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
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)
eggs, room temperature
all-purpose flour (136 grams)
1 ? cups
cake flour (136 grams)
coconut milk, divided and room temperature
sugar (I used a fine granular organic, just slightly brown)
coconut oil or butter, melted (if using butter, I'd suggest an unsalted European style, like Plugrá)
edam or queso de bola cheese, shredded
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.