It's 20 days to go before Christmas and its 11 days to go before the much awaited "Simbang Gabi" or dawn mass. But what actually Pinoy here in the Philippines enjoy after every mass attended? It's the ever-loved Bibingka! A truly Pinoy Christmas is never complete until you’ve walked home on a frigid morning after dawn mass and stopped to sample a warm bibingka from a small stall by the road.
Known as the source of the best bibingka in the country, Mandaue City is also the home of many ingenious bakers who have taken this delicacy and given it a delicious twist. Some make it with grated keso de bola on top, others with a later of salted egg, and still others with a generous heaping of grated coconut and muscovado sugar. But one thing stays the same–all Mandaue bibingka are cooked in the classic “inurno” style. The batter is made of rice flour, coconut milk, yeast, and sugar. The micture is then baked to perfection in a terra cotta container. Red-hot coals placed above and below heat the batter through until it is fluffy, moist, and delicious, with a dark brown crust on top. It is this unique method of cooking, and the smoke from the coals, that gives bibingka its distinctive flavor.
Last November 18, 2011, SM Hypermarket kicked off the holidays in Cebu by holding a festival for bibingka makers. Its Supersized competition paid tribute to the many variants of the basic recipe and challenged chefs from all over to create the tastiest bibingka, and to serve up as many plates of it as they can.
Photo Credit: justnewsprint.blogspot.com