Memory Lane

Hello!   It’s been a while. I hope all is well with y’all.  Life has been quite hectic.  I also traveled  about 10,000 miles back to my hometown to attend a family reunion.  I took many photos using my cellphone. I also videotaped our (parents and siblings) visit with my brother at my grandparents farm when he and his in-law’s side of the family went to harvest some coconuts for us

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Purple Yam (Ube) Sweet Rice Cake

I was first introduced to this delicious treat called Butter Mochi cake by a friend of mine while living in Hawaii and instantly became one of my favorites  simply because it’s out of this world.  However, it’s very rich, so I try not to eat it often.  This inspired me to make my own  version and made it lighter by reducing the calories and fat content.  I also added some fiber.  And what could be better addition than the purple yam; my favorite! ❤   How did this come about?

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I had a bag of thawed purple yam  in the refrigerator that was begging to be used, but  I was feeling under the weather and had no motivation to do anything.  I haven’t spoken to my mother for almost a month, so I called her up.  Well, I found out she’s ill.  So, we just talked about her health and what’s happening in Hawaii instead of sharing my thoughts and emotions with her.  After speaking to her, I did two loads of laundry and spent the rest of my day in the kitchen and developed four recipes at first try.  One of them was our dinner last night and this addicting treat, Purple Yam Sweet Rice Cake.  I’ll be sharing the rests in my  upcoming posts.  Meanwhile, enjoy this delicious cake. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup unbromated, unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup organic oat flour, sifted
  • 1 cup firmly packed frozen grated purple yam, thawed and completely drained (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 organic eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 can (12 oz.) low-fat Evaporated milk
  • 1 can (13.5 fl. oz./400 ml.) organic light coconut milk (available at Wegman’s)
  • 1 & 3/4 stick melted unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tablespoon McCormick Ube (purple yam) extract (see notes)
  • toasted coconut flakes and whipped cream for topping and garnish
  • salted caramel (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat a 9.5 x 13.5 x 2 inch deep glass baking dish with baking spray; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all flours and baking powder.  Whisk to combine; set aside.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until creamy.  Add the purple yam, melted butter, coconut milk,  evaporated milk, and purple yam extract.  Whisk until well incorporated.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.  Whisk until smooth or free of lumps.
  • Pour in the prepared baking dish and bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the baking pan at least two hours before cutting.
  • Cut in squares to desired sizes.  Garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
  • Drizzle with salted caramel (optional).

Devour!  Oh, so moist and so good! ❤

Notes:

  • You can substitute sweet potato or purple potato for the yams as well as pumpkin, which is great for Thanksgiving or fall treats.  You can cook the potatoes and mash them.  Add 1 firmly packed of the mashed potatoes or 1 cup of pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg   and use brown sugar (firmly packed)  instead of white sugar.  Omit the purple yam extract and add vanilla extract.  Adjust the sweetness  to your taste.
  • For purple yams, place the thawed purple yam in the (dry) measuring cup then press down and dump excess liquid.  I like doing it this way for less cleanup.  It’s faster too.  Or, use cheesecloth then wring to drain.  If you don’t have one, follow the above step. However, only do this if the purple yam is not to mushy.
  • Make sure the cup is firmly packed for this will affect the consistency of the cake.
  • I eyeballed the measurement of the purple yam extract.  It’s okay if you use 1 tablespoon.  No harm in doing so,  it would just enhance the flavor and give the batter mixture a deep purple color.
  • For the health conscious, you can omit the salted caramel to reduce sugar consumption and eat it plain if you so desire.  But, I highly recommend the whipped cream and toasted coconut.
  • Refrigerate leftovers or you can freeze them.  Thaw completely before reheating it in a 300 degrees oven until just heated through about 15 minutes or so.

I tried as much as possible to reduce the total calories and fat content of this addicting treat without sacrificing the flavor and the consistency.  I’m so happy I was able to do so at first try.   According to my research, this delicious treat is 1,600 calories, 183.4 grams of fat, 116 saturated fat and 1,300 plus sodium lighter than the original recipe overall.  That’s 610 calories, 7.64 grams of fat, 4.8 grams saturated fat, 54.17 sodium less per serving.

I’ve made a quinoa version sometime ago and I suggest to use white quinoa rather than a combination of red and white if you have a picky eater in your household.  It’s less noticeable.

