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7 Creative Ways to Elevate Traditional Cassava Cake

7 Creative Ways to Elevate Traditional Cassava Cake
You can steam cassava cake if you don’t own an oven.

Do you know how easy it is to make cassava cake? You only need six ingredients: the grated root crop, eggs, butter, coconut milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Mix everything until smooth, pour into a greased dish, and bake or steam. This basic cassava cake recipe is ready in 45 minutes!

But why stop there? Dressing up the traditional kakanin is just as uncomplicated. You can stick with the usual topping of gata, eggs, and condensed milk, but you can also level up with other pantry staples. Here are creative ways to add pizzazz to the classic treat, perfect for your next handaan! And, yes, these ideas work with ready-made cake – in case you’re in a rush to serve something fun and exciting to your guests.

1. Top With Leche Flan and Ube Ice Cream

Leche flan can transform plain cassava cake into an extra special dessert.

Customarily, cassava cake forms a thin caramelized custard crust when you broil the cake briefly. But if you want to up its creaminess, you can skip this standard topping in favor of leche flan. Try this: pour the raw flan mixture over a half-baked cake, then continue steaming or baking until the custard is no longer jiggly. For a fun twist, serve your kakanin with scoops of Selecta Super Thick Ube Royale Ice Cream and toasted pinipig.

2. Boost the Flavor With Macapuno

Add more coconutty goodness to your kakanin with macapuno.

Give your kakanin an upgrade in the flavor department with the help of macapuno. You can do this in several ways. When making the cake from scratch, fold sweetened coconut strings into the base before baking. Tip: replace some of the condensed milk with the macapuno syrup for more coconutty goodness. Alternatively, incorporate the strips into the custard topping, then broil as usual. The last option is to serve the dessert topped with macapuno balls for a quick upgrade.

3. Mix in Parmesan Cheese

Use freshly grated Parmesan to add richness to cassava cake.

Want to give your cake an indulgent twist? Take a leaf out of chef Margarita Forés’ book and elevate your kakanin with a savory ingredient. She skips the usual shredded processed cheese and opts for the more complex profile of Parmesan to finish the dish. Follow suit by sprinkling (or freshly grating!) the hard, sharp cheese over your custard topping before broiling. To keep it from burning and turning bitter, make sure to cover your pan with aluminum foil.

4. Keep it Simple With Jam

Pair the cake with sweet spreads you can find in your pantry.

A quick hack to enhance run-of-the-mill cassava is to drizzle it with coco jam. Sure, you can buy a bottle of the spread easily, but where’s the fun in that? Make your own latik by simmering coconut cream and brown sugar until thick. You can even flavor this base with grated tablea, pandan extract, or chopped pili nuts.

Besides coconut jam, experiment with fruity spreads made of strawberry, guava, or grape. Or how about salted caramel? For a nuttier profile, go for a choco-hazelnut spread or chunky peanut butter.

5. Garnish With Salted Eggs

Umami-fy your sticky native cake with salted egg slices.

Sweet and savory combos are the power couple in the culinary scene. Few people can resist this pairing, so why not introduce it to your cassava cake? Lend a dose of umami to the otherwise sweet kakanin with salted duck eggs. You can fold chopped itlog na maalat into the uncooked mixture or over the custard. Or slice the eggs thinly and serve as garnish like in the classic bibingka.

6. Enjoy it With Fresh Mangoes

You can’t go wrong with pairing native cakes with ripe mangoes.

Do you have guests you want to impress instantly with your merienda fare? Success is within reach even without knowing how to cook cassava cake from scratch. When nobody is looking, dress up pre-made cassava with fresh slices of ripe mangoes. Take the treat further and serve it with a sweetened coconut sauce à la Thai mango sticky rice.

7. Make Cassava con Tsokolate

Have you tried making hot chocolate using Batangas tablea?

Who can ever resist chocolatey desserts? Fans of churros dipped in thick cocoa will enjoy this cassava crossover. Make classic tsokolate by melting tablea with heavy cream and sugar. Pour mixture into cups, then serve with freshly toasted cassava slices. Invite diners to dip the kakanin into the hot chocolate for an extra luscious experience.

Upgrading a basic cassava cake is a breeze. But when creativity escapes you, turn to these simple yet satisfying ideas to elevate your dessert or merienda. Which one are you excited to try first?

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