over into a plate. Pour the caramel sauce over it.
I used 2 loaf pans for my flan and it worked just fine. The cooked flan looked like this:
Purple Yam Frosting
• 3 cups grated cooked purple yam (ube)
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 1 1/4 cup evaporated milk
• ½ cup butter
• about 1 ½ cups fresh milk
1. In a medium sauce pan, mix purple yam, sugar and evaporated milk and place in medium heat. Keep stirring.
2. Add butter in batches. Alternate with fresh milk. Keep mixing until desired consistency, for spreading or for piping. Remove from heat. Let cool.
I was thinking about adding in some purple food coloring, but my purple yam turned out with a pretty shade of purple on its own so I didn't.
1. Cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of an upside-down pyramid. Flip the top over and cut off about a centimeter from the point of the pyramid.
2. Cut the flan in 1”x1” cubes and use these to fill cupcakes and replace the top of the cupcakes.
3. Frost with purple yam.
The end product was a striking purple garden. Uhm, I thought it was just too purple to look at, so I took a pandan leaf, cut it in triangular strips, and stuck them into the purple yam. It looked posh. And smelled freshly sweet too.
Placed them in cute boxes and decided that I may have something special to give out on Christmas.
My friends gave it a 10. I gave it a 9. My mom's word is my final scorecard. I'll find out my overall score tonight.