Here’s what the original looks like.  It looks delicious, isn’t it?  Tempting I know.  As for me, at least I have the purple yam version.  It’s the only thing I’ll eat from now on (for sure).  It’s so delicious!  I also made a spinach, kale, and avocado version of this addicting treat and ooh…you…will…love it!!!   My family loves coconut, so I’m also planning to make a coconut version of this as well using coconut flour along with the sweet rice flour and mostly egg whites.  We’ll see.  Stay tuned…:)

Here’s the Spinach, Kale, and Avocado version of this addicting treat.   Just add three handfuls of spinach and a handful of Kale and flesh of 1 ripe avocado.  Blend in a blender with the evaporated milk.  Reduce butter to 1 stick.  Adjust the sugar to your taste.  You have an even healthier sweet rice cake. ❤

Anyway, here’s the grated purple yam and extract I used and will be using in all my purple yam recipes.  It’s available at Asian stores, especially Filipino stores.  They come in different packaging and made by different manufacturers, but  I like this one in all of them  because it’s not too mushy.

Thanks again for stopping by.  Don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes.  Please be kind and mention my blog or link back to source if you plan to use or share any of my recipes.  Thank you.  Have a great weekend! ❤

~Anna

Steamed Mini Yucca-Rice Cakes (Puto)

Yucca Cakes

Yucca-Rice Cakes-original recipe by
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Here’s another Filipino favorite that I created.  These steamed rice cakes were really good!  The brown sugar and yucca (cassava) go very well together.  They are served at parties or at any get together, especially birthdays, Christmas time and New Year’s eve or as a merienda (afternoon snack).   The flavor variations are  coconut, purple yam, mango, pineapple, and chocolate to name a few.  You can add coconut powder and coconut strings, grated purple yam, mango puree, pineapple juice and tidbits, chocolate chips and ground chocolate in the batter.

You can put them in a festive or clear plastic bags and tie with a sophisticated bow and give them away as gifts for Christmas.  Your friends will appreciate them, especially those who don’t have time to make them or own any steamer and yearn to have them.  Below are coconut and chocolate rice cakes I made last year.

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I and some people had been in quest to find the “authentic” recipe because they are just out of this world.  “Once you popped, you can’t stop” as the potato chips commercial say.  That’s how good they are.  My grandmother knew how to make them, but she passed on before I could ask her.  I tried all the recipes I could find on the web, but the results were not the same.  Moreover, the instructions were not that specific.  They don’t really give you the “secret” process on how to make them “authentic”.  Yes, I discovered there were many secrets making authentic rice cakes.  I experimented many times and almost gave up, but one day, I finally achieved it.   The rice cakes below were made with 100% rice flour and the ones above were a combination of rice flour and all-purpose flour.  My children loved them.

RICE CAKES $16 FOR 50 PCS

Rice Cakes
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I was so proud of myself.  But…guess what happened?  I lost my note in the process of tidying up.  It took me a long time to discover the “secret” and lost it that easily.  Believe me, I was extremely sad and disappointed that I stayed away from the kitchen for a very long time.  Yes, it was that important to me.   It reminded me of my childhood and my grandmother.   I miss the good old days and my beloved, gracious grandmother.  I feel comforted making the authentic  rice cakes somehow. 

My quest now is to find the recipe I created.  It’s a must!  I could not remember all the ingredients and the measurements.  So, I settled to create the yucca rice cakes for now until I find the time to do all the experimenting I did previously using the 100% rice flour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup of rice cake flour mix (available at Asian stores)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen grated cassava or yucca root, completely thawed
  • 1 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ C sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 ¼ C water
  • 5 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Butter

Note:  You will need a steamer, a mini muffin baking tin, a pastry brush, and cheese cloth

Directions:

  • Add about 1/2 of water in the steamer.  Wrap the lid of a steamer with cheesecloth to prevent water from dripping to the rice cake batter while cooking.  Cover the steamer.   Bring water over high heat to a rapid boil.
  • Add the rice cake flour, water, coconut flakes, dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup grated cassava, and oil in a large bowl.   Whisk until well mixed. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Scoop the batter into the buttered 12-piece mini muffin pan and steam for 15-20 minutes* or until cake is shiny and bounce back when pressed.
  • Brush the top of the steamed cakes with butter. Transfer to a serving platter or a basket lined with wilted banana leaves and serve warm or at room temperature.  When cooled, cover the mini rice cakes with a plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming.   Enjoy.

*Note:  Cooking time and achieving the crack in the center of the rice cakes varies depending how rapidly the water is boiling.  Adjust accordingly.

That is all for now.  If you like this post or my blog, don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes.  Please be kind and link back to source when you use or share any of my recipes.  Thank you for stopping by.  Until next time.  Have an awesome day!

~Anna

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