Wingko Babat (Coconut Cake)
This stuff is amazing.
I know you’ve probably never heard of it before but you have to trust me on the goodness of this chewy coconut cake. I swear, this one kid admitted that this cake is delicious despite him not liking coconut.
Living in Indonesia, I have had my share of the dry, tough wingko babat batches that were sold in Jakarta (which were probably commercially mass-produced, resulting in way less than perfect wingko babat). Wingko babat is traditionally baked and then dry-roasted on a frying pan to give that charred look on both sides of the coconut cake. Originally from Java, the wingko babat is sold individually in round shape and then packed into cute little box, and the delicious snack is best when you buy it straight from the streets of Surabaya, as opposed to the more commercialized ones in Jakarta.
This version of the cake is only baked in the oven (no dry-roasting on a pan!), with a brush of egg yolks towards the end of the baking time. My laziness took over and so I promised myself to find a way to not have to do the stove activities and…I found it! By broiling the top of the wingko babat at the end of the cooking time, I succeeded in giving chars to the top of the wingko babat. The softness of the bottom of the cake allows the wingko babat to retain its moisture. This cake is definitely softer than the version you get in Indonesia but it definitely still preserves the essence of a wingko babat.
I got the recipe from one of my cousins, who always brings the best Indonesian food (and the most intricate also!), and who very gracefully gives this recipe to me. Oh! This cake is also gluten-free, soooo more people can have this cake!
makes 8 x 8 inch pan
2¼ cup coconut milk
fresh pandan lead (1 or 2 long leaves, tied together)
2 eggs, separated
1¼ cup white sugar (better to use palm sugar but normal sugar is also okay)
3 cup frozen grated coconut, unthawed
1½ cup glutinous rice flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Boil coconut milk with the fresh pandan leaf together. Combine the egg whites and the sugar together. Throw in the the rest of the ingredients! And then mix everything, slowly, all together. Make sure that all the ingredients are well-mixed together and that there are no more lumps of coconut. The batter is going to be very liquidy.
Transfer the batter into the baking pan and bake it for 45 minutes. Take out the pan and brush egg yolks on top of the wingko babat. Set the oven on broil and cook it for 10-20 minutes (keep an eye on it and take it out when the top browns).
Take out the baking pan from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Keep the dish refrigerated overnight (or 8 hours) before cutting and serving them to ensure that the dish has set.