Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CASSAVA CAKE ~ KUIH BINGKA UBI KAYU


Ubi Kayu (Oo-bee Car-you)or cassava is one of the cheapest potatoes/roots around at 2 Ringgit (US 0.60) per kilo. It became a staple for many when rice became scarce during the second world war when our then Malaya fell under the Japanese occupation. It was a hard time for many.

I did not come from that era but I've heard stories of how cassava or ubi kayu saved many from hunger. It was a poor man's food and still is in many parts of the developing world because it will grow in poor soil all year round and is starchy thus providing much energy for laborious work or to simply starve off hunger while living on meagre means and in poor conditions.


It is a high energy food like rice because it is mainly starch from which tapioca flour is made.

It is versatile. It can be created into delicious desserts, eaten plain, boiled, with curry sauce or dipped into a combo of grated coconut and sugar or slathered with palm sugar syrup or be sliced thinly, deep fried and turned into the most delicious crisps where they are either folded into a sweet, spicy and sticky chillie sauce or sprinkled simply with salt. Heaven help me......those are my favourite crisps ever.


The ubi kayu/cassava also makes one of the most delicious and popular kuih (pronounced coo-way) ever. Made purely form grated cassava, brown sugar and coconut milk this kuih becomes a sticky, gently sweet and a beautifully textured kuih with a good bite about it and with a beautifully crusty golden top.....quite unlike any other. One that every one simply adores. I have yet to know of some one who simply feels neutral about it.

While it baked I simply immersed myself and bathed in its coconutty  fragrance.


It is easy peasy to do. 

I avoided using eggs as I wanted to make this dairy free but if I had used eggs the kuih would be a lovely golden yellow and softer.

N who is the fussiest eater alive that I know of was even tempted to try just looking at it. And the verdict? MMMMMMMMMMMMMM....reached out for more...MMMMMMMMMMMMMM...reached out for more....MMMMMMMM.....and so on and so forth.....

The recipe ~



This makes quite a lot. I would suggest cutting the recipe in half for a small family. It was a lot for us too!

2 kilos Ubi Kayu/cassava 
21/2 cups brown sugar
1 litre thick coconut milk
3 eggs if you wish (lightly beaten)
a pinch of salt

Peel the thick woody skin, wash the ubi kayu and then grate finely. I used a food processor to grate and then used the blade to process into a finer mush. Place in a  muslin bag and squeeze well to drain liquid. I got about 2 cups of liquid out.

Let the liquid stand in a bowl for about an hour or less until a white powder of starch settles at the bottom of the bowl and then discard the excess liquid. Incorporate the starch back into the grated ubi kayu.

Add sugar, salt and coconut milk and eggs (if using) and stir well to mix.

Once the mixture is mixed well pour into a baking tin. I used a round one measuring 12 inches in diameter. you could use a 10 inch one and get a slightly taller kuih which would work just as well.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about an hour until the top is a crispy golden brown. 

Allow to cool a few hours or overnight before cutting otherwise it will be too sticky to cut neatly.

This is eaten at anytime of the day or night...for breakfast, coffee breaks, tea, dessert or in between all of that.


55 comments:

Anncoo said...

This is so beautiful. Can I have 2 pieces for my tea time?

Quinn said...

Binga Ubi Kayu is my favourite kuih out of the lots and must have eggs!!!! I have tried one without egg,nope, I like mine with dairy. I love cassava. We only get frozen ones here in Adelaide and even that is hard to come by and expensive! Talk about it being poor man's food...

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

I JUST bought this kuih a moment ago! Zurin, you read my mind, err, I mean my stomach. LOL. I love it to bits. I should really learn to make my own, seeing that one pathetic slice is sold for S$0.80 at the cake shop. And since N gave his 2 sticky thumbs up, I MUST make some using your recipe. :)

Federica said...

ciao!!! le foto esprimono tutta la delizia di questa ricetta!!!! complimenti!!!! ciao!!!!!!

Emi said...

Coucou Zurin! Your Cassava cake looks delicious!!! I love this golden color!! Miam!

Divina Pe said...

We also have cassava cake in the Philippines but I'm not sure if the process is the same but the ingredients are almost similar. They are a great treat to have. You're actually tempting me right now. Good thing I'm munching on cookies.

stefania.confidential said...

delizioso, ciao

Allie and Pattie said...

Zurin, this looks fabulous! Now I MUST try it
xoxo Pattie

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Ahh yes that's the ultimate compliment-when a fussy eater reaches for more! They look wonderful! :D

3 hungry tummies said...

This is my all time favourite Kuih! Sadly I can't get ubi kayu here! :(

lostpastremembered said...

You always have such exotic and fascinating things in your blog... never ever heard of this.. but it is easy to make! Amazing!

Angie's Recipes said...

Another fascinating recipe from you...I don't think I can easily find cassava flour here...except Asian stores, I guess. They look so beautiful with that golden shining top!

♥LOVE2COOK♥ said...

Hi, m new to ur yummy blog! Love those kuih bingka! I'm following U! ;)

Elin said...

Zurin, this is our favourite kuih. Thanks for sharing. I used to buy them from the stall but after looking at yours, I definitely want to make them. Thanks Thanks Thanks for sharing the recipe :))

tracieMoo said...

Among all the kuihs, this is my absolute favourite. No flour needed? If that's the case I suppose it has to taste even more original than the sold ones out there! I'm going to grab some coconut milk now!!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Adoi, this post should come a bit earlier, I bought ubi kayu yesterday, thinking to this cake, but can't find a good recipe, so I just steam it and dip with sugar which the normal way usually I prepared. Next time I must try this.Thank you.

ICook4Fun said...

My grandmother told me the same story about them eating cassava during the war time. Now you make me crave for kuih bingka :) This is my fav way of preaparing the cassava. Mix everything and bake. We are lucky that we can get the ready grated kind from the asian store.

La Table De Nana said...

Although it looks like something we could be eating here..it's not..I think the coconut would send it over the top for me..They look like treasures:)

I find you and Ju cut cakes as a skill:)Just right!

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Kuih bingka ubi kaya is one of my fave Malay kuih! Well, I'd not omit eggs from the kuih! I love my kuih soft, too! And eggs work wonder in that!

Zurin, I really love the way you write! I bet you must read a lot and have a huge collection of literary work!

Pam said...

Interesting post! They look delicious! Beautiful coloring and they look so moist and creamy!

Juli Herman said...

ohhh zeyd can eat this!!! thank you mummy!!

MaryMoh said...

Zurin, we are sharing the same craving! I've just made this cassava cake and will post this Friday. Gosh...I have been eating so much.

Jade said...

cassave cake is my mum's favourite! I will definitely try this when she comes visit. And u're right, zurin. Cassava chips are hands down the best chips in the world!!!

Kate at Serendipity said...

Oh, Zurin, what have you done? Crispy chips with sweet chili sauce? Can you fax me some?

This looks delicious! I don't know if I can find cassava here. I have never looked for it! But I think I'll be doing that veryvery soon.

And what gorgeous photos!

Pam said...

Oh that's pretty!!! Love the presentation and the pretty plate!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow i want take a second great post

pigpigscorner said...

OMG this is my favourite kuih!!! I've always wanted to make this but I can't seem to find any cassava here =(

Mariana said...

What a fascinating post zurin. I enjoyed learning about cassava and how it basically kept people alive at that time. And in many other countries I suspect it still does today; like Africa for instance. Congrats. With a few simple ingredients you have managed to turn this poor man's staple into a dish fit for a king.

Tuty @Scentofspice.com said...

Hi Zurin,

This bingka ubi kayu is similar to the Vietnamese Cassava Cake that I made not too long ago.

Yes, we have it at breakfast, afternoon teas, and after dinner too :)

Great pics, Zurin.

Jessica {The Novice Chef} said...

I just came across your blog and I am so glad I did! This looks fabulous!

TREAT AND TRICK said...

Hi, bingka ubi looks gorgeous and perfectly baked and this is my favorite too...

Stella said...

Cassava cake? I love the way it looks so moist and pudding like. Plus, you have it all pretty in separate little cupcake wrappers all ready for tea. So nice as usual, Zurin!

