On a snowy day, I chanced upon Bibikan, a Sri Lankan Coconut Cake, in one of my chat groups (of engineers, but endearingly eclectic). Snowbound, I quickly adapted the bibikan to my pantry ingredients- no, I did not have fresh coconut nor kithul treacle nor …
I deviate significantly, but the makeover is stunningly delicious. Topped with berries and rum, it’s a keeper. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut + 4 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or, to taste)
- Flour: 3/4 cup fine bulgur + 3/4 cup coconut flour (or almond flour)
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- Aromatics: 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon powder, cardamom powder; 1/4 tsp clove powder
- Leavening: 3/4 tsp baking powder
- Seasoning: dash salt + 1 tbsp White balsamic (optional)
- Fruits & nuts (chopped, measuring 1 cup): dried figs + dried mulberries + walnuts + macadamia nuts
- Topping: maple syrup, berries and black cherry rum
Toast the desiccated coconut lightly, add about a quarter cup of coconut milk to moisten and then add the coconut palm sugar and mix thoroughly on low heat for 2-3 mins.
Toast the fine bulgur till fragrant, then gradually add a about a quarter cup coconut milk, cover and cook on low heat or a few minutes. Repeat this using up all the coconut milk till the bulgar is no longer gritty (taste it as you go). You may have to use additionally 1/4-1/2 cup water.
Mix in all the ingredients -except the toppings-, place in a baking pot, decorate with macadamia nuts, cover and bake for 40 mins at 350 F. Let cool on wire rack.
Serve cold with the toppings.
NOTES, HINTS, TIPS:
- Adjust the sweetening to your taste. Mine is on the low side, but I do kick it up with some maple syrup as topping.
- The coconut flour can be replaced by almond flour or any other interesting grain flour. The bulgur gives it softness and body.
- Bulgur is lightly pre-steamed cracked wheat. Sooji is a good substitute.
- Indeed, you can use any other dried fruits and nuts of your choice. I keep it to just one cup to avoid a very chewy texture.
- I used an oven-proof French Bean pot– so I did not have to line the pan. I bake this covered to keep it moist.
- With all the coconut, it is surprisingly not overwhelming. The berries and rum complