As a dessert for my Filipino meal last week I attempted to make some bibingka (coconut sponge cakes). Now, the recipe I was using suggested cooking the cakes in banana leaves. I did attempt to find some but to no avail, so I adapted the recipe to use some little tart cases I had instead. What I didn’t quite realise was how big these coconut cakes were probably supposed to be so I ended up with a few small bibingka and then used the rest of the cake batter in a savarin cake tin. This was the first time I have baked anything with rice flour and coconut milk – usually coconut milk just ends up in curries. So, already this challenge for the year is teaching me to do different things with ingredients.
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups rice flour
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- one can coconut milk (400ml)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp dessicated coconut (grated fresh coconut if you have it)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- In a large bowl mix together the eggs, brown sugar, rice flour, melted butter, coconut milk and baking powder. Make sure it is mixed thoroughly.
- If you do manage to find a banana leaf then line a small-ish cake tin with the leaf (around 10cm diameter and 5cm deep) and pour in the batter. Or if you decide to use smaller tins/tart cases/any tin you have, make sure it has been lightly greased with butter. Pour the batter into your cake tin/s of choice.
- If baking in a large cake tin as one cake, bake for around 1 hour or until brown lightly on top. If using smaller tins bake for about 30 minutes until lightly browned.
- Sprinkle coconut on top of the cakes. Many recipes will brush the cakes with melted butter before sprinkling coconut but I decided not to in this case.
- If possible serve warm.
That concludes my cooking inspiration from the Philippines for now.
|Over time, friends have got to know that I like to cook, and in particular that I like to cook things from different places. Last year a friend who is originally from the Philippines kindly brought me ‘The Filipino Cookbook‘. It’s been sitting there on the shelf for too long, and since she was coming to visit I said I would try and make something from the book. So, today’s recipe is a chicken dish which the book suggests is one of the most popular in the Philippines.
- 1.25kg bone-in chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large onion
For the marinade:
- 180ml white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- 60ml water
- 65ml lime juice
- 250ml soy sauce
- Combine marinade ingredients in a box and mix throughly before adding the chicken and refridgerating over night.
- Remove chicken from the marinade.
- Heat a skillet or sautee pan and add the oil, and then the garlic until it is lightly browned. Add the chicken and sautee for 10 minutes.
- Add the marinade, peppercorns, sugar and bay lead. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, and reduce the eeat and simmer for around 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add the onion and simmer for another 5 minutes.
I served this with fried rice. To make the fried rice, which is best cooked in a wok if you have one add 1 tbsp of oil and sautee 3 cloves of garlic, and then add a chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add another tbsp of oil and increase the heat to high and add the rice. Stir fry for about 5 minutes but make sure you stir constantly to stop the rice sticking. Then pour over 3 eggs which have been lightly beaten and then 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
The adobo chicken got the seal of approval from my friend, as did the bibingka (a kind of rice coconut cake) which I served for dessert – recipe to follow soon.