Today I am pleased to finally share one of the best cake/pudding/desserts from the small Indian Coastline state, Goa. It’s is called Bebinca – which is a spiced layered cake with Coconut milk. The first time I was introduced to this delicacy was of course around Christmas time in Goa. Folks here mostly prepare it during advent but since this sweet treat has gained massive popularity among the people in this world, local brands have been selling it also during the year.
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That means that you can make it anytime in the year, you don’t have to limit yourself. However I believe specialties should never be over indulged. In fact the more you eat something the less valuable it will appear but on the other hand if you make it only once or twice a year for a special occasion, then Bebinca for example will turn into the most wanted treat for your family. I know we humans are strange that we have to trick our minds, but that’s how it is. 😉
Anyway… Bebinca can never be made egg-less. Egg yolks are what make the bebinca a bebinca. The separated egg whites can be used for another dish such as omelette poi or macaron and meringue cookies. Adding coconut milk to the dough gives the goan cake another typical tropical feeling. The ghee creates the perfectly baked layers and adds the certain flavor we all are looking for.
The spices such as Nutmeg and Cardamom complete the bebinca in such a way that when you take a bite of the soft layered goodness, you experience something like an aha-effect and also a complete flavor harmony.
Again, to experience that you will have to get up, go into the kitchen and whip up the liquid dough. To recreate a bebinca you don’t need to be a rocket scientist as long as you understand the layered baking principle by looking at the step by step pictures in the recipe, then you will realize that it is pretty simple, and of course as long as you keep an eye on the baking bebinca.
The layers are what make the cake (or is it a pudding?) all the more special. They give a certain je ne sait quoi one would expect from a French delicacy. In fact the person who invented bebinca should have been honored as a brilliant baker for having had such a great idea. I am not exaggerating!
The recipe was adapted from my mother in law’s recipe. Thank you!
- 375 milliliter thick Coconut Milk (only do the first pressing) or 12.7oz
- 300 grams powdered Sugar 10.6oz
- 10 Egg Yolks
- 100 grams white flour (all purpose) or 3.5oz
- 1½ Teaspoon grated Nutmeg
- 1 Teaspoon Cardamom powder
- clarified butter (ghee)
- In a mixing bowl add the coconut milk and sugar. Whisk well until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Separate the eggs and place the yolks into a mixing bowl. Whisk them and then slowly pour and whisk the yolks into the coconut milk sugar mixture.
- Sieve your flour into the coconut milk batter and add the grated nutmeg and cardamom powder as well. Whisk the whole content to a smooth crepes like batter consistency without lumps.
- Grab a square or round pan (I prefer square, size of 9.5 inch length x 5 inch breadth and 2 inch deep) and add 1 tablespoon of clarified butter. Place it into the oven for a minute so that the clarified butter melts. Take out and pour about 2½ ladles into the pan. Allow it to spread evenly.
- Place into the oven and select the grill mode (not all round heat but heat from top to down) and allow it to cook for 18 minutes or until you can see the top all brown and hard. Your oven might require more or less time so keep an eye on it!
- Take it out again and spread ½ Tablespoon clarified butter all over the last layer. Then again pour in 2½ ladles full of batter and keep under the grill in the oven until it gets dark and hard (about 18 minutes). Repeat the ½ Tablespoon clarified butter and 2½ ladles of batter each time until you have used all the batter. You should be having 5-6 layers at the end.
- Remember to keep an eye on your cake so that it doesn't over cook or under cook!
- Once the last layer has cooked add ½ Tablespoon of clarified butter and let it cool.
- Once cooled, carefuly detach the borders of the cake from the mold with a knife and topple the cake carefully over.
- To serve cut thin slices and enjoy.