Special Bibingka

I already wrote before on the history of Bibingka in my mom’s bake shop. Mom, my sister and I often helped with the experiments to come out with the best bibingka recipe. Here is Bibingka Especial, one of these Bibingka variations which originally came from “Recipes of the Philippines” by Enriqueta David-Perez, 1973 printed edition:

Ingredients

1 cup thick galapong (see procedure on “How to Make Galapong” below)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
2 tbsps. melted butter (My mom used regular hydrogenated margarine, out of a tub)
4 tbsps. sugar for topping
3 eggs, well-beaten
1 cup coconut milk
3 tbsps. grated cheese (Mom used Magnolia or Kraft processed yellow cheese; I’m more partial to using goat cheese and salted duck’s eggs)

To make galapong bigas:

1. Soak rice in equal amounts of water overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.

2.Grind in a food processor or meat grinder starting with small quantity, adding soaked rice little by little until it produces the consistency of light dough.

3. Let stand until the next day

For the bibingka:

1. Add sugar to the galapong.

2. Add baking powder, melted butter, and the well-beaten eggs and coconut milk. Mix well.

3. Pour a thin layer of this batter into a hot (native clay) baking pan or molds lined with banana leaves (which has previously been passed over an open flame, to soften the fibers).

4. Cover each baking dish with a galvanized iron sheet with live embers on it. (or Bake in a pre-heated hot oven (375 F) until golden brown)

5. When almost cooked, sprinkle grated cheese and sugar on top of each — and cover again. Continue baking until brown; brush top of bibingka with melted butter and serve hot with grated coconut.

Note: If you want a more waxy, chewy “feel” to the bibingka, try mixing malagkit rice to make the galapong. For example, try the ratio of 1/4 cup malagkit rice to 3/4 cup regular rice.