– Secret cookbook?
– Maybe this’ll work. I used to eat this as a kid all the time. – Wow! What’s… ‘ooby’? – It’s ube.
– What’s that? – Like, you know, it’s like a sweet potato. – Potatoes can be sweet?
– I mean it’s technically a yam. – Yams?!
– This sounds perfect! – So, how is it? – It’s… amazing! Hey, what’s up, guys? Welcome back to Binging with Babish, where this week, we’re taking a look at a long requested treat: the almost cartoonishly purple ube roll
from Steven Universe. Now, fresh ube like this is very hard to find, but it’s much easier to find frozen, grated ube like this at your local Asian grocer or dried, powdered ube like this that you can find on Amazon. We’ll get into that later, because for now we need to make a chiffon cake. Into a large bowl we are combining: 1 cup of cake flour,
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of table salt, and 1/4 cup of
granulated sugar. T-whisk to combine. And then we got to tackle our dry ingredients, the most important of which is eggs. Four large eggs, whites and yolks separated, to be precise. First, we’re gonna make our initial batter by combining in the bowl of a stand mixer our four egg yolks, 1/3 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and 50 grams of frozen, grated ube — this was a mistake — I will explain later. Go ahead and dump that in there with all the hubris of a king in ancient Greece. And we’re also gonna add 1/2 teaspoon of ube flavoring and 1/4 teaspoon of violet gel food coloring. Go ahead and paddle this together with your paddle attachment until it turns violently purple. I know this looks a bit too dark, but don’t worry — we’re not done, not by a long shot. First, we need to add our pre-tiny-whisked
dry ingredients — these are gonna help bring a real dryness to all the… moisture in the… cake… would that—? I don’t know how baking works. But for now, we’re gonna set this aside while we place a new bowl in our stand mixer and fill it with our four egg whites, to which we are going to add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, affix whisks and whisk at medium-high speed,
for about a minute until frothy. Then we’re going to slowly stream in about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, creating a meringue. After continuing to beat on medium-high speed for the next 1 to 2 minutes, you will notice that it gets smooth and glossy and eventually comes to stiff peaks, at which point we’re gonna add it to our Thanos-colored mixture and fold it gently until it more resembles Amethyst. Listen to me, relating to the kids with my… references. Last up, we are greasing up a 9×13 quarter sheet pan — I couldn’t find mine, so this one came out of my toaster oven — then lining with parchment paper and greasing that up too. Pour in our ube cake batter — make sure that everybody’s smoothed out and nice and flat, then give it a few hard taps on your countertop to get rid of any bubbles and then into a 325 °F oven it goes. During which time, we’re going to make our icing. And in this case, we’re gonna make some real,
honest-to-god buttercream icing. Into the bowl of a stand mixer goes 6 1/2 ounces of egg whites, 1 cup of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Then instead of into the warm embrace of a stand mixer, this is going over a pot of simmering water, where we are going to mix its contents gently but constantly until it reaches 160 °F, in this genius buttercream shortcut developed by America’s Test Kitchen. Then into the stand mixer it goes, where we’re going to whisk it at high speed for five minutes until it triples in volume and cools off a little bit — ideally to room temperature, but I’ll take 100°, that’s fine. Now at this point, we’re gonna place the stand mixer on medium speed and slowly add in four sticks of butter softened to room temperature, one half of one stick at a time until it’s completely incorporated, before adding the next piece. Then once everybody’s in the pool, we’re going to crank this guy back onto high speed and let it rip for another minute until it is super smooth, super creamy, awesome amazing buttercream. This stuff rocks. It’s like whipped cream but better in every possible way. Alright, so now our frosting is done and our cake is out of the oven — and right away, you can see that it’s got kind of a browning problem going on here. Let’s turn it out onto a parchment-lined cooling rack,
so we can get better look — and yeah, our vibrant purple color is getting lost underneath a thin brown crust. Nevertheless, I was young and naive and I thought maybe if I let it cool off completely, I could slice off all the brown stuff. No, I don’t need to use a cake slicer or a fishing line, I can use a carving knife like a Real Man. Of course, I’ve butchered this pretty righteously, but it was still a great opportunity to practice frosting, rolling, and slicing. So let’s start by loading this up with a generous layer of buttercream before gently rolling it up into a dainty perfect roulade, completely free of defects or any problems of any kind. Perhaps if I squish it like this with my hands? Or squish specific parts of— ah, it’s still not really doing anything. Still, it was a first attempt, and a lot of things were learned. Most alarmingly of which was that there were little crunchy bits in my cake, which I surmised to be the frozen grated ube, so I thought I’d try using the fresh ube, which, as it turns out, the lady at the store lied to me and this is just some kind of purple yam. So, it was time to resort to using the powdered ube, which is re-hydrated simply enough by adding three tablespoons to a half cup of boiling water until a nice thick paste forms. Go ahead and set that aside to cool and cover it to keep it moist, and we are starting again from square one. Same exact recipe, but this time we are adding 50 grams worth of the rehydrated dried ube — the frozen stuff I think you have to cook somehow,
