Tag Archive for ube

Purple Panna Cotta {Vegan}

Recently, I was browsing about on the interwebz (as you do) and came across this article on The Hot Vegan Food Trends of the moment. Aquafaba is #1–yay! But there were a few others in there that piqued my interest, as well, like the “Goth Food Trend.”

This trend is in response to the unicorn food trend–it is the complete opposite. It features instead of happy, pastel colours, dark, saturated colours in food like purple and black.

I have two recipes for you this week, both “goth” foods–one purple, one black.

Vegan Purple Panna Cotta

Regular readers will know I’m pretty obsessed with the colour and taste of ubes or purple yams. They are really good for you, and they give everything a gorgeous purple hue. And even though they are technically a savoury food, they work really well in sweet applications.

I decided to create a panna cotta with mine. I thought that it would make for a very pretty dessert, especially when topped with a blueberry balsamic reduction, and it turns out, I was right.

The texture is not quite as smooth as a traditional panna cotta, due to the purple yam, but my taste testers were pretty into the final result.

Purple Panna Cotta Vegan

Purple Panna Cotta {Vegan}


  • 500 mL coconut milk
  • One medium purple yam
  • 3/4 tsp agar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. Peel the yam, and cut it into chunks. Steam for about 15-20 minutes until soft and easily pierced by a fork. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a small bowl, place the tablespoon of water and sprinkle the agar over it. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Place the sweet potato and the coconut milk in a blender and blend well until smooth. Strain into a small saucepan, and add the sugar. Heat gently just until warm and the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the hot coconut milk into the bowl with the agar, and stir well. Add it slowly back into the pot, whisking the whole time. Heat for another 5 minutes, until the milk is steaming, but don’t let it boil.
  5. Pour into 4 individual ramekins or glasses, then place in the fridge to set overnight, or at least for a few hours.
  6. You can serve these either right in the glass with a few tablespoons of blueberry compote on top (see below) OR if you cover the ramekin with a plate, turn it upside-down and then run hot water over it, it will unmold and drop onto your plate for a fancier presentation.

For the compote

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar


  1. In a small saucepan, combine all three ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes or so. Blend with an immersion blender to make it really smooth. Cook until it is thickened. You’ll know it’s done when you draw a line on the back of a spoon, and it holds.
  2. Allow to cool at least slightly before spooning over set panna cotta to serve.


Purple Nice Cream {Vegan}

When I was first learning how to to cook, my dad would often label my creations “the wild, the weird and the wonderful.” And this recipe belongs in that category.

Don’t knock it, though. Despite being weird, it tastes pretty wonderful.

Purple nice cream vegan

Vegan ice cream can be a challenge. I mean, if you think about it, ice cream is basically 3 things: sugar, eggs and milk or cream, or a combination of milk and cream. Two out of three of those ingredients are things vegans don’t eat. And just plain sugar is not an option.

One of the great challenges, chemistry-wise, is the lack of fat content in many vegan ingredients. Ice cream works because the fat content is usually pretty high, and the water content is usually pretty low. Too much water leads to crystals and hard ice cream, and nobody wants that.

I’ve made it with coconut milk, and I’ve also had tons of success using aquafaba. This recipe, however, gets its body from sweet potatoes.

Yes. Sweet potatoes. There’s vegetables in that thar ice cream.

I’ve used sweet potatoes in vegan desserts before, like this vegan creme brulee. And a local vegan ice cream shop, Nice Vice, uses sweet potatoes in some of their recipes. So, why not me?

These aren’t just any sweet potatoes, though. These are ubes. Ubes are purple yams, pretty popular in Philippine cuisine. But unlike purple Japanese sweet potatoes, they are purple all the way through, and the shocking colour of this ice cream is partly what gives it its appeal.

You should be able to find ube at most Asian grocery stores, though I surprisingly found these at my local Safeway. Just be sure to snap the top off of one to make sure they are purple all the way though.

The taste is interesting. I’m not saying everyone is going to like it, but the blueberries add sweetness, and honestly, this is tasty stuff. You know I wouldn’t post it if it wasn’t.

purple yams ube

Purple Nice Cream

  • 2 smaller purple yams or 1 larger one
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (see directions below)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp xanthium gum


  1. Peel the yams and cut them into chunks. Place in a saucepan, and then add water just to cover. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook until soft. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. Place the can of coconut milk in the freezer for 15 minutes, unless using coconut cream, then you can use it straight from the can.
  3. Place the blueberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring up to a simmer and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Remove the coconut milk from the freezer, and open the can. Scoop out the top coconut cream that has risen to the surface, and measure out 1/4 cup.
  5. Place the blueberries mixture and the yams in a blender along with the coconut cream and the vanilla. Blend well until smooth. Pour out into a large bowl.
  6. Place the auqafaba, 1 tbsp of sugar and xanthium gum (it keeps the ice cream from crystallizing) in a stand mixer, and whip to stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped AF into the blueberry/yam mixture.
  7. Freeze according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions. Note: my ice cream maker, a Cusinart, usually takes about 20 minutes to make a batch of ice cream. This one took a little longer.






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