Every so often a gem lands on my lap. In my case this usually refers to a recipe, most probably a sweet one.
With an attraction to the far east’s culinary offerings, a world of flavours and textures so far from my daily reality it’s the second best thing to travel, and cheaper by far. So I was delighted when I saw a recipe for Bibingka.
Bibingka is a Filipino dessert made with rice flour (that’s right, no gluten!), condensed milk, and coconut. Its chewy, gooey and not too sweet with a mild coconut whiff. It has a texture that is midway between a flan and the Japanese mochi, so if you’re a fan of either, this one’s for you. I read that traditionally it is served at any sort of gathering, so I chose to make it for Keren’s ‘Friday afternoon on the porch birthday do’, and I think it went pretty well. There is nothing quite like this in the local food-scape and I was pleased to see that it was all gone within minutes. It couldn’t be easier to make and the only obstacle is tracking down the ingredients. You should be fine at an Asian market or food store.
The next time ill make this cake, and there will be a next time, I’ll probably play more with the ingredients. I suspect the addition of cherries to the batter will add a nicely balanced acidity to the equation.
(Adapted from here)
Makes 24 pieces
½ can coconut milk
½ can sweetened condensed milk
150 gr butter, melted
1 jar macapuno coconut strings in heavy syrup*
230 gr box mochiko sweet rice flour (look for glutinous rice flour)
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup finely chopped almonds
A few droplets of vanilla extract (optional)
A handful of candied peanuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 190°C and line a brownies tray with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat coconut milk, condensed milk, and melted butter until combined. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
Add the macapuno coconut strings with the syrup.
Beat in the mochiko flour gradually (do not pour all at once or it will get clumpy), then add the brown sugar and almond meal.
Once you achieve an even consistency, add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Pour batter into the baking tray.
Sprinkle evenly the roughly chopped candied peanuts and bake until lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the cake and continue to bake until golden brown. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, between 2-15 minutes longer, the cake is ready.
Remove from pan and let cool on the parchment paper.
Once cooled down, cut into squares and serve.
You can store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.