Bibingka is a well-known Filipino dessert, one that I hold close to my heart. This recipe is normally made for Christmas, Easter, and any special holiday. I’ll be making for myself some time in the next week because I am done! Wesleyan’s spring semester has ended and commencement is in less than a week.
I AM GRADUATING
Plans for the post-graduate life are still in the making but I am ecstatic to finish my undergraduate years with many accomplishments and connections. I will still be cooking and baking, of course! To be funded by my own income, which is scary, but also exciting!
I share with you this recipe for bibingka malagkit, a soft, sweet sticky rice cake with a caramelized topping. It is a little different from rice pudding, since it’s not that sweet but there’s no flour, so it doesn’t have that crumb-consistency either. It is a quick dessert to make and is sure to impress even the pickiest dessert-eaters. The only trick is to keep an eye on the right while it cooks — you want the rice to be cooked but definitely not too wet. This is best served warm, so I recommend putting slices of leftovers in the microwave before indulging.
So go forth and celebrate good weather, graduations, and the coming summer.
Can make a 9-inch diameter pie-shaped cake or an 8 by 8-inch square
1 1/2 cup short sweet rice
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
¼ cup white sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (figure out exact amount)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Add the sweet rice, 1 cup of water, and coconut milk into a pot. Stir in the white sugar. Heat over medium-high heat to a boil. Once the liquids begin to boil, drop the heat to low, cover with the lid, and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally so the rice cooks evenly enough. This is just like cooking regular rice on the stove. The rice should be soft and sticky but not overly wet. If it’s a little gooey, let it sit without the lid, off the heat. Don’t be afraid to try the rice either!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line your pan with heavy-duty foil or with banana leaves if you want to be more authentic. Transfer your cooked sweet rice into your pan and smooth out the top. In a small bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and the dark brown sugar until it is evenly brown. Pour the milk over the rice. Smooth out the topping as needed.
Bake the bibingka at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Then turn up the temperature to 450 degrees or use the broil function of your oven if it has one.
Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the topping. If you start to smell burnt sugar, it might be time to take out the bibingka. If you start to see smoke in your kitchen, definitely open a window and take your confection out. It’s up to you on how ‘cooked’ or ‘burnt’ you like your topping to be. You can always put it back and if you burn if, you can actually just peel that section off (cool, huh?).
You can toast the top to your preference! Some of my relatives like it really black, some don’t. I prefer it like this, where it’s in patches so you get a bit of everything.
Let cool and then go on and cut into slices or just scoop yourself some bibingka!