Last week, I rediscovered a dessert.
We were attending a party at my aunt’s, celebrating my nephew’s 13th birthday party. We were about to leave when my aunt told me that I should wait for the second dessert, which was being baked in the oven. It is wingko babat. Years ago, I have tasted wingko babat. I remembered the taste quite well although I haven’t eaten it for at least 10 years (it is amazing how our memory of tastes is very sharp, isn’t it?). I was not fond of it, in my memory it was dry and rubbery, and this was also the reason that I didn’t made an effort to find it.
We waited, and finally the wingko babat was ready. Without waiting until it completely cooled down, my aunt cut it into small pieces and served it. I had low expectations … but this wingko babat was actually really nice. It was soft and chewy, and the coconut mixture just melt in your mouth. And it was also not overly sweet. Lrrr could not have enough of it. As you can see here, it was so soft that you cannot make neat pieces. Just before somebody grabbed the last piece, I took its picture with my iPhone.
What is this wingko babat, anyway? It is basically a mixture of grated coconut, eggs, and glutinous rice flour, baked or roasted on charcoal. It can be found in parts of Central and East Java, and the most popular one, the one that was dry and rubbery, comes from Semarang. The aroma of the baked coconut dominates the taste, and the glutinous rice flour should stick the coconut together.
Some guests went to my aunt and ask for the recipe, me included. She wrote it down in a little piece of paper, in a mixed Indonesian-Dutch language. And in case you are guessing, she did not learn it from her great-great-great grandmother. She got it from an Indonesian lady who owns an Asian shop nearby.
I have not made any plans to make this wingko babat soon. However, keeping a little piece of paper is risky. I don’t want to lose the recipe, and a personal blog is also a place where you could keep your personal things. So, here it is.
Wingko Babat, a coconut based soft cake
2 cups glutinous rice flour
2 cups grated, desiccated coconut. Fresh grated coconut can be used, but the desiccated one gives a richer taste.
around 16 g of vanilla sugar (I guess this can easily be substituted with around 15 g of sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract)
1 large or 2 small eggs (+1 egg white)
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups water
1 egg yolk, whisked, to use as a wash
Heat the oven at 150 oC. Line a rectangular form with parchment paper. Do not put any grease on the paper or form. Mix all ingredients. Pour the dough into the form. The thickness of the dough should be around 2 cm. Bake at 150 oC for 30 – 40 minutes. Brush the egg yolk on the surface. Put the cake back into the oven. Again, bake the wingko babat at 150 oC for 30 – 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, let to cool a bit, cut to small pieces of around 3 x 5 cm, and if possible, serve warm.