Bibingka is a Filipino cake traditionally made with rice flour and coconut milk and baked to supreme fluffiness over banana leaves in a terra-cotta oven. These versions are built to fit in the palm of the hand. Ray Luna, who ran the much loved coffee shop Mountain Province in Brooklyn, adapted the recipe from his lola (grandmother), using self-rising flour instead of rice flour and coconut cream for extra richness. The cakes are delicious when made with just the requisite five ingredients, but for a touch of refinement, follow Luna’s lead and bake in banana leaves, to infuse a green-tea scent. The final touch: macapuno, opalescent strands from rare, prized coconuts with jelly-like flesh.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1large sheet banana leaf (from a 1-pound package), optional
- 9tablespoons/128 grams unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pans
- 1 ½cups/355 milliliters unsweetened coconut cream
- 2large eggs
- 1cup/200 grams superfine (caster) sugar
- 2cups/250 grams self-rising flour
- 1cup macapuno (coconut sport), optional (see Tip)
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the banana leaf, if using. Cut into 24 5-inch squares and use the squares to line 2 (12-cup) standard muffin tins. If not using banana leaf, drizzle a little melted butter in each muffin cup and coat the cups with it.
Step 2In a medium bowl, whisk together the 9 tablespoons of melted butter and half the coconut cream. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the superfine sugar until lighter in color.
Step 3Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Add about a third of the flour to the eggs and fold in by gently running a flexible spatula through and around the mixture until everything is combined. Then, fold in a third of the coconut cream mixture. Alternate folding in the flour and the coconut cream, making sure not to overmix and ending with the coconut cream.
Step 4Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until set along the circumference but still loose at the center. Take the tins out of the oven and raise the temperature to 375 degrees. Top each cake with a couple strands of macapuno, if using (see Tip).
Step 5Return the tins to the oven and bake for another 4 to 7 minutes, until golden at the edges and springy at the center when lightly pressed. Cool and serve.