Hello Everyone! Only less than a week left to Christmas! How will you and your family be spending the festivities? Though my family and I are back in the Philippines, we’re used to just spending a quiet night at home and that’s probably how we’ll be spending our Christmas this year again. I honestly am not all about spending money that I don’t have on gift giving. Please don’t judge me, as I am definitely not a cold-hearted Grinch – I just don’t see why we have to go such great lengths to please other people. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ – and not about what I have just mentioned above.
Tangent/mini rant aside, this festive kakanin known as Bibingka, or in English, Filipino Coconut Rice Cake, is usually eaten for breakfast especially during the Christmas season, typically sold alongside Puto Bumbong. Just like other kakanins, this treat can be enjoyed all year round and not just during the festive season. They can be found on the streets, in the markets and even in cafés and restaurants.
Bibingka is a round rice cake that is traditionally cooked in banana-lined clay pots and baked over pre-heated live coals, but more commericalised bibingkas can also be baked in the oven. Now, I’m not entirely sure that ‘Bibingkute’ is the actual term used for mini bibingkas – I just came across it during my research for a recipe. I think the name came from this statement on Kawaling Pinoy:
“And to increase the cute factor, I used muffin pans to bake the cakes.”
Quite a creative name I might add.
Bibingka is traditionally made with galapong, which is milled glutinous rice as the main ingredient. Nowadays you can easily buy glutinous rice flour and use that instead of milling your own rice. The cakes are also full of carbohydrates which makes it a breakfast favourite enjoyed with a strong serving of coffee to get one going through their morning commute to school or work. Other ingredients in bibingka include coconut milk, margarine, cheese, salted egg, and sugar.
PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-25 MINS | SERVES 12 MINI CAKES
For the bibingka batter
- 2 cups rice flour
- 1 & 1/2 cups coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 5 free range eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the toppings
- 2 salted duck eggs, cooked and sliced
- Granulated white sugar
- Grated and sliced cheese
- Grated mature coconut (niyog)
- Margarine, softened
- Banana leaves
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4).
- Banana Leaves: Prepare the banana leaves by rinsing them under warm water. Trim away the thick edges and cut the leaves into about 5 or 6-inch diameter rounds, large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a single muffin cup.
- Quickly pass and heat the banana leaves over stove flames for a few seconds, just until the leave if soften and pliable to work with. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with the prepared banana leaves. Make sure the leaves are intact with no rips. Set aside.
- Bibingkute: Combine the rice flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until well dispersed.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk and melted butter. Stir until well blended before adding in the rice flour mixture. Stir gently until the batter is smooth. Add the beaten eggs and combine until well blended.
- Pour and divide the batter equally into the prepared muffin pan, filling only about 3/4 of the way. Top each with a slice of salted egg and a slice of cheese.
- Bake: Place in the oven for about 15 to 25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes come out clean.
- Optional, if desired, place under the broiler for about 1 minute or until nicely charred.
- Remove from the oven and spread with margarine on top. Garnish with grated coconut or grated cheese and sprinkle with sugar to taste.
- Serve and enjoy hot for breakfast or merienda.
– Ally xx