Ube Custard Cake
Chiffon, Leche Flan, & Cream Layers with Ube Frosting
8 eggs [400 g]
14 fluid oz (1 can) unsweetened coconut cream [396 g]
14 oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk [396 g]
12 fluid oz (1 can) evaporated milk [354 mL]
1 tbsp vanilla extract [15 mL]
Ube Chiffon Layers:
2 1/4 cups cake flour [270 g]
1 tbsp baking powder [12 g]
1/2 cup granulated sugar [100 g]
1 tsp salt [5.7 g]
8 egg yolks [160 g]
1/2 cup vegetable oil [120 mL]
3/4 cup water [180 g]
1/2 cup ube halaya (ube jam) [120 mL]
1 tbsp ube extract [15 mL[
1 tsp purple food coloring (gel paste) [5mL]
8 egg whites [240 g]
1 tsp cream of tartar [3.4 g]
3/4 cup granulated sugar [150 g]
8 oz cream cheese (cold)
2 cups heavy cream (cold)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz cream cheese (cold) [226 g]
2 cups heavy cream (cold) [480 mL]
1/2 cup granulated sugar [100 g]
1 tbsp ube extract [15 mL]
Prepare two 9" round springform pans by wrapping the bottom and sides with a single large piece of aluminum foil. The foil should go all the way up the sides, and make sure there are no holes/gaps so that water cannot leak through. It will also minimize the amount of flan liquid that leaks out.
In a large mixing bowl, add 8 large room temperature eggs, 14 oz (1 can) of unsweetened coconut cream, and 14 oz (1 can) of sweetened condensed milk and whisk them together until they are completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
Add in 12 fluid oz (1 can) of evaporated milk and 1 tbsp vanilla extract, and carefully whisk it in until the mixture is smooth. Try not to stir it too vigorously to avoid air bubbles from forming. Avoid using an electric mixer or stand mixer to avoid beating too much air into the mixture.
Strain this mixture through a strainer (to remove any lumps) into the two prepared 9"-round springform pans, dividing the mixture equally between the 2 pans.
Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any remaining air bubbles in the custard.
Place oven racks in the upper and lower third positions and preheat your oven to 325 F (165 C). Place each of the round springform pans with your leche flan in the center of large roasting dishes (1 pan per 1 roasting dish). Place the first roasting dish on the lower rack with the rack pulled out a bit. Pour boiling water into the roasting dish so that it goes about half an inch high, creating a water bath for the flan. Very carefully (so water doesn't slosh around) push the lower rack into the oven. Repeat these steps with the second roasting dish on the upper rack. Close the oven door.
(Pouring the boiling water while the roasting dish is already in the oven will avoid having to carry the heavy dish with boiling water inside it).
Bake these in the preheated oven at 325 F (165 C) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center of the cakes are just set. It's okay if the centers are still a bit jiggly as they will firm up as they cool to room temperature.
Remove the round pans from their respective water baths, remove the foil shell. You'll notice that a bit of the custard may have leaked out from the springform pan, and that's okay! Allow them to cool to room temperature on metal racks. When they reach room temperature, cover the top with plastic wrap, then chill them in the fridge overnight.
Ube Chiffon Layers:
Separate 8 eggs into yolks and whites, and let them come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Prepare 2 jelly roll pans (both 10.5 x 15.5 inches) by lining the bottoms with parchment paper. Do not grease parchment paper or the sides of the pans.
In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/4 cups cake flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 tsp salt, and combine well. Add in the 8 room temperature egg yolks, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup ube halaya, 1 tbsp ube extract, and 1 tsp gel purple food coloring. Beat with an electric mixer or by hand just until smooth and well blended.
The bowl of your stand mixer, add in the 8 room temperature egg whites and 1 tsp cream of tartar. With the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy. Gradually add in 3/4 cups granulated sugar and beat until glossy stiff peaks are formed. Gradually and very gently fold in this meringue into the cake
mixture until very well combined. Divide batter equally into two prepared half sheet pans, and smoothen the top surfaces with an offset spatula as much as possible.
Bake in the preheated oven at 350 F (175 C) for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top surface springs back when touched lightly at the center. Cool the sheet cakes in the pans, sitting on metal racks to cool faster.
When they are cooled completely, the sides should have pulled away from the pans, and the cakes should slip off the pans very easily when inverted. Place a large piece of parchment paper over each pan, and invert the cakes onto the rectangles of parchment paper on a flat surface, so that the cakes are upside down. And immediately peel off the parchment paper that was lining the bottom of the pan. Each sheet will make 1 and a half cake rounds.
Then use a 9-inch cake ring to make 1 full cake round and another half cake round on each cake sheet. There should be some leftover cake to fill in gaps when necessary. The 2 full rounds will be the top 2 cake layers (out of 3). The 2 half rounds will be put together to make the bottom layer (plus some scraps to fill in empty spaces).
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in 8 oz cold cream cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. With the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until smooth.
