Claudia's Ube Cheesecake
Hi everyone! My name is Claudia, a 21-year old music graduate and an absolute foodie!
My passion for the culinary arts began when I entered the ESF MasterChef Competition back in 2016, which was my first competitive cooking experience. I have always enjoyed cooking and studied it extensively at school as an academic subject, but my desire to potentially pursue it professionally and love for food as something more than eating was truly realised then. Since then, I have been blessed with the opportunities to cook for catering events, private dinners and most notably, a pop-up restaurant by my friends at Nomad Kitchen HK, where I’ve typically focused on the desserts. I’ve also taken my passion for food onto social media, creating ‘What I Eat in A Day’ videos on Youtube (Claudia Lau); blogging about my favourite eateries in Hong Kong on my Instagram page (@claudiaaalau), all while developing my food photography skills. And finally, I recently won the CookieDPT x BaseHall Bakeoff back in November, and am due to collaborate with them soon this year!
Growing up in Hong Kong and living in London has meant that food has been engrained into both my culture and my surroundings. But most of all, the two places have exposed me to the best of both worlds — the diverse cuisines of the East and the West. Internationalism is at the heart of my upbringing and personality, and I hope to translate that through my cooking too, which brings me onto this dessert – an Ube Cheesecake. The first time I had tried ube was at Mamasons – a Filipino dessert shop in London. I bought a Bilog, which is essentially an ice cream sandwich. The ube was used in the form of ice cream, sandwiched between a warm, toasted milk bun, and dusted with icing sugar. There were notes of vanilla, yet a fragrance that I could best describe as ‘umami’. In that instant, I knew flavours like this had to be further explored, and luckily, I was given the opportunity to do so coming back to Hong Kong. And so, I hope that this Ube Cheesecake brings you the marriage of Eastern and Western cultures, by experiencing a unique flavour profile through the ever-popular medium of a cheesecake. Most of all, I hope that my mantra for desserts having to ‘look good, but most importantly, taste good’ can be conveyed through this dessert, which, I believe, to be the most important part of any meal.
I cannot wait to embark on my journey in the culinary world, and this is my first step in doing so! Firstly, thank you to my friends at Nomad Kitchen for allowing me to develop this recipe further. Secondly, I must thank my teacher – Mr. Chris Lord, for helping me discover where my talents and passion within the kitchen lay, and for inspiring me to pursue a career in food. And finally, a huge thank you goes to Brandon and Johnny at The Factory, for giving me the opportunity to debut myself as a baker, and to collaborate with them. Hope you all enjoy what I’ve made!
Taking the popular flavours from the Philippines, this Cheesecake invites you by its bright purple colour that comes from the star ingredient – ube. Similar to that of a sweet potato or taro, ube is a purple yam that is commonly found in filipino cooking, and serves as the base ingredient for most of their national desserts, like halo-halo (mix-mix). For this recipe, the ube is incorporated into a sweet cream cheese filling that is baked on top of a buttery coconut base, then topped with a whipped coconut cream and toasted coconut flakes. This cake was first made at a Filipino-themed restaurant pop-up by @NomadKitchenHK, and it is with so much excitement that this dessert can finally be made available for you all to try. Enjoy!
Availability: 5 in stock (can be backordered)