Meet the humble ube cheesecake, Hood Famous Bakeshop owner Chera Amlag’s nod to a Filipino flavor from childhood that she’s incorporated into her favorite dessert. Ube, for the uninitiated, is a purple yam native to Southeast Asia (you may have tried it locally in Full Tilt’s spectacular ube ice cream). At Hood Famous’ new kitchen (Ballard, 2325½ NW Market St.—entrance on Shilshole Avenue; hoodfamousbakeshop.com), with its tiny retail counter, enthusiastic Instagrammers can finally have easy access to the single-serving purple cakes ($4.99), which Amlag has been baking and selling wholesale to local markets for years. The flavor is subtler than you’d expect from such a vividly colored tuber, reminiscent of good vanilla but with a sweet potato-like earthiness, supported by a tender coconut cookie crust. Hood Famous has other Asian-influenced flavors, too—coconut pandan, white chocolate guava—but I can’t seem to resist that ube hue.
Sam Crannell, chef and owner at now shuttered LloydMartin, opened South Town Pie in May