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Author Notes: Bibingka is a general term in the Philippines for "cake." This is my experimentation on a type of snack cake that would be served at merienda, or tea time, which is a holdover from Spanish colonial days. The use of banana leaves as muffin liners gives a beautiful presentation and imparts a subtle anise flavor to the cakes. You will find frozen banana leaves for a good price in supermarkets in Hispanic or Asian neighborhoods (I paid a $1.79 for a package). —avantgurlnyc
Serves about 18 muffin-sized cakes
- frozen banana leaves, 18-20 pieces cut into 4 ¾? circles (about the size of a CD, see photo)
- cooking spray (I like using a Misto instead of Pam)
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (136 grams)
- 1 ? cups cake flour (136 grams)
- 1 cup coconut milk, divided and room temperature
- ¾ cups sugar (I used a fine granular organic, just slightly brown)
- ¼ cups coconut oil or butter, melted (if using butter, I'd suggest an unsalted European style, like Plugrá)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 4 ounces edam or queso de bola cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, melted (for brushing tops of muffins, optional)
- Prepare the banana leaves, scoring around a clean CD you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of culinary arts (this is very arts-and-crafts). In a standard-size muffin pan, give a light coating with cooking spray and place a leaf circle in about 18 reservoirs (it's best if you have two 12-muffin pans).
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift flours, baking powder and salt together thoroughly in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Beat eggs in a bowl. In another medium-size bowl, whisk ½ cup coconut milk, coconut oil (or butter) and sugar until the sugar is dissolved (coconut oil may solidify if the coconut milk is a bit cold—just mix it a bit more). Fold in eggs to the mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, gradually mix the dry and wet ingredients together, by electric or manual means.
- Fill the muffin cups with a heaping ? cup scoop of the batter. Top with a tablespoon of the shredded cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or after the "toothpick test" comes out clean.
- Optional step: if the tops are not sufficiently "golden," brush the tops with the melted oil/butter and place under the broiler (350°F) for 2 minutes or so.
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