Friday, March 18, 2011

echoes


I heard echoes of laughter and I was jealous that I wasn't there.   The wooden walls reverberated familiar voices through the phone, voices of my aunts who traveled for more than half a day just to be with  my mom as she celebrated Papa's birthday.  He was supposed to be 79 that day.

We are having "deko" said my  mother, referring to sticky rice cake or in tagalog bibingka.  "It is a gift for your Papa's birthday" she further explained.

Papa's birthday was always a big celebration in our home.  Every year, our family and friends, along with his clients, visit our house to bring their gifts in the morning and then attend the party later that day.  Gifts of livestock included pigs, goats, the freshest catch from the ocean, and yes "deko".  Drinks overflowed and I remember amongst Papa's favorites were Black Label Scotch whisky and Fundador brandy.  And like a little boy, each gift and each birthday greeting would make him flash his "kindergarten" smile. During the latter part of his life he would say, "I won't celebrate my birthday this year!" but my mother knew better.  She would always prepare just the same, ready to feed an army because she knew his plans always changed at the last minute.  "I can't  help it!" Papa would shyly explain.  "They come to the house with gifts, so I invite them in to celebrate" would be his annual alibi.

But we all knew Papa loved the festivities.  So on the first birthday after his death, there was not much to celebrate.  Calling home on his birthday and not hearing his voice was unnerving.  I miss his voice, his laughter, his excitement in anticipating the party.  I was suddenly enveloped by sadness so consuming that words cannot explain how I feel.

After I hung up the phone, I willed myself to be transported home.  I wanted so badly to just be there.  Sadly, I am unable to.  Instead, I had the craving to have a slice of "deko" to reminisce about my dad... to just remember him.  One of my favorite blogs, Jun Belen's food blog, had a post on how to make "biko" or another version of sweet sticky rice cake. I was immediately inspired.   I got my utensils ready and luckily I had the ingredients (I've been wanting to do a bibingka recipe). And before I could even think of how much I miss my Papa, I found myself tying the strings of my trusty apron... But the echoes in my mind kept repeating "I miss him... I terribly miss him”.   So to celebrate Papa’s birthday, I made Royal Bibingka (a special kind of sweet rice cake).  I can imagine again my dad's "kindergarten" smile – as I remember him on his birthday and greet him:  “Happy Birthday Papa, this one's for you!!!”.






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I was so inspired to bake, to write and to take photos that day.... I turned it into a slide show and this video is the start of a special segment that I have always wanted to do. For those of you who requested a step by step account of my recipe, here's my first attempt at preparing a video.  This is the initial episode of my  "How to cook Filipino Food Series".  Your comments and suggestions to improve on it will be most appreciated.  Thanks.




Ingredients:
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c sweet rice flour
1 1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 1/2 c sugar

Topping
3 large eggs
3/4 c condensed milk
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 small can heavy cream
1/2 package shredded young coconut

Procedure:
Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees
Line your baking pan with banana leaves
In a mixing bowl, add everything on the first list of ingredients.  Stir them all together until it is smooth and in liquid form.  Pour into the lined pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a little firm.

For the topping:

In a saucepan, break the eggs add condensed milk and evaporated milk.  Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously.  When it thickens add the heavy cream.  Give it a quick stir.   Then you may now add the shredded coconut.

Check the cake mixture in the oven.  When it's firm enough, add the coconut caramel you just made.  Bake for 7-10 minutes.  Broil for 4-5 minutes or until the top caramelizes.  Keep a tight watch as you don't want to burn the topping. It should be golden brown...Voila, enjoy a bibingka made  for the Royals... haha.  Enjoy!

24 comments:

  1. Loved the video and the deko.

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  2. video is a nice change :)

    thanks for sharing. if only we can share our food literally, that would be heaven.

    your family story is reminding me to call home, like a good daughter should LOL

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  3. aawwww i like the video. now i want some but too bad i gave up sweets for lent =( hahahha

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  4. You are amazing, Malou! Loved the video - it's so classy! The bibingka with the rich, creamy coconut topping looks irresistible. I want some now!

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  5. love your video! keep more of them coming! showing you my support :)

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  6. Bibingka is my absolute favourite sweet!

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  7. Lou , i have to say this again , u write beautiful , very!
    It felt live as i read and re read!
    The birthdays sounded so good and more so full of real love.
    The gifts exciting and again echoing of love.
    Am so looking forward to watch ur slide show , but thannxx to my internet its taking time to load but will be back here:-)

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  8. Totally loved the slide show and i know jus what the flavors might we coz we have a v traditional goan prtuguese dessert called bebinca , that is similiar yet v different.
    This will be soo wonderful!
    ANd the slide show is super cute!

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  9. Totally loved the slide show and i know jus what the flavors might we coz we have a v traditional goan prtuguese dessert called bebinca , that is similiar yet v different.
    This will be soo wonderful!
    ANd the slide show is super cute!

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  10. Love the slideshow! But loved the recipe more. The topping looks so wickedly delicious. I am so tempted to have a lick.

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  11. TagaTUgue: thank you so much. Im sure deko is so familiar to you.

    Lala: unfortunately we could only share it virtually haha. Great to see you stop by. As your "ATE" (not ninang) I would say, yes call your parents...and that is an UTOS!

    Isabelle: looking forward to having you today Izzy.

    Annie: Aww you are the sweetest... Fan me, Fan Me !!! haha please don't baka lalaki ulo ko haha.

    Jean: Another sweet blog friend of mine. You always make me happy when i see you around STM!

    Shirley: Great to meet you. I hope we will have more foodie exchanges.

    Mia: oh lovely girlfriend of mine, I love having you around since you make my heart skip and feel young haha.

    Adora: I would admit it yes it was wicked... way to wicked! haha. thanks again!

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  12. I never thought I'd feel so emotional watching a slide on bibingka making. I felt your joy, longing and sadness. I wanted to hug you so tight and tell you that everything's going to be okay.

    I love the slideshow! Everything looked so professionally done. You never cease to amaze me. Bravo!!!

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  13. Enjoyed the video, now i can't wait to try the recipe. Thanks!

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  14. Wow Malou, such a touching post! Love the video it's beautifully done. The recipe is to die for too. I know a remotely related custard my mom made not cakes.

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  15. Food tastes at it's best when it's laced with all these wonderful and poignant memories. Thanks for sharing. Loved the video too! :)

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    1. You are one beautiful woman.

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  16. Job well done on the video! It's a welcome change and looking forward to more! Thank you for sharing this recipe, Malou. It reminds me of the cassava type of bibingka that's denser than the one made with galapong. The topping is ridiculously delicious -- all the layers of flavors and textures! Love it!

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  17. This looks so delicious! The video is lovely, thanks for sharing!

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  18. Your story about your family made me think of home. :-) I liked the video! So high tech (or I'm just not good at it)! I'd love to try Bibingka one day... it looks delish!

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  19. We had our first birthday without my Dad this past year - always a grand celebration and he would have been 79 also. This is a lovely, fitting tribute to love and tradition.

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  20. Ading Malou...now that I finally figured out where the slide show was, I am full of nostalgia. I spoke to my Papa today via skype...and want so badly to get on the next plane. Seeing your beautiful tribute, awesome slideshow, the delectable special bibingka---BOW. WOW. Oh gosh, that was not meant as a tahol! Hugs <3

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  21. Malou, your recipes are truly "the greatest!" Every one of them is excellent and truly tested. An ultimate taste that burst to my palette, signalling for more! My hats off to your exquisite food escape, preparations. and perfect proportions. Kudos!

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  22. Hmm..been long time havent made this bibingka..i will for sure again when i go back to phil.. :)

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