Foodiva's Kitchen: We Should Cocoa - Marie Chocolate Fudge Cake with Purple Sweet Potato and Nutella Onde-Onde

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Should Cocoa - Marie Chocolate Fudge Cake with Purple Sweet Potato and Nutella Onde-Onde

Won't you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.
~Richard Brinsley Sheridan


As I was coming to the end of my morning jog recently, I came across two butterflies 'dancing' around each other in mid-air. They were black butterflies, with beautiful purple spots on their wings, and the unusual sight of their interaction literally stopped me in my tracks. I observed them for 15 minutes, keeping still as they flew around me whilst also flying in circles around each other. I took it to be some sort of courtship or mating ritual, definitely on a more complex plane than The Bachelor or Bachelorette. It was quite fascinating, I had never seen anything like it, especially up so close except on National Geographic Channel. I had no clue why those butterflies were flying around me as if they had given me their explicit approval to become a voyeur to their activity.



No, they didn't end up mating in front of my eyes, if that's what you're wondering. I wasn't sure how long I stood statue-like on that quiet pavement, it felt longer but I'm estimating it to be around 15 minutes or so. Eventually a car approached and the butterflies flew away across the road to continue their dervish-like fun. And I went along on my way home, thinking about that oddity.. no, that privilege. I was also unable to shake off the image of those striking purple spots. Oh dear, you're about to find out that today's recipe is inspired by a pair of frisky butterflies!



In any case, I had been thinking about what to make for this month's We Should Cocoa challenge. Our host, Chele of Chocolate Teapot announced that September is the challenge's 1st anniversary and we are to make a chocolate masterpiece fit to serve at a virtual birthday party. So here's the thing - I could not make butterflies to save my life, but hey, I could do purple. Purple dumplings or onde-onde, as they are called here. The full-scale cake is called Marie Chocolate Fudge Cake with Purple Sweet Potato and Nutella Onde-Onde. As you can see, the name spells out its very components.


This is a two-layered cake, the bottom one made of Marie cookies or biscuits cocooned within a creamy chocolate fudge layer. In Brunei, this cake is popularly known as Batik Cake because when it is sliced, the pattern of the biscuits in the slices resembles traditional batik print on cloths. 


The other component is sweet potato onde-onde, a popular bite-sized dessert in Southeast Asia. I made my dumpling dough out of purple sweet potato and glutinous rice flour, and I filled the onde-onde with what else, Nutella! Normally, these dumplings are coated in freshly grated coconut flesh but if that's not available or like me, you cannot be a**ed to get the grater out, dessicated coconut is an acceptable substitute. Just steam it in a muslin pouch and add a pinch of salt to taste.




Of course, these two things - Batik Cake and Onde-Onde are never eaten together as far as I know. I decided to couple them up in this cake because: 
1. I like the idea of rows of purple balls atop a dark, crunchy malt cake. Thank you, butterflies!
2. This cake is full of chocolate flavors. And we are celebrating a year of fantastic chocolate creations, are we not?
3. It's textural heaven in one bite. Chewy dumplings vs. gooey Nutella vs. grainy coconut vs. creamy fudge batter vs. crunchy biscuits. If it was possible to pluck even more textures out of the air, I probably would.
4. I don't do conventional. 


Need I tell you how this tasted? Naah, why not try making it and see for yourself. Even if you just make one of the layers, it will be well worth your time.

The video below is linked to my affinity for all things non-conventional. In it, one of my favorite artists, Rags KK, speaks below about the importance of teaching kids about perspectives from a very young age since it cultivates creativity and more importantly, empathy. This is only a 4 minute talk but as usual, he is entertaining and inspiring. If you have kids, do yourself (and your community) a favor and click the play button below.


Marie Chocolate Fudge Cake with Purple Sweet Potato and Nutella Onde-Onde

Marie Chocolate Fudge Cake
100g Milo powder (or any sweet chocolate malt powder)
25g cocoa powder
125ml boiling water
190g butter
200ml sweetened condensed milk
90g white granulated sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
250g Marie biscuits (or graham crackers), broken into quarters

Method:
1. Grease and line a 23cm x 9cm x 7cm deep loaf tin (or other loaf tin with a capacity of at least 5 cups or 1.25L) with baking paper, extending paper 2-3cm above edge of tin.
2. In a deep saucepan, slowly add boiling water to Milo and cocoa, stirring vigorously until it is smooth. Add butter, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and eggs to the mixture.
3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat and cook, stirring all the time with a whisk or a spoon, until you feel the bottom start to thicken, about 5 minutes.
4. Turn heat down to low, and continue to cook, stirring without stopping, for about another 20 minutes until a thick custard forms.
(Tip: It may look like the custard will never thicken, and when it already has, you may feel like it has already thickened too much. I’ve found that the best way to gauge is when the mixture is reduced to about half of its original amount, and when stirring, you can actually see the mixture coagulate together, scraping off the sides of the pan perfectly; ie. you don’t see any liquid remaining at the sides of the pan.)
5. Turn off the heat, and stir in the quartered biscuits. Mix until all the biscuits are coated with the custard.
6. Transfer mixture to the prepared tin. Press down firmly so there are no air pockets in the mixture. Fold the paper extensions over the top and press down with the back of a spoon to even the surface. Then let cool to the touch. Cover with cling film, and refrigerate overnight.
7. When the cake is firm, use the paper extension as handle to pull the cake out of the tin. You can slice and serve this chilled on its own or use it as a base for the onde-onde layer (below).