Stop the mixer, and add in 2 cups of very cold heavy cream. Continue mixing on medium speed for about 2 minutes until the cream cheese and heavy cream are combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as needed. Then switch to the whisk attachment, and continue beating on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and billowy. When you get the right consistency, stop whipping. Let this rest in the fridge till you're ready to use it.
Assembling the Cake:
Take the two flans out of the fridge. With the knife slightly angled towards the pan (to minimize breaking the flan), glide a thin knife around the edges of each flan, applying pressure against the side of the pan to avoid damaging the flan, to break the vacuum on the sides between the pan and the flan. Do this for both flans.
Take the 2 partial ube chiffon rounds, and place them together on top of one of the flans, to form the opposite sides of the bottom layer of cake. If needed, use the leftover scraps of ube cake to fill in the gaps between the partial rounds, or any uneven spaces, so that the bottom layer is as flat and circular as possible. When the ube chiffon layer is in place and flush with the sides of the springform pan, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan to reveal the flan and chiffon layers.
Take a cake board that's greater than 9" in diameter (we use a 10" cake board), and place it on the ube chiffon layer, and quickly invert the flan and ube layers onto the cake board, so that the flan is on top. Use a sharp knife to break the seal between the bottom of the springform pan and the flan, and carefully lift off the bottom of the springform pan.
Take an acetate sheet that's 30" long and 4" high, and place it around one of the ube and custard layers, so that it's the same circumference as the 2 layers. Hold the acetate sheet together using freezer-resistant tape. Acetate sheets usually come with stickers - and I'm using the sticker that came with the acetate sheet when I bought it. Make sure the acetate sheet is perpendicular to the bottom surface, and not tapering in or widening out towards the top.
Using the back of a small spoon, spread 1 1/2 cups of the vanilla frosting in an even layer on top of the first layer of cake.
Make sure you get it all the way to the edges touching the acetate sheet, moving in a figure-eight or circular motion to make it as flat and even as possible.
Take the second flan / custard, and place one of the full ube chiffon rounds on top of the flan. When the ube chiffon layer is in place and flush with the sides of the springform pan, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan to reveal the flan and chiffon layers. Place a cake board, or any flat surface (e.g. chopping board), on top of the ube chiffon layer, and quickly invert the flan and ube layers onto the chopping board, so the flan is on top. Again, use a sharp knife to unmold the flan from the bottom of the springform pan, and lift it off.
Carefully lift these recently unmolded layers by the ube chiffon layer at the bottom, and gently place it on top of the vanilla frosting layer, lining it up as much as possible so it fits through the acetate sheet circle.
Using the back of a small spoon, spread 1 1/2 cups of the vanilla frosting in an even layer on top of the first layer of cake. Make sure you get it all the way to the edges touching the acetate sheet, moving in a figure-eight or circular motion to make it as flat and even as possible.
Place the third and final full ube chiffon round on top of the vanilla frosting layer. Place this assembled cake in the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes for the layers to firm up. Attach a large open star tip (I use a #1M) to a piping bag, and transfer the remaining vanilla frosting into the piping bag. Store this leftover vanilla frosting in the fridge.
Ube Frosting and Decoration:
While the cake is firming in the freezer, make the ube frosting. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in 8 oz cold cream cheese, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. With the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until smooth.
Stop the mixer, and add in 2 cups of very cold heavy cream and 1 tbsp of ube extract. Continue mixing on medium speed for about 2 minutes until the cream cheese and heavy cream are combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as needed. Then switch to the whisk attachment, and continue beating on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and billowy. When you get the right consistency, stop whipping. Store this in the fridge till you're ready to use it.
When the cake layers have firmed up in the freezer for 30 minutes, take the cake out of the freezer, remove the sticker, and peel off the acetate sheet to reveal the layers of cake.
Place the cake board on a revolving cake stand, and apply a layer of the ube frosting on the top surface and the sides of the cake. Smooth it out as much as possible using a bench scraper or offset spatula. Clean up frosting from the base of the cake as needed. Rest the cake and the remaining ube frosting in the fridge for about 1 hour for the crumb coat to firm up.
Attach a small petal tip, I'm using a #104, to a piping bag, and transfer the remaining ube frosting into the piping bag. Holding the wide end of the tip against the side of the cake with the tip opening pointing down and perpendicular to the side of the cake, create a pattern on the sides of the cake by piping wavy lines from the base of the cake to the top. Make sure to keep the tip against the cake so the ruffles stick, and keep a strong and even pressure on the bag for the entire length from bottom to top, then stop squeezing when you get to the top and drag the tip into the cake. Finally, I'm using an offset spatula to flatten the tips so they're flush with the cake's surface.
Attach a large open star tip, I'm using a #1M, to another piping bag, and transfer the remaining vanilla frosting into the piping bag. I'm creating a simple shell border around the top circumference of the cake, by holding the tip at a 45-degree angle, and squeezing then dragging while releasing, making overlapping shells, while turning the rotating cake stand. Do this around the entire top circumference of the cake.
Refrigerate the cake overnight to let all the layers set, and keep the cake in the fridge till you're ready to serve. Enjoy!