One of the numerous Filipino desserts we enjoyed over the holidays is this rice cake snack made with just 5 ingredients. I remember enjoying these with my maternal grandmother during our weekend wet market shopping dates when I was still a child. We’d get up at 4:00 am so we can be at the market before 6:00 am to buy fresh produce, chicken, beef and whatever else was the special that day. The first thing we did was have breakfast at the snack or “kakanin” section. Rows and rows of cakes, rice muffins and bread in all shapes, flavors and sizes. We’d have rice cakes and ginger tea. That was enough for me to endure hours and hours of checking out meat carcass and poultry afterwards and identifying leafy greens that look like weeds!
My paternal grandmother, on the other hand, was a genius in the kitchen. I swear I don’t even recognize half of the ingredients she uses to make wonderful dishes. I learned how to make this kutsinta from her by watching. No muffin pans or molds, just a bamboo tray (bilao) lined with banana leaves. Although I enjoyed buying and eating them from vendors when I was a child, it is equally satisfying for me to make them at home and share them with friends who come over to visit.
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp lye water
- freshly grated coconut for garnish
- Prepare steamer.
- Combine all the ingredients, except grated coconut, in a bowl and mix well. Pour mixture into muffin pans, until halfway full.
- Cover and steam for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Top with freshly grated coconut and serve warm or cold.
Notes: This recipe made a little over 12 regular sized muffins. You might be able to make more or less depending on how much batter you pour into the individual pans.