Purple Sweet Potato Onde-Onde with Nutella Filling
Makes: 18 balls
Dough
180g purple sweet potato, peeled and cubed
50g glutinous rice flour
20g tapioca or corn flour
25g sugar
30-45ml water, depending on the dough

Filling
4-5 tablespoons Nutella

Coating
1/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut

Method
1. Toast or dry fry dessicated coconut until lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Remove and place in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
2. Place cubed sweet potatoes in a steamer and steam for about 15 minutes until soft and mashable. Remove and place steamed sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Mash sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Add glutinous rice flour, corn flour and sugar. Add water slowly and knead with your fingers until a soft pliable dough forms.
3. Scoop out one tablespoonful of dough and form into balls. Flatten a ball of dough in the palm of your hand into flat disks of about 2-inch diameter. Place a heaped 1/4 teaspoon of Nutella in the center. Gather up the sides and seal well to form a ball of about 1-inch diameter. Roll between your palms carefully until ball of dough is smooth. (Tip: Moisten your palms with a bit of water in between rolling the balls, it makes it easier to handle the dough). Place filled ball on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
4. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Gently drop in filled onde-onde. Reduce heat to medium and allow onde-onde to cook until they float to the surface, about 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Remove with a slotted spoon and tap spoon on a paper towel each time to drain excess water. 6. To eat onde-onde as is, drop balls into toasted coconut one at a time to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature. For use as cake topping, do not coat in coconut just yet (see below).

Cake Assembly:
1. Arrange the warm onde onde balls snugly on top of the chilled cake while it is still in the loaf pan. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of the balls, coating completely.
2. Remove from the pan carefully by pulling on the baking paper, making sure not to dislodge the sweet potato balls. Slice into 1-inch slices (the diameter of one row of balls) and serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.



Desserts, Chocolate, purple sweet potato

48 comments:

teambudu said...

Ah! So that's what it is called. I used to have them at school and we just called it 'marie biskut coklat'. Thanks for sharing this, brings back memories.
-M.

Foodiva said...

Teambudu, haha...at least it sounded about right. Just two days ago, a very good friend of mine thought this cake was called Kek Tapak Kuda! How far out is that? :-)

Thanks for coming by, M!

Adriana said...

That Marie gets around! Maria crackers are very popular all over Latin America! They are just the same - just with the name in Spanish! I would have never thought to use the biscuits like this.

Foodiva said...

Adriana, yes, you're right, Maria and Marie are the same cookies! They do get around, don't they...LOL. But you probably use them in differently creative ways than we do.

Baker Street said...

This looks unbelievably delicious..

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, amazing and so original! I love the onde-onde decorations.

Cheers,

Rosa

Lora said...

Purple and nutella how beautiful! I love your butterfly inspiration.

Tina said...

Very creative and it all started with butterflies! I will need to keep an eye out for purple sweet potatoes. This desseert is stunning and delicious-well done.

Foodiva said...

An@Baker Street, thanks! Looks and flavor, what more can I ask for?

Foodiva said...

Rosa, yes those purple onde onde are really eye-catching, aren't they? Thank you for dropping by!

Foodiva said...

Lora, my beautiful friend, I don't often see butterflies behaving like that, and those two were absolutely stunning as well!

Foodiva said...

Tina, it started with a kisssss.......LOL. When you do manage to get hold of purple sweet potatoes, you can pretty much make what you normally make with orange sweet potatoes, even regular potatoes. They give off that irresistible color too, which is a bonus ;-).

PFx said...

I love the well-controlled Southeast Asian influence in the whole dessert experience. As per the first paragraph, a psychiatrist would say 'you're havin a psychosis'.
I think one of my biggest leap in life is when I was learning about 'paradigm'(=empathy=perspective) in Stephen Covey's book. It's definitely a true virtue of life's essentials.

Foodiva said...

LOL, nicely said Pierre! Well-controlled and psychosis, just the two words I was looking for when writing this post. Coming from you now though, I take them both as compliments! :-)

Aarthi said...

Wow...they look really tempting and yummy..

Thanks for the recipe dear...
Aarthi
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

Foodiva said...

The pleasure of sharing the recipe is entirely mine, Aarthi!

Erin said...

This is so creative!! So pretty too - I love the sweet potato dumplings filled with nutalla - can't even imagine what this would taste like!

yummychunklet said...

Fantastic post! I've been meaning to make one of these chocolate biscuit cakes ever since the Royal Wedding last spring!

Lilly said...

