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22 November 2011

Bibingka shortcut


Whenever we visit the Filipino store, I always take a box of easy-to-make Champorado, which is great for the occasional weekend afternoon snack.  Very easy to make.  It was in one of these visits that I became curious with the Bibingka mix.  Bibingka, to the uninitiated, is a form of Filipino rice cake.  Back in the Philippines, this is customarily cooked over hot coals, which imparts a flavour one cannot duplicate in an oven.  But I found out that one can at least have the aroma when banana leaves are used!  Bibingka is usually available during the Christmas season, making it a festive comfort food.


I call this "Bibingka shortcut" because I used ready-made bibingka mix.  There's nothing shortcut about the procedure, however, as I have added more steps to its original 3.  Believe me, the additions are worth it.  Without these, the bibingka would be like, well, puto.  The box (this one's made by White King) has 2 packets with 250g each.  You only need one packet for this recipe.

Ingredients:
250g bibingka mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar (this is a deviation from the recipe in the box, which calls for 1/2 cup sugar)
4 tbsp melted butter
3 pcs eggs
2 salted eggs
cheddar cheese
banana leaves
baking paper
2 baking pans

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 232 degrees Celsius / 450 degrees Fahrenheit

Trace the bottom of your pan onto the banana leaves and cut into a circle to form the base of your bibingka.
Place baking paper on the bottom and sides of the pan, then place the circular banana leaf over it.
As you can see in the photo above, I used aluminum foil for the other pan.  I was just testing it.  And my finding: do not use aluminum foil as the bibingka will stick to it.

Beat eggs until frothy.  Add the bibingka mix, water, sugar, and butter and mix well.
You will notice that lumps will begin to form.  Don't bother using the back of the spoon to mash these up against the side of  the bowl.  Just continue mixing and the batter will smoothen itself out eventually.
Pour the batter on the pans.
Slice up the salted eggs and arrange on top.
Bake for 12 minutes or until done.  It is good to go if the surface is lightly browned (see photo below for comparison). You may also stick a toothpick onto the bibingka and the stick should come out clean (meaning the inside part has cooked too).
Sprinkle with grated cheese on top while hot so the cheese can melt.
Slice into wedges and serve.  This bibingka is really good.  Fluffier than the "real thing" but it's yummy just the same.  The salted egg, cheese, and banana leaves impart flavour to this favourite dish that reminds me of home.  Try it!