Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bebinca: The Layered Goan Pudding

The Bebinca is less of a cake and more of a pudding. It is one of the most celebrated desserts from Goa. I first had it a couple of years ago and I have been hooked since then. However, each time, I only had the pleasure of eating a store-bought bebinca. I have been thinking about making it since some time, but never got around to making it.

For my birthday though, I decided that a regular cake was an old-show. I needed something new. Something great. It was a huge hit with Shrikant and even Saee. It was so much better than store bought cakes! I could have slapped on vanilla ice-cream and made it into a super-exotic dessert too! It was really wonderful.

The only spoiler is that it takes a hell of a lot of time. No, it is not difficult to make. Just that the whole process is tedious and time consuming. If you have a lot of time on your hands and you want to surprise your family with something nice, this the one for you.

  • 250 ml thick coconut milk
  • 250 mg sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 1/4th tsp nutmeg powder
  • ghee or clarified butter
If you can get store bought coconut milk, it is easier. However I am not so sure about the flavor. What I did was that I grated one whole coconut, and pureed it with 240 ml of water. Then I filtered the husk from the milk and pressed on the husk hard till all the coconut milk is out. Filter it twice again to make sure no husk has found a way into the coconut milk. (This is a tedious process and I had to take the company of my husband's cell phone with its songs to be able to complete it properly!)

Add the sugar to the coconut milk. Mix it well. Keep stirring till all the sugar is completely dissolved. Start whipping. Add the egg yolks one by one. Mix the first completely and only then add the other yolk. Once all the yolks are used up, add the plain flour, nutmeg powder and 1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee and keep it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Grease the bottom of a baking tin with clarified butter. Pour a ladleful of the smooth silky and liquidy batter into the baking tin. The bottom of the baking tin should be only just covered. Push the tin in the oven and bake till the layer is slightly brown. This takes about ten minutes but the time could differ in different ovens. Pull the baking tin out of the oven, and pour a teaspoonful of ghee on the baked layer, and then pour another ladleful of the the batter on the first layer. Keep doing this till all the batter is used up and you have about five to seven thin layers.

Cool the cake in the tin for a while, and then remove it on a tray and chill in the refrigerator.

Serve chilled!

Happy Cooking Patrao!

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