Ube is made from boiled and mashed purple yam that can be mixed in a variety of desserts! It is also known as ube halaya or halayang ube, which can be spelled halea or haleya from the Spanish word jalea, which means jam.
It is typically served cold on its own or is mixed with other desserts. To make the jam, condensed milk and/or coconut milk are added to a saucepan along with the mashed yam where butter or margarine had been melted, and the mixture is stirred until thickened.
Once the mixture is thick, it is cooled down and placed into a platter or a container with various shapes. Brown grated coconut is an optional topping.
The most common dessert that ube is mixed with is the famous halo-halo. An inch or two of ube halaya usually on the bottom of the cup and a scoop of ube-flavored ice cream on top!
But what's more exciting is when it becomes the star of the show. Check out these mouth-watering ube-flavored desserts and snacks:
Bibingka or Rice Cake
And last but not the least...frozen yogurt!
Although, some people think it's food coloring that makes these delicacies' color pop since there aren't tons of food that's color purple. On the contrary, not a single drop is combined in the desserts. Since ube is making a buzz in the land of the free and home of the brave, restaurants like Hood Famous Bakeshop in Seattle have debuted in October 2013 as an item on Food & Sh*t's pop-up menu. A tea and coffee place in California, Cafe86, stuff their cinnamon rolls with ube. Meanwhile in the East Coast, there are Maharlika ube waffles and bread pudding in Manila Social Club. It's the latter restaurant that has pushed ube to the forefront.
In Choose Philippines' article, Chef Dela Cruz said, "We are not used to Filipino food in the mainstream. Now that it is hitting the mainstream, we are always trying to identify it. What I am starting to see is that ube is being identified as ube"