When my husband and I were in Hawaii 2 years ago, we went to this Filipino restaurant that serve buffet for lunch. That was my first time eating Filipino food to be honest. The buffet selection was not a whole lot, however, it’s enough to impress my palate. Everything tasted so good and it just made me feel like home cooking. So, few months ago I borrowed this The Asian Grandmother’s cookbook from the library and so far I’ve tried Chicken Adobo. Now, I decided to try the Bibingka recipe.
The author of the cook book, Patricia Tanumiharja described Bibingka as a sweet treat that will light up any Filipino eyes when they heard it. Well, it sure lighted up mine because it is sweet and savory flat cake and I just love that combination. Salty and sweet, warm and cold…ahhhh!
So, what is Bibingka ? Bibingka is Filipino sweet and savory cake that is normally eaten during Christmas Eve in the Philippines. It is made with ground rice, water, sugar, and sometimes coconut milk and salted duck eggs slivers and topped with savory feta cheese. I’m already drooling by just typing this entry. This recipe doesn’t use ground rice because fresh stone-ground rice is difficult to find here in the U.S. So, bisquick mix is used instead.
I made one 8 inch round cake with salted duck eggs and 12 cupcakes without the salted duck eggs, using the same recipe. When I sinked my teeth on this cake, the softness of the cake contrasting with the crusty, salty and sweet top of the cake, I just thought this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten and it really is. So simple to make and truly as the cook book describes, there’s a surprise in every bite of bibingka.
BIBINGKA / FILIPINO SWEET AND SAVORY FLAT CAKE (8″ round cake or 12 cupcakes)
1 banana leaf cut into an 8-inch circle
1/2 precooked salted duck egg, cut length wise into 6 slices (optional)
1 cup premade baking mix (such as Bisquick or Krusteaz)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 oz feta cheese or other soft white cheese (you can use the slices feta cheese and cut into thin 1″x2″ slices or use feta cheese crumbles, which was what I used)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
1. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round pan with a round piece of parchment paper followed by the banana leaf. Arrange the salted eggs slices like the petals of a flower in the center of the pan with their tips touching in the middle.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the baking mix, milk, egg, and sugar together until most of the lumps are smoothed out. Immediately pour the batter into the pan GENTLY. When you do this, the salted eggs will float. So, I tried my best to “rearrange” them into the middle again
3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cake and sprinkle/lay the feta cheese on top of the half-baked cake. You want cheese in every bite. Continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden brown. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar