Making Bibingka – A Christmas Treat for Filipino Churchgoers
Filipinos love their rice cakes, and the bibingka, another one of their favorites, is made from a certain rice dough called galapong, coconut milk (another rice cake staple ingredient), margarine, and sugar. The bibingka is especially popular during the dawn masses come Christmas time (called Simbang Gabi) and street vendors are a common sight with their warm treats, which makes the season more jolly. Making bibingka can be time consuming, as it is cooked in a clay pot in a special oven, with layers of bibingka lit over charcoal (or uling, as the Filipinos call it)—but that is if you choose to cook the traditional bibingka.
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Because making bibingka in its traditional way is time consuming, and most of us don’t have clay pots and ovens stored around the house somewhere, there is a way to cook this rice treat using ordinary cake pans from our admittedly modernized kitchens. And because actual galapong is also not readily available in supermarkets, this recipe calls for an alternative: rice flour.
Guide to Making Bibingka
- 1 cup rice flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup fresh milk
- 1 piece salted duck egg, sliced
- ½ cup grated cheese
- 3 pieces raw eggs
- Pre-cut banana leaf
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, combine rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Whisk butter until creamy, adding sugar gradually as the whisked mix thickens.
- Add eggs and whisk thoroughly until the ingredients are mixed well.
- Gradually add in the rice flour, salt, and baking powder mixture.
- Add in coconut milk and fresh milk.
- Arrange the banana leaf on a cake or baking pan.
- Pour the mixture onto the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the bibingka from the oven, then top with sliced salted egg and grated cheese.
- Put back in the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top turns medium brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Brush with butter and sprinkle some sugar or grated coconut on top.
Serve and enjoy!