After making some Mochi for New Years, I became nostalgic and wanted to bake something from my childhood past. Mochi is to Japanese as Bibingka is to Filipinos. It is one of those feel good comfort foods that you crave every so often.
Even within a culture there are variations to traditions and most certainly food. What is considered Bibingka in one province may be completely different in another. So until I moved to San Francisco, I had a very specific view of Bibingka being this rice/coconut like dessert than only my Aunt knew how to make and that it was labor intensive. From my foggy memories I have on how my Aunt made ”our version” of Bibingka I remember banana leaves, rice, fresh coconut, yeast, steamer/oven, and lots of work. The end result was either a steamed or baked rice coconut glutenous dessert that had a nice smoky taste from its banana leaf wrapper.
When I moved to the Bay Area and finally found Bibingka in a local Filipino bakery my heart stopped and then kicked started from the excitement. It appeared to be the “baked” type which was not my first preference (I always loved the taste of the steamed ones my Aunt made), but I wasn’t going to be picky. However, for some reason it was more cake-like in texture and I thought perhaps it was a day old. Sometimes when you have this grand expectation of something, and it falls short you are left wanting and extremely disappointed. I wish I could say otherwise, but I was really, really, really disappointed. I mean how could this one dessert be so much more different from the “real” thing. This is where I was wrong. After some research, I found out that Bibingka can be made in a zillion ways, well not quite a zillion but close. And although I continued to feel a longing for the ones that my Aunt made, I was easily persuaded to enjoy this alternative version after trying it warm with some butter!
You can imagine my delight when my son’s Godmother posted some pics on FB of Bibingka she made. She kindly gave me the recipe and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. I set out to get some banana leaves, and the other ingredients I already had in my pantry. I am lucky to live close to a Filipino market and easily found some frozen banana leaves. I remember my Aunt using “fresh” (meaning directly from the tree) banana leaves. This can be more difficult since if you ever saw a banana leaf it is very long and will need to be cut down to size. The ones I found at the Filipino market was already cut and in a perfect circle. Sometimes frozen is better.
The recipe below will make three round pie pan sized Bibingka. And because I am fanatic about cupcakes, I actually made cupcake sized Bibingka! More on that later.
You will be amazed at how easy it is to make, and the hard work is the prep of the banana leaves. Wash the leaves and dry completely. Be very careful not to tear the leaf. To prepare the banana leaves you will have to place it over some heat, if you have a gas stove directly over the fire. Place it over the heat just enough to make it pliable. Spray the leaf with some non-stick spray and place into a pie pan.
I want to thank Yo for allowing me to repost this recipe. I made a slight adjustment the first time I made it. Instead of 16 oz of sour cream, I used 8 oz of sour cream and 8 oz of coconut milk. Also, when I made them into cupcakes I adjusted the bisquick to mochiko flour ratio. I used 1 1/2 c of bisquick and 1 c of mochiko flour. This adjustment is based purely on preference. If you want a more cake-like Bibingka then follow the directions as is. If you want a more dense glutenous texture Bibingka then increase the mochiko flour accordingly.
Easy Bibingka Yo!
2 c bisquick
1/2 c mochiko flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
16 oz sour cream (or 8 oz sour cream and 8 oz coconut milk)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients: bisquick, mochiko flour, baking powder, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla, sour cream and/or coconut milk. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture evenly into three round pie pans lined with the banana leaf. You can top each off with a few cubes of cream cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until the tops are brown. Serve warm with some butter.
And as I mentioned earlier being a cupcake fanatic, I painstakingly cut out round cupcake liners from the banana leaves. I did it the old fashion way and used a cupcake liner as my template and a pair of scissors to cut!
This took me awhile and I thought to myself there must be an easier way. So I looked through my crafting drawer and found . . . creative memories! I had their circle cutter and one that was the perfect size. I used this to cut out the cupcake liners–much faster and easier to cut! If you make cupcake Bibingka, the recipe will yield around 36. Also, bake for around 18-20 minutes.
I can’t say enough on how easy and scrumptious this is! Baking should be this easy and yummy.
Note: I am behind in blogging and I apologize! My next post I was hoping would be before Valentines Day. I guess this is a big hint to my next post. I heart whoopie and you can make this year round!!!