I couldn’t figure out how to do it, so if anybody knows, please leave a comment and share your knowledge with us all. But anyway, this recipe is probably better because we can all get the dried stuff online. The next change was to the oven temperature:
I tried 375 °F instead of 325 °F, and it did help reduce the browning a little bit, but not enough to prevent it from cracking hilariously, and I have watched enough Great British Baking Show to know what to do next. To combat both browning and cracking, I’m cooking this thing in a half-sized sheet pan, which is 18×13, which should help it cook a lot more quickly —
which it did, by about 10 minutes. As a result, we lost a lot of that ugly brown on the outside. Next up was the common practice of pre-rolling, which entails dusting your cake with powdered sugar, laying down onto a piece of parchment paper, removing the baking parchment paper revealing the beautiful purple underneath, dusting once again with powdered sugar, sandwiching between layers of parchment paper and pre-rolling while still warm, then setting aside and allowing to cool completely, which apparently creates a sort of memory in the cake, preventing cracking once filled. This was all fine and good, everything seemed to be going swimmingly, until I started to roll up and realized, this method was probably not developed for dark purple cakes because the powdered sugar formed into a rigid crust that not only looked bad, it also encouraged cracking. My attempts to offset this with a coating of sugar syrup left me with a gnarly purple log. It was time to go back to square one, and I found a Japanese recipe that looked like it would yield the results I was looking for. Four medium egg whites go into the bowl
of a stand mixer, where we’re going to make again a meringue out of them by slowly adding sugar while whisking. Once we’ve reached stiff peaks however, we’re going to slowly, one at a time, add the egg yolks and whisk gently until incorporated. Then we are sifting in 40 grams of cake flour, adding our usual 50 grams of ube paste — of which I am quickly running out,
so I better get this right — 1/2 teaspoon of ube flavoring, and 1/4 teaspoon of violet food coloring. We’re also going to add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, before affixing paddles and paddling for 30 seconds until just combined. Now, you might notice that this is a pretty small batch, way too small for a half pan, and that’s because I found my quarter pan. It was inside of my toaster oven all along. …you don’t care. I totally get it. We’re greasing and parchment paper-ing this quarter sheet pan, but not greasing the parchment paper itself before dumping in our fresh batch of ube batter, which, as usual, we’re going to flatten out nice and smooth and place in a 325 °F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until it springs back when touched, and a cake tester emerges with nothing but a few wimpy crumbs clinging to it. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. I’m also just gonna pull the parchment paper down off the sides to prevent any tearing down the line. Once this guy is totally cooled off (about 20 minutes later), we’re going to slowly, carefully, lovingly remove the parchment paper — mainly because I am out of eggs. If I mess this one up, I’m gonna have to go shopping. Again. So we’re going to lightly frost it upside down and roll the whole thing up — Now come on, we’ve come this far, just don’t crack. Don’t crack on me. Please don’t crack. Just don’t crack— you’re cracking. Somebody better call Liam Neeson, ’cause uh…
kraken joke. So at this point, I’ve learned one very valuable final lesson, which is… we’re gonna roll this thing inside out. So, after a quick jaunt over to Whole Foods, we’re gonna make this recipe one last time. A cumulative amalgam of everything that we’ve learned over the past 24 hours, how much we’ve lived and loved and grown and… lost. Anywho, after we’ve peeled the parchment paper off our cake, we’re inverting it once again, so it is facing up, as it did when it came out of the oven. A generous but restrained layer of buttercream frosting, and hold your breath as, finally, we roll it up lengthwise. And upon seeing that it is successfully rolled without tearing, make a noise like this: *ecstatic scream/grunt* *AHHHH HAHh* …I’m sorry, you had to hear that. Anyway, this guy is going into the fridge for at least an hour to firm up before slicing. As you can see this end is a little uneven, so I’m just gonna trim it to make it symmetrical, hit it with the three dollops of buttercream icing on top, and marvel at the swirl. Alright, so we finally achieved the look from the show, but now the big question. How does this thing taste? Well, pretty good. Ube has a very subtle flavor — it’s earthy, it’s a little nutty. The sponge is nice and soft and moist, and the frosting is really rich and creamy. Is it going to enter my clean plate club? No, I’m still kinda on that diet. Will I walk out a frame pretending that I’m bringing it to a potluck? Yeah.