Ethnic Flavors Gain Interest

 Bakeries are adding ingredients to make cakes appeal to the diverse interests of customers.
 
At Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco, the bakers go all out to make an ube puff and strawberry lavender donut. This is a prime example of how new ethnic flavors such as ube are gaining increasing interest in the sweet goods and cake world in America.

Cake shops and bakeries can use this violet-colored yam to create unexpected fillings for cakes, and the sweetness of rolled fondant will balance the nuttiness of the ube, according to Mark Seaman, culinary applications chef, specialties, for Barry Callebaut.

Ube, which originated in the Philippines, refers to the bright purple sweet potato that is traditionally boiled and mashed with condensed milk and butter to form “dessert” mashed potatoes.

Fine dining operators have jumped on the trend within the past year. With locations in New York City and Miami, the Manila Social Club specializes in four distinct flavors of donuts: Ube, Buko Pandan, Calamansi Gin and Tsokolate Ginger. The Calamansi Gin features an original Ube donut topped with icing made from Barr Hill Gin and Calamansi juice.

Each donut is handmade by Manila Social Club’s executive chef, co-owner and creator of the Golden Cristal Donut, Björn De La Cruz. The Manila Social Club’s Golden Cristal Donut (with a retail price tag of $100) truly raises the stakes with a donut filled with an Ube mousse and a Cristal gelée. It is then covered in a Cristal icing and dusted with 24-karat pure gold dust.

Ube is a trendy dessert inclusion.
 
On a simpler scale, bakeries can incorporate certain ingredients to make unique cakes that appeal to today’s increasingly inquisitive customers.

Husband and wife Jhovany and Lorena Chora remember the days of going to friends’ parties and enjoying the food, the fun and the festivities. But they always left wondering about one question: Could they make a better cake? Loreno Chora just happened to have a family recipe for a unique cake made with zucchini bread and topped with fresh fruits. “My wife showed me the recipe,” Jhovany recalls, “and I took it from there. We try to break the mold of whatever anyone else is doing.”

The result of their efforts is a widely popular cake now known as the Spring Fling Cake, and it’s become the signature product of the Choras at their new bakery, Pasteles Cisne Cakes & Pastries, in Aurora, Colorado.

“Spring Fling Cake is the cake inside almost all of our decorated cakes,” Jhovany says. “It accounts for 85 percent to 90 percent of our sales.”