Bite-size delights pay homage to the IslandsChew On This Digest
October 5, 2014
Story By: Michelle Lee | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
While Hawaii may do its fair share of importing ingredients from far away places, the archipelago state does boast an impressive flavor profile of its own. Unique, tropical fruits and exotic ingredients are widespread, from high-end to hole-in-the-wall restaurants. So, of course, it was exciting when Hokulani Bake Shop released its newest creation Okinawan Sweet Potato Cupcake ($3.50).
The bake shop’s newest specialty cupcake debuted at this year’s Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, and was a hit with both locals and visitors alike.
“The reception from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, so we knew it was going to be something our everyday customers would also enjoy,” says owner Tushar Dubey. “The cupcakes are made entirely from locally grown Okinawan sweet potatoes.”
As is the case with all Hokulani Bake Shop goods, quality control is of utmost importance. “Not a drop of oil goes into anything we make,” explains Dubey. “We only use all real butter and sugar, as opposed to artificial sweeteners.”
To create the Okinawan-style confection, Hokulani pastry chefs must endure a grueling (but worthy) baking process. After peeling and slicing the sweet potatoes, they are sliced again into spaghetti-like strands.
“After boiling those strands and squeezing the starch from them by hand, the strands are cooked into the batter, which is made from scratch,” the owner explains. “This ensures the flavoring comes purely from the sweet potato.”
In the months to come, time will tell if Hokulani decides to unveil more flavors, such as Chai Buttercream Cupcake ($3.50), another customer favorite.
“As a bakery, we love a challenge and enjoy coming up with new things for our customers,” says Dubey. “Whether you are buying a single cupcake or gift box, our cupcakes are locally tailored to fit any occasion.”
Hokulani’s Bake Shop
46-056 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe
(with additional locations at Restaurant Row, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Pioneer Plaza and Pearlridge Center)
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.