Here’s another Filipino favorite that I created. These steamed rice cakes were really good! The brown sugar and yucca (cassava) go very well together. They are served at parties or at any get together, especially birthdays, Christmas time and New Year’s eve or as a merienda (afternoon snack). The flavor variations are coconut, purple yam, mango, pineapple, and chocolate to name a few. You can add coconut powder and coconut strings, grated purple yam, mango puree, pineapple juice and tidbits, chocolate chips and ground chocolate in the batter.
You can put them in a festive or clear plastic bags and tie with a sophisticated bow and give them away as gifts for Christmas. Your friends will appreciate them, especially those who don’t have time to make them or own any steamer and yearn to have them. Below are coconut and chocolate rice cakes I made last year.
I and some people had been in quest to find the “authentic” recipe because they are just out of this world. “Once you popped, you can’t stop” as the potato chips commercial say. That’s how good they are. My grandmother knew how to make them, but she passed on before I could ask her. I tried all the recipes I could find on the web, but the results were not the same. Moreover, the instructions were not that specific. They don’t really give you the “secret” process on how to make them “authentic”. Yes, I discovered there were many secrets making authentic rice cakes. I experimented many times and almost gave up, but one day, I finally achieved it. The rice cakes below were made with 100% rice flour and the ones above were a combination of rice flour and all-purpose flour. My children loved them.
I was so proud of myself. But…guess what happened? I lost my note in the process of tidying up. It took me a long time to discover the “secret” and lost it that easily. Believe me, I was extremely sad and disappointed that I stayed away from the kitchen for a very long time. Yes, it was that important to me. It reminded me of my childhood and my grandmother. I miss the good old days and my beloved, gracious grandmother. I feel comforted making the authentic rice cakes somehow.
My quest now is to find the recipe I created. It’s a must! I could not remember all the ingredients and the measurements. So, I settled to create the yucca rice cakes for now until I find the time to do all the experimenting I did previously using the 100% rice flour.
- 1 ½ cup of rice cake flour mix (available at Asian stores)
- 1/2 cup of frozen grated cassava or yucca root, completely thawed
- 1 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ½ C sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 ¼ C water
- 5 teaspoons vegetable oil
Note: You will need a steamer, a mini muffin baking tin, a pastry brush, and cheese cloth
- Add about 1/2 of water in the steamer. Wrap the lid of a steamer with cheesecloth to prevent water from dripping to the rice cake batter while cooking. Cover the steamer. Bring water over high heat to a rapid boil.
- Add the rice cake flour, water, coconut flakes, dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup grated cassava, and oil in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Scoop the batter into the buttered 12-piece mini muffin pan and steam for 15-20 minutes* or until cake is shiny and bounce back when pressed.
- Brush the top of the steamed cakes with butter. Transfer to a serving platter or a basket lined with wilted banana leaves and serve warm or at room temperature. When cooled, cover the mini rice cakes with a plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Enjoy.
*Note: Cooking time and achieving the crack in the center of the rice cakes varies depending how rapidly the water is boiling. Adjust accordingly.
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