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Purple ‘reigns’ at Kalihi bakeshop

A La Carte

June 30, 2019

Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Signature Ube Cheesecake available in 4-ounce portion ($4.50 each, $11.50 for three, $20 for six, $37 for 12); and in 9-inch round ($50)

Nestled on Kalani Street in Kalihi, the bakeshop known as UBAE creates an array of delicious products all made with the Filipino staple ube, or purple yam.

In fact, the company name UBAE stands for Ube Before Anything Else.

Co-owner Adrienne-Joy Jataas shares that although commonly mistaken for the Okinawan sweet potato because of its purple color, the ube is a different root crop.

Each of the company’s products are baked fresh daily. Like many other desserts, they contain eggs, sugar, flour, and most importantly, ube.

The concept of ube desserts first arose in the proprietors’ minds in 2014.

Ube Crinkle Cookies ($2 each, $10 for six, $18 for 12)

Being of Filipino heritage, company owners Adrienne-Joy and Jeremy Jataas grew up with many ube desserts such as ube halaya, ube bread rolls, ube cake and ube ice cream. Adrienne-Joy in particular had a desire to create her favorite cheese-cake dessert, but with ube. After perfecting her recipe, demand grew and in November of 2017, UBAE opened its doors to welcome customers to the bakeshop in Kalihi.

For starters, this business in the heart of Honolulu offers its Signature Ube Cheese-cake, which is a rich, creamy, and delectable treat with a graham cracker crust.

Ube Soft Serve ($5)

The Signature Ube Cheese-cake is offered in a 4-ounce portion ($4.50 for one, $11.50 for three, $20 for six, $37 for 12). In addition, the Signature Ube Cheesecake also is available in 9-inch round ($50). This size cheesecake provides 12 to 16 servings and customers are highly encouraged to pre-order it two days in advance.

Another choice on the shop’s menu is the Ube Cheesecake Tarts ($5.50 for four pieces, $10 for eight pieces). These tarts provide a pleasing balance between the textures of cheesecake and a buttery shortbread crust.

For those cookie cravers out there, the company offers its Ube Crinkle Cookies ($2 for one, $10 for six, $18 for 12). The ube crinkle cookies are tossed and baked in powdered sugar, offering a light crisp on the outside, and a moist and chewy center.

UBAE’s newest product, the Ube Soft Serve ($5), is a dairy-free product that has coconut flavors to complement the ube.

Ube Cheesecake Tarts ($5.50 for four pieces, $10 for eight pieces)

“Having a menu consisting of only four products, UBAE strongly believes in doing something, and doing it well. We want to keep our focus on providing unique quality desserts, while being able to share a small piece of our heritage with our community,” Adrienne-Joy says.

She adds that the business owners meet many customers new to ube, and find that the vibrant purple color draws their curiosity.

“Once they taste our desserts, it’s within those few moments of their satisfaction that we fully reap the rewards of our labor,” she notes.

“We truly enjoy seeing the community enjoy our products. We hope that their curiosity of ube opens doors for them to try other Filipino cuisine,” declares Adrienne-Joy.

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