hestnuts and purple yams are some of those things that look and sound unappealing until you actually try it. I had nothing planned this cold weekend so I thought I would stay inside and bake to warm the house up. The thing I like about chestnuts and yams is that they’re so delicious by themselves, and don’t require any preparation other than washing and turning on the oven.
You’re probably wondering what on earth a purple yam is. Yams are – well, that sweet mushy stuff you have next to the turkey on Thanksgiving. Purple yams are the same thing, but with a slightly different taste and entirely different color. I can’t actually tell you the difference in taste between the two because I don’t remember the last time I had a regular yam – I’ve been eating purple yams since my mom introduced me to them.
Purple yams aren’t as popular here as they are in Asian countries. “In the Philippines it is known as ube (or ubi) and is used as an ingredient in many sweet desserts. In Vietnam, it is called khoai m? and is used mainly as an ingredient for soup. In India, it is known as ratalu or violet yam. In Hawaii it is known as uhi.” (Wikipedia). Wikipedia doesn’t list it, but it’s also popular in Japanese sweets, which is what I’m most familiar with. It’s called “Beni-imo” in Japan. My mom makes tempura with it, which is simply incredible.
Purple yams in some countries is what strawberry is to us. It’s a common flavor used in cakes, pastries, shakes, cookies, ice cream and anything else with sugar in it. But what’s great about it is that it’s high in nutritional value, tastes rich but is low in fat, AND the bright purple color can be used as natural food coloring.
The photo on the left is a Filipino version of the French “Mont Blanc” pastry. (Source: Flickr) Ah, inspiration. But baked by themselves, they’re sweet and creamy on the inside – but the best part is the caramelized crunchy skin on the outside. YUM.
As for chestnuts, this is my first time making them in the oven. (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a convenient open fire.) They didn’t turn out so well. Some were good, but most came out crumbly – and that woodsy peel refuses to come off! I’ve boiled them in the past and that turned out better. If anyone has any suggestions – please leave a comment below.
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