Its 2 weeks to Christmas and you can feel the excitement and expectations of the holidays. I wanted to share this recipe specially since everyone is looking for christmas sweet ideas and if you are looking for one, then Bebinca will definitely not disappoint.
Bebinca is a very popular Christmas sweet that you find in every households along with some more staple sweets made during the holidays in Goa. It’s a labor of love and patience but the end result of this beautifully multi-layer dessert made with coconut milk, eggs, flour, sugar, butter and nutmeg, is worth every bit of the effort. A similar named sweet made in the Philippines is called Bibingka and is made with rice flour, coconut milk, eggs, sugar and milk and is baked in a banana leaf.
Based on my recipe measurement you will need a round bake ware 9×4 pan. Please do not use the bottom pop out pan as I tried to put the batter in it thinking it would be easier to take out the Bebinca once’s done but the batter started to drip out of the pan as it is thinner than a cake batter.
Ingredients for Dark Brown color for half the batter (optional)
3 tbsp of sugar
4 1/2 tbsp of water.
* In a small sauce pan add the sugar and 1/2 tbsp of water. Let the sugar burn till it turns nice and dark brown.
* Take off heat add the remaining water into it carefully, stir till you get a nice dark liquid about 4 tbsp of it as shown above and keep aside.
Ingredients for Bebinca batter
3 cans of coconut milk
2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour ( please do not use self-raising flour)
18 egg yolks
2 pinches of salt
1 stick of cold salted butter ( you will use about 2/3rd the amount)
1 1/2 tsp of nutmeg powder
3 tbsp of slivered almonds for garnishing (optional)
* Set oven to 375F degree. First sieve(sift) flour through a strainer to take off any lumps in it or dirt. Keep aside.
* In a nice large mixing bowl pour in the coconut milk, sugar and 2 pinches of salt and whisk it till the sugar is dissolved.
* Separate the yolks from the eggs and then gently add each yolk in to the mixture while gently whisking it.
* Once done add nutmeg powder and the flour slowly into the batter and whisk (I would recommend to do the whisking by hand unless otherwise).
*Divide the batter in two equal portions and add the 4 tbsp of caramelized sugar to one portion.
*Next apply a generous amount of cold butter to the bottom of the pan and pour in 1 cup of the dark batter in the pan. You will get 8 layers of this sweet from the batter.
* Bake the first layer for 20 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean (varies on your oven) so please check. It has a tendency to puff up but do not worry as long as the top layer does not start to burn you have to keep a watchful eye. Take it out of the oven and switch your broiler to high or if you don’t have a temperature setting don’t worry you will have to keep an eye while baking.
* Now rub again a generous amount of the cold butter all over the top of the first layer. Pour in 1 cup of the lighter batter and broil for 8 minutes till the 2nd layer is baked. Please keep a watchful eye as the layers are thin it can burn easily. But trust me all the work will be paid off once you take your first bite.
* Repeat the above steps 5 more times by alternating between the darker batter and lighter one. For the last layer which is the 8th layer you may have to combine the batter together for the last layer.
*Once the last layer is baked rub a little butter on the top layer. Let cool for 5-6 hours or overnight. Flip it over in a nice platter. You can decorate it with slivered almonds like I did. That is how my mum made it.
It can be kept in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. when you are ready to serve a slice you can serve it cold or slightly warmed up in the microwave for a couple of seconds. Bebinca will be one of your most favorite Christmas sweets of all time.
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