I am so craving for some rice cake now, you can’t blame me as I haven’t tried them for quite sometime and now is the payback time. Just imagine I grew up with rice cakes as a part of my daily life as my grandparent always prepare them for merienda (tea time) then in the last 10 years I do barely taste this traditional treats.
So what is biko? It’s a rice cake made out of glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and palm sugar then topped with caramel, latik (a type of reduced coconut milk) or both. It is one of the popular rice cakes in Philippines and usually prepared during special occasions such as family gatherings, parties, holiday season and fiestas.
Compared to other rice cake recipes, you need a bit of patience here but not that much compared to some other intricate rice cakes or traditional treats such as sapin sapin, ube halaya or yema. With this recipe you will constantly stir the rice for around 20 minutes to prevent it from sticking in the pot, then bake it, while waiting for its initial baking procedure you have to create the top layer by again constantly the mixing ingredients until it thickens then pour on top and finalize it by baking further. If you notice the ingredients listed below, this rice cake will lean more on the sweeter side compared to the other ones I posted so you have to be a sweet tooth to enjoy this otherwise you can adjust the sugar levels according to your liking. Now here’s my recipe.
In a pot combine all rice cake ingredients apart from the banana leaves, bring it to a boil while constantly stirring, then continue simmer while constantly stirring for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is fully absorbed by the rice.
Line a rectangular dish (11 x 7 x 2 in) with banana leaves then pour the cooked rice mixture, flatten and distribute evenly across the dish.
On a sauce pan over combine the coconut milk and palm sugar, cook in medium heat wilt constantly stirring until the liquid has reduced in half.
Pour and spread the topping evenly into the rice mixture and bake on a 180C pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes.