roasted purple yam and molasses ice cream


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

roasted purple yam molasses ice cream

The fun part about exploring the local markets in your new neighborhood is the fun things you might come across. My eyes and heart burst with excitement when I came across these purple/violet yams/ube in my neighborhood. Until now, I had never tried them and everything about these guys blew my senses away. They are sweet to taste but when roasted the yams give off a beautiful floral nectar like fragrance which frankly is kind of amazing! 

mashing yams

Purple/violet yams/Ube are popular in Asian cooking and you can also find them in some Indian recipes, so you should be able to find them in Asian/International markets. I made one 

sweet potato ice cream

 last year and I figured it would only be appropriate to cook these yams into an ice cream to trap those delicious scents and flavors possessed by this magic tuber. 

ice cream prep

Roasting is my cheat method for many recipes, especially here because not only does it concentrate flavors and heightens tastes but it also helps to drive out moisture from the yam. I used molasses and brown sugar to sweeten the mixture and the resultant ice cream is very soft because of the yam pulp. I think you’re gonna love this one, so make yourself some roasted purple yam ice cream and the purple!

roasted purple yam and molasses ice cream

roasted purple yam and molasses ice cream


1 generous quart


1 large purple yam/ube/violet yam

2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon cream cheese, plain

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons dark molasses

1. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400F.  Rinse the yam under cold running tap water, wipe it dry with a clean towel. Prick the yam a couple of times with a fork and bake the yam for 45 minutes or until it is tender on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the yam is baked, remove and allow it to cool to room temperature.

2. Once the yam is cool enough to handle, peel the skin and place the pulp in a food processor. Pulse until you get a smooth puree.  Reserve 1 cup of the puree to prepare the ice cream. This can be done the day ahead and stored in an airtight container until ready to use. 

3. In a large thick bottomed saucepan, add the milk, heavy cream, cream cheese, sugar and molasses. Stir the mixture on a medium-high flame until the sugar and molasses are completely dissolved. Reduce the flame to medium-low and whisk in one cup of the reserved yam puree. Increase the flame to a medium high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, whisking the liquid continuously. Continue to whisk and cook until the liquid acquires a thick custard like consistency. Remove the saucepan from the stove.

4. Strain the ice cream base through a sieve and transfer it to an airtight 1 gallon ziploc bag. Seal airtight and place the bag in an ice-water bath. Allow the ice cream base to chill completely for about 30 minutes.

5. Pour the chilled ice cream base into the pre frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Churn until the ice cream starts to form and no longer sticks to the side of the canister. This should take about 30 minutes (alternatively, follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker).

6. Transfer the ice cream into a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. Press the ice cream down with a spatula to remove any air bubbles and cover the surface with parchment paper. Cover the container with its lid and freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours or until firm. 

22 Responses

  1. This is a magical post. I get so inspired by your creativity…isn't it fun exploring new markets? We have no end of them here in LA. I will have to track down purple yams!

  2. This is simply stunning! I have ube powder that I've been itching to use. Have you used it before? I'm having trouble finding the conversion online, but if I find one and try it, I'll let you know how it comes out!

  3. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh. I'm seriously wigging out right now, Nik — this is AMAZING. Ube ice cream is hands down one of my favorite ice cream flavors ever. I'm so incredibly jealous that you can find it in your neighborhood!!! You've just convinced me that I need to move to SF like yesterday. This is beautiful!

  4. I am just loving the whole mood of these awesome images Nik! A unique flavor for ice-cream though but I can see where the flavor levels come from. One to try out of curiosity 🙂

  5. This sounds so incredibly delicious. Hopefully I can find purple yams around these parts so I can give this recipe a try ASAP!

  6. This ice cream flavour just blew my mind! I spent a year in the Philippines more than a decade ago and learned about ube there. Filipinos put it in everything including ice-cream. I have to admit I was never tempted by sweet corn and ube ice-cream but I am ever so tempted by your roasted ube and molasses ice cream!! 🙂

  7. I can't love these photos more. I am so in awe of them very much 🙂
    I am so happy to have found your blog 🙂

  8. Hi nik,
    This is my first time on your blog and I am totally loving it!!! Your photography is beautiful!! I loved the first shot 🙂

  9. A floral nectar like fragrance? Wow. Really need to get my hands on some purple yams! This recipe is so unexpected and beautiful at the same time. And I'm not even going to start raving about how gorgeous that first photo is…

  10. OH MY GOSH. This is basically my dream. There's a taro frozen yogurt that I love at Yogurtland, but ice cream = even better!! And I love that there's not a ridiculous amount of heavy cream in this…unlike the base from Ample Hills Creamery that I just made 🙁

    Anyway, I LOVE that first photo! Can't wait to hunt down some purple yams so I can try this!! 🙂

  11. Oh, so lovely!! The shade of purple is so delicate and sweet; like summer twilight. I must reintroduce myself to yams! 🙂

  12. I really loved this sultry photo when it popped up in my IG feed. So deliciously purple & I love Taro icecream. When summer hits, I'll get to the shops & try my hand at this 🙂

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