One of the prettiest food to me is purple potato! I love how you stuffed them with nutella. I think I’ll make these only…after I finished my own sticky rice stuffed with mung beans….still munching on them =)

Carolyn said...

You are a master of both chocolate and the purple sweet potato. This is gorgeous, Maya!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Oh my goodness Foodiva! This certainly has the wow factor- the perfect celebration cake!

Spicie Foodie said...

Maya you are the queen of desserts and creativity. I love that this was all inspired by frisky butterflies. Okay I would have also loved this had it been inspired by regular butterflies:) The pattern and colors are so beautiful and what a great combination.
Another great TED video. Children do need to learn early on that nothing is black and white. Thanks for sharing.

Reem | Simply Reem said...

Lusciously Delicious...
You are very talented Maya...
This looks so pretty, I am sure it taste even delicious...
With the use of colors here I can imagine the beautiful color butterflies you spoke about...
Awesome.

Dzoli said...

I love the purple! Never thought(up to know) ton use kumara in cakes;) Looks fanatstic;)

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Wow those are two decadent recipes ...and combined. Glad you got your purple in too. How many groups do you belong to?????????

Foodiva said...

Erin, just as long as there's Nutella in anything, who really CARES what the rest of the stuff tastes like?? LOL. Nutella solves all baking mishaps, trust me!

Foodiva said...

Oh...? Did they serve Batik Cake during the Royal Wedding? Now that I must've missed. LOL, sorry...I didn't understand you associating this cake with Will and Kate's big day (or was it the Monaco Royal Wedding you were talking about?). Confusion reigns...

Foodiva said...

Lilly, you MUST post that mung bean-filled sticky rice recipe on your blog! I'm dying to see it now :-).

Foodiva said...

Carolyn and Kate, thanks very much, both of you. I'm really a jack-of-all trades and master of none, but I can sure mix up my trades! :-)

Foodiva said...

Nancy@Spicie Foodie, I'd rather be a REAL Queen with the throne and diamonds and the save-the-world-hunger-poverty-and-educate-women-children-causes! Failing that, I'll take Dessert Queen any day. LOL.

Don't you love how those TED talks make us re-think the way we already think sometimes? Call me mad, but I'm addicted to new ideas!

Foodiva said...

Reem, thank you so much for your luscious comments. You are the only person who has seen how those butterflies must look like through this cake. Now THAT, my friend is what perspective is all about!

Foodiva said...

Dzoli, now you have an idea of what to do with your kumara! I have so many dessert ideas on how to incorporate them, just check through my blog if you're interested.

Foodiva said...

Evelyne@CEE, haha, now that you ask, I'm really not sure how many groups. Let me see..IIP, FFWD, SRC, 5-Star Makeover, BakeTogether, Muffin Mondays, Crazy Cooking Challenge, Bread Pudding Club, We Should Cocoa. There, 9 groups (wow and yikes), and there are only 7 days in a week! Luckily only 2 are weekly, while the rest are monthly.

I must be running out of ideas that I have to join groups to dictate my cooking and baking, huh? Time for an overhaul, I think.

Joy said...

That is so so cool. You are creative. I would never think of using the purple potato.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Oh, a very intriguing recipe and it looked so lovely when you finished it, too.

Foodiva said...

Joy, now you know what to do when you get some purple ube on your hands! Make onde-onde ;-).

Foodiva said...

Chocolate Priestess, thanks. It didn't taste half bad either!

5 Star Foodie said...

Such a unique creation here, love the idea of purple sweet potato onde-onde, sound so good especially with the nutella filling!

Quay Po Cooks said...

I love onde-onde, I got to try yours, sound so unique and interesting. I am used to green but purple looks nice too.

Foodiva said...

Natasha@5 Star Foodie, you can also make onde onde with regular potatoes, or even omit the potatoes altogether. It's a fascinating dessert which I never truly appreciated, until now.

Foodiva said...

Quay Po Cooks, I'm used to green onde onde too but a change of color is nice. I sometimes do chocolate ones as well!

Sarah said...

This looks amazing, and so unique too!

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Sarah. Welcome to Foodiva's Kitchen!

Baking Addict said...

This looks really interesting. I love the purple colour. Anything with nutella is a firm favourite with me :)

Johanna GGG said...

I love this just for the base which looks like a decadent version of what we know as hedgehog - though I love your name for it! the purple balls are the icing on the cake - sound and look so strangely alluring

Foodiva said...

Baking Addict, I'm the same...I go nuts over purple food! And yes, I happen to think that Nutella will solve all the world's problems too ;-). Love it to bits.

Foodiva said...

Johanna, I must check out that hedgehog recipe that you talked about. Yes, the purple balls can mesmerize anyone within reach of this cake! They just draw you in. LOL.

Choclette said...

I am so glad you are unconventional. This is a fantastic post and a fantastic masterpiece for the We Should Cocoa party. Thank you so much. Just love the story about the butterflies leading to your need for purple. Love the onde-onde. Love the fact that the biscuit cake is called batik and just love the recipes and effect. Have bookmarked this for sure.

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