How to Make an Easy Filipino Cassava Cake
Cassava, also known as manioc or yucca, is a staple root vegetable found throughout Southeast Asia and Latin America. When made into a flour, the natural stickiness of the tuber makes for chewy, moist baked goods.
Filipino cassava cake is rich with coconut and butter, but it also uses cassava to give the cake its denser, slightly chewy texture. This recipe, inspired by one from Filipino Recipe, can be served topped with custard or macapuno, sweetened young coconut shreds.
- 2 cups cassava, grated
- 2 cups coconut milk, canned
- 6 ounces condensed milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/3 cup sweetened coconut shreds or macapuno
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 4 tablespoons white cheese, grated
- Sweetened macapuno
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 6 ounces condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rose water
Prepare the Cake
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch glass baking pan with 1 tablespoon of butter.
You can also line with banana leaves, for a more authentic cake. Frozen banana leaves can be purchased at many Asian grocers.
Mix all the cake ingredients in a large bowl. The batter will be of a custardlike consistency.
Pour into the prepared dish and bake on a center rack for 30 minutes before checking for doneness. When ready, the top of the cake will have solidified and is firm to the touch. It will no longer jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
Remove the cake from the oven and, depending on your topping choice, let the cake cool to room temperature or top and finish baking.
Make the Cheese Glaze
The cheese glaze needs to be baked in the oven, and produces a savory-sweet topping that is very rich.
Preheat the oven broiler, 500 F, and move the rack to the top, so that the cake will sit around 2 to 3 inches from the broiler.
In a saucepan, mix the condensed milk, flour and sugar together until steaming. Add 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese and the 2 cups of coconut milk.
Bring to a gentle boil and remove from heat immediately after bubbles appear. Pour the mix over the cooked cake.
Brush the beaten egg whites over the poured-on topping and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place in the oven and broil until the topping begins to brown slightly. Remove from heat — do not let the topping burn — and serve cooled, at room temperature.
Cook the Custard Topping
Combine the cornstarch and condensed milk in a saucepan, stirring to create a slurry. Heat gently over low heat, stirring constantly.
Add the rose water, vanilla and beaten egg yolks when steam appears, keeping the heat low and even. Once the custard has thickened to the desired consistency, remove from heat.
Spread the custard onto the top of the cooled cake, or serve it on the side. In either case, sprinkle the cake with shredded coconut before serving.
The custard can also be served as a pourable sauce. In this case, add 1/4 cup of water and then thin to the desired consistency with rose water.