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Sunday, March 1, 2009

And now for something a little different... Tapioca Cake

At our annual Chinese New Year's dinner, my aunt’s Malaysian Chinese friend made this delicious tapioca cake as known as kuih ubi kaiyu. Judging from the empty platter at the end of the night, her cake was wildly popular.
I inhaled several squares of this soft pillowy cake and realized what all the fuss was about. The cake isn’t airy and light like a sponge cake, it is dense and compact. Its light and delicate flavour (moistened by the addition of coconut milk and eggs) makes this cake perfect for an afternoon tea. It possesses the faint grainy texture of a cornmeal or semolina cake but also the smooth, creaminess of a tapioca pudding. If you leave it in the oven to bake a little longer, it develops a golden caramelly crust and a smoother, chewy texture reminiscent of Japanese mochi desserts (rice flour based desserts.) Personally, I prefer the wobbly but grainy texture but the choice is yours. I reduced the sugar from the original recipe (1 package of cassava, 1 c sugar, 1 c coconut milk, 1 egg and 1 pinch of salt) and added an additional egg to heighten the flavour of the eggy custard.

I wished I had discovered this cake sooner. It literally takes 2 minutes to put together (literally seconds) and is, without hyperbole, the simplest cake I have ever made (even with non-baker’s hands like mine.)

1 lb finely grated tapioca (cassava*), defrosted from frozen
2 eggs
1 c low-fat coconut milk
¾ c granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
Plus butter for the pan and parchment paper

*grated cassava/tapioca may be found in the freezer section of Asian grocery stores

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of a square baking dish with parchment paper and butter  baking dish and parchment paper.
2. Mix tapioca with 2 eggs, coconut milk, sugar and salt together.
3. Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for approximately 30 minutes until the sides start to brown and the center is no longer wobbly.
4. Cool slightly and cut into squares and serve.

Best if eaten the day it is made.


P. said...

This sounds fantastic. A friend of mine made something that sounds similar but it is Filipino I think. Anyway, anything mochi-rice-cake-like I love love love. Thanks for the recipe!

anna said...

What the?
This recipe is so simple! I've seen a few before, but they always involve some kind of ingredients I never even heard of. Thank you for the recipe! I'm going to try this out asap.

Tangled Noodle said...

Love it! I usually get my tapioca/cassava cake at the Vietnamese restaurant but have been wanting to make it myself. It's actually one of my huband's favorites. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

ICook4Fun said...

We called this baked Tapioca Cake "Binka Ubi Kayu' It can be steam too if you like a softer texture.

Eve said...

I just tried it n it's absolutely yummy n so easy to make! I did reduce the amount of sugar to between 1/2 and 2/3 cup n it was just sweet enough for me. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I like to add in a tbsp of butter. Makes it smell even yummier!

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