Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Love for ube ensaymada (purple sweet potato pastry)!

Merienda at Nanding's Bakery with Ube Ensaymada!
I grew up eating ube, pronounced (oo-bae), in Filipino desserts like ice-cream with turon (fried banana spring roll) or ube halaya (cooked paste) on halo-halo (shaved ice). Ube is a starchy root vegetable similar to sweet potato and it's usually used in sweet dishes. The best part is it's deep purple that gives a natural vibrant violet colour in cakes, flans and pastries.
Did you know: Besides ube's natural purple color, and they are rich in vitamin A and C and potassium.
Raw ube (purple sweet potato)
Ube paste (ube hayala)
Recently on our trip to Waikiki, Hawaii, we came across a Filipino bakeshop, Nanding's Bakery, after a good morning run along the Ala Wai Canal. My husband and I worked up an appetite and as reward for running in the Hawaiian heat, craved a post workout merienda (a snack)!
A fun fact: I have an Uncle Nanding from my father's side.
Look Uncle Nanding, your name is on an awesome bakery in Honolulu;)
We were greeted by two friendly Filipinas behind the bakery's display case featuring many of my Filipino favourites like pandesal (sweet bread roll), empanadas, bibingka and so many more delicious breads and pastries. 

A jewel display case filled with Filipino pasrtries, hold me back!!

I narrowed in on the ube ensaymada and couldn't wait to see how the ube would taste within the light brioche bread topped with butter and sugar. Quickly after hearing our order, a Japanese tourist also ordered the ube ensaymada to try it for herself!

Yummm...ube ensaymada!
All three of us soon sat by the sun-filled front entrance of the bakery and we all quickly tucked into our pastries of choice. The Japanese tourist had the spanish roll and when asked how it was, offered us one which we declined. She insisted we join her so my husband and I had one to share. It had a shape of a thin hot dog bun and was still warm! It was sweet, airy, buttery and melted in our mouths within moments on taking a bite. Masarap!!
Spanish rolls from Nanding's Bakery
We soon jumped into the ube ensaymada by first removing the wax paper that it was baked in which revealed the hidden thick lavender filling around the sweet bun.  The ube had the texture of softened butter and just slightly sweetened. Before we knew it, there were just crumbs left on the wooden table.  This is what pastry dreams are made of...fluffy, creamy and buttery in every bite. 

Nanding's Bakery doesn't mess around with their Ube Ensaymada!
We'd come back for more and would be hard pressed not to try everything in their bakery. We will likely do just that after our morning runs because the Filipino goodies from Nanding's Bakery are so worth the calories!


  1. It looks like that bakery have a sweet and delicious collection of sweet bakery items. I have not eaten this sweet potato pastry before and that too of purple colour.. They looks mouth-watering.

  2. I love Nanding's Bakery..when I use to live in Hawaii I'd pick up a couple dozen of their Spanish Rolls for the office (so light, buttery & melt in your mouth goodness).