When we were younger, my parents used “bibingka” to motivate us going to early dawn mass or “Simbang Gabi”. I still remember bibingka being cooked right in front of us. All you have to say is “regular or special”. And the difference is special has egg while regular has none, Unlike today, bibingka recipes have so many ingredients added for added flavor and presentation.
The changes are not limited to the ingredients but also in the method of baking or cooking, In the early days a clay or ceramic stove, a piece of tin and a clay/ceramic pan is all you have to use to make bibingka. Today, aside from the conventional and microwave oven, different models and style of bibingka oven have been crafted.
Clay/ceramic bibingka stove or oven
Modern bibingka oven
The Basic Bibingka Recipe
2 cups long grain or jasmine rice
3 tablespoons baking powder
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups coconut milk (1 piece coconut)
Shredded coconut for toppings
Clean banana leaves
Grind long grain or jasmine rice into a flour consistency (You can use a rice grinder or a blender or a processor).
Extract 1¼ cup of coconut milk from shredded coconut meat (you can also use a blender to do this).
Mix all dry ingredients – ground rice, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Slowly blend the coconut milk with the mixed dry ingredients.
Stir thoroughly into a thick smooth liquid mix.
Line bibingka pan with soften banana leaves to conformed the pan shape
Scoop 7 spoonful of the mixture into the pan or fill the pan about 3/4.
Put on top of the clay or ceramic stove (with burning coals) & cover it with tin with burning coals also.
Cook for 15 to 20 minutes
Serve hot top with shredded coconut.
Banana Leaves should be passed over an open flame for a few seconds before use to soften them, so that they do not crack when folded. Alternatively, dip the leaves in boiling water until they just start to soften. They are sold in rectangular sheets in provision shops, supermarket or the local market if you are in the Philippines. If banana leaves are not available substitute with wax paper.
Thick Coconut Milk is obtained by grating the flesh of 1 coconut intobowl (this yields about 3 cups of coconut flesh) Add 1 cup water, knead thoroughly a few times, then squeeze the mixture firmly in your fist or strain in a cheese cloth. If using canned or packet coconut cream, you normally dilute it, adding 1 cup of water to 1 cup of canned or packet coconut cream to obtain thick coconut milk. This mixing ratio is only a general guide however. Different brands of packaged coconut cream vary in thickness, so follow the package instructions.
For a fluffier bibingka, separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
Tibok-tibok is a Kapampangan pudding traditionally made with carabao’s milk.
6 cups fresh carabao’s milk
50 grams glutinous rice powder
150 grams cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 limes (dayap)
oil or butter
pinch of salt
In a wok, mix 6 cups carabao’s milk, 50 grams glutinous rice powder, 150 grams cornstarch, salt and 1 cup sugar.
Cook at low heat, stirring mixture constantly.
Add grated rind of 2 limes (dayap) and stir continuously with a wooden spatula until smooth and thick.
Carefully dip finger or the handle of a wooden spoon into the mixture.
When it no longer sticks to the finger or spoon, remove mixture from heat.
Grease a 9-by-9-inch square pan with oil or butter or line with a greased banana leaf.
Pour mixture in and spread evenly.
Let mixture cool then top with latik.
Slice into squares.
Note: To make latik, heat coconut milk in a wok. Stir constantly for about 15 to 20 minutes until oil accumulates at the bottom of the pan and brown solids (latik) form on top. Strain excess oil.
Tibok-Tibok w/ latik and toasted coconut)
Tibok-Tibok (coconut milk pudding w/ latik and toasted coconut)
3 1/2 cups thick coconut milk
1 -2 cups sweetened flaked or shredded coconut (same as desiccated coconut)
3 1/2 cups thick coconut milk
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon of lime peel
1/2 tsp salt
For the latik:
In a deep non-stick frying pan, bring the coconut milk to a boil then lower to medium heat.
Continue stirring the coconut milk until the coconut oil starts coming out and the coconut milk solids turn golden brown.
Remove from heat immediately and pour into small bowl.
For the toasted coconut:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lay the flaked or shredded coconut on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
For the pudding:
Grease a 9 x 13 pan, with the coconut oil from the latik, then set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine coconut milk, 2 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup sugar and lime peel.
Bring to a boil, remove lime peel and then lower heat to a simmer.
Combine cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
Add 1 cup whole milk and mix thoroughly.
Pour into the saucepan and stir constantly until the pudding starts to thicken.
Let the pudding cook for a few more minutes.
The pudding will thicken and as soon as it starts to bubble, remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan.
Let cool completely before cutting into servings.
If using canned coconut milk:
Some canned coconut milk are very lean, so if your coconut milk starts thickening and there’s not much oil coming out, add a tablespoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil to allow the milk solids to turn golden brown.
For best results, try to find canned coconut milk that has “first pressing” written on the label