Learn how to make soft and slightly chewy steamed cassava cake made into skewers. Cenil singkong is Indonesian popular snack or street food (jajanan pasar).
ONGOL ONGOL SINGKONG (BITE-SIZE SWEET CASSAVA CAKE)
Cenil singkong also known as ongol ongol singkong, literally spells childhood for me. My sister and I loved to eat cenil as kids. They are sold everywhere at the market. We call this type of snack as jajanan pasar (literally translated into “market buy”). Despite being a sweet snack, we don’t categorize this as dessert, but as a snack.
Cenil singkong is made by steaming mixture of grated cassava, coconut milk, sugar, agar agar until cooked and then rolled in grated coconut. The cake is then cut into bite-size. Cenil can be served as is or made into sate.
CENIL SINGKONG, CENIL TEPUNG KETAN, CENIL TEPUNG KANJI
There are three types of cenil that I grew up eating. Cenil singkong is what I’m sharing here. The other version is cenil tepung ketan, which is made with glutinous rice flour (sticky rice flour) and a little bit of tapioca flour. The sticky rice flour version is very chewy. Cenil tepung kanji is made with cornstarch and a bit of all-purpose flour. I can’t say I don’t like the two latter, but I will choose the cassava version. Cenil singkong tastes almost like Bingka Ubi Kayu.
HOW TO MAKE SOFT AND SLIGHTLY CHEWY KUE CENIL SINGKONG
STEP ONE: PREPARE THE BATTER
1. Steam the grated coconut for rolling the cake with a bit of salt and then set aside
2. Mix grated cassava, coconut milk, sugar and agar agar in a mixing bowl
3. If you want to make different colors, separate the batter and then add few drops of food coloring of your choice and mix until the batter picks up the color
3. Transfer the colored batter to a 10×10 cm square pan or loaf pan. You can pack in all three colors in the pan and steam at the same time
STEP TWO: STEAM THE CAKE
Bring water in the steamer to a boil. Place the pan in and steam for about 30 minutes or until the cassava cake is cooked through. Remove and let them cool down completely before cutting
STEP THREE: CUT INTO BITE SIZE
1. Once they cool down, you can easily remove the cake from the pan. The cake is pretty resilient. Just run a knife through the edge of the cake to loosen
2. Cut the cake into bite-size square pieces. Roll them in the grated coconut and skewered into bambo skewers, about 3,4,or 5 pieces per skewers. It’s up to you
Of course you don’t have to make them into skewers if you don’t want to. They can be served as is.
I literally couldn’t stop eating this humble little cake!
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Please weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.
Natural food coloring I use:
- 1 Tbsp pandan extract
- 1 Tbsp bunga telang extract
- 1/2 tsp red yeast rice powder + 1 tsp water
Prepare bunga telang extract:
- I made a pretty concentrated one. Scoop about 2 Tbsp dried bunga telang and mix with 1 Tbsp hot water. Let them steep for about 10 minutes. Use the back of the spoon to press the flower. Squeeze out liquid from the flower and discard the flower, now you can use the extract to color the cenil
Steam the grated coconut:
- Place the unsweetened grated coconut in a bowl with salt. Stir to mix. Steam for 5 minutes over high heat . Remove and let it cool down
Prepare the cake batter:
- Mix the cassava, coconut milk, sugar, and agar agar powder in the mixing bowl. Stir to mix
- If you want to make different colors, separate the thick batter into different balls, in my case 3 large balls for 3 different colors. Mix the natural food color with each batter or if you use artificial food coloring, add few drops of food coloring in each one and stir to mix in the color
- Transfer the colored batter to a 10x10 cm square pan or loaf pan. You can pack in all three colors in the pan and steam at the same time
Steam the cake:
- Bring water in the steamer to a boil. Place the pan in and steam for about 30 minutes or until the cassava cake is cooked through. Remove and let them cool down completely before cutting
Make into sate: (optional)
- Once they cooldown, you can easily remove the cake from the pan. The cake is pretty resilient. Just run a knife through the edge of the cake to loosen
- Cut the cake into bite-size square pieces. Roll them in the grated coconut and skewered into bambo skewers, about 3,4,or 5 pieces per skewers. It's up to you