for my first dessert made for the new year, i wanted to make something special, something that might set the tone for how my baking goes for the rest of year-- something different, yet familiar, adventurous, but classic. the last time i was at bizu in manila, i had a pastry called violette, which was their take on the classic french dessert mont blanc aux marrons. instead of using marrons, or chestnuts, the bizu version used the local purple yam, or ube, on top of an almond flavoured shortcrust base and some pastry cream. i have to say, i was somewhat disappointed with their version, as it fell short of my expectations.
i did realize it was because i am not really a big fan of ube anyway. my grand aunt, apong iska, used to make ube jam, or halaya, that was simply a mix of the purple yam, sugar, cream and butter, but it was such a superior product, that it was the only ube i would eat. i was not the only person who thought it was very good--her halaya was the original tantamco's brand ube jam from baguio, and was highly regarded by many. when she died, the quality of all their products suffered, and i haven't really enjoyed halaya since then. time has passed, though, and my dad recently brought back a big jar of ube jam from baguio, made at the good shepherd convent (market man mentions it in his informative ube jam post). i took a tentative bite, and wasn't completely bowled over by it, but it was much better than most i'd tried in the passing years.
since i had such a big jar, i thought i would make my own version of the bizu dessert. i used miss chika's mont blanc instructions as a guide, but assembled it as follows: i blind-baked simple shortcrust tartlet shells (i used the dough from my pecan tartlet recipe), then piped in a generous amount of whipped cream flavoured with a touch of almond extract and folded into some of the halaya, then finally crowning the whole thing with squiggles of unadulterated halaya. i tried dusting them with some confectioner's sugar to emulate a white-capped mountain, but the sugar dissolved. i guess that like the mountains in the philippines, it's a little too warm for snow.
Posted by santos. This entry was posted on 20060112 at 8:52 PM You can skip to the end and leave a response.