Passionate About Baking said...

Gee Zurin, I seriously don't know what is cassava. I might have tried it before, but have absolutely no idea what it was! The way you write about it, it sounds and looks really really good! I must hunt for this in Sgp and try it. Thanks for sharing your recipe though.

Fimère said...

je n'ai jamais utilisé de manioc mais en voyant ton gâteau et sa texture, il est divin!!!j'adore
à tester
bonne journée

Mary said...

You've inspired me. I've never before cooked with cassava, but I think I'm going to give it a try. Your tiny cakes look beautiful.

COLARGOL said...

This recipe is amazing, I never used cassava pastry!
Yet these little treats are very pretty and very appetizing, bravo

Linda said...

Oh my dear Zu...these look simply wonderful!
I have never tried one but through your description I can imagine the taste...
Gorgeous pics as usual my friend!
L~xo

Zia Elle said...

First time in you blog...it's wonderfull!!!! I like every single receipe!!!!!
Now, can I have a little bit of your so yammy cassava cake???

Through My Kitchen Window said...

Hello there zurin. I left you a comment on my mud cake post that I would love for you to check out.

The Gypsy Chef said...

Zurin,
You had me at coconut milk.....fragrance and all. I love this cake, I know I have seen cassava some where. I am going to rack my brain until I remember. I'm a sucker for coconut cake. But then you had to mention crisps in chili sauce????
I'm on the next plain to Malay.
Have a nice weekend Zurin.
Pam

susan said...

Something tells me I won't find this at Kroger, but ohhh the picture makes me wish I could! You never fail to intrigue and educate me!

ovenhaven said...

I just LURVE bingka ubi (and I love how it's always pronounced bingkobi at the pasar!), and yours look absolutely tempting as always. It's no wonder N gave the approving nod!

zurin said...

Tq so much everyone for the lovely comments! treasured always...^^

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

This looks lip-smacking good! Love how your photos have captured the wonderful texture. I've had a similar recipe bookmarked for quite a while, but I bet yours is even better.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
i would like to try to make this someday. But in the meantime i have a question: when you remove the starchy bit at the bottom of the liquid, is it easy to remove? with a spoon? Or do you somehow strain this.

Also, is there anything one can do with the liquid left over instead of throwing it out??? would it help, for example, in thickening soups? for making bread???

Thanks and great blog!

zurin said...

Anon, tq for visiting :) yes its easy . Just let it stand about 15 minutes to half hour and the powder will stay at the bottom and u can easily pour off the water. there is no need to strain.

I have never used teh water but if you ask me I wold rather throw it away :) but u cld try. Have a good day n happy baking! :)

PY said...

Wow ! looks so delicious ! This is one of my favourite kuih. Thanks for sharing !

wendyywy @ Table for 2 or more..... said...

I am itching to bake some now.... long time didn't do this :)

hobby baker said...

Oh my. I think I must now find somewhere that carries cassava. My family loves the cassava chips that I found, but this looks such a yummy sticky sweet treat...

Annie said...

Thanks for sharing .Is my favourite Nyonya Kuih .I must look for it when I'm back for vacation to M'sia !Not available at Saudi Arabia unless you make yourself !

ann said...

Hi Zurin,
I love this cake so much. I came across your recipe, bought all the ingredients and made. The kuih came out very well but I did not use the eggs. Thank you for sharing...

ann said...

Hi Zurin,

I love this kuih very much, I came across your recipe, bought all the ingredeints and made it. It came out very well but I did not use eggs. Thank you for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Hello Zu
I like to know in your Cassava Cake you mentioned 3 eggs if you wish, does it mean I can do away with the eggs if I do not want eggs in this cake?

Rgds
Priscilla Poh

Zurin said...

Pricilla,

yes you can do without the eggs. I made mine without the eggs.the eggs would make them softer and a little yellowish. I Hope you'll try the recipe :)) Thanks for dropping by :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Zurin for your info.
I would like to try out ur Cassava cake oneday as it does not contain butter and can even do away with the eggs.
Double healthy. Will let u know after I have tried out ur recipe.

Warm rgds
Priscilla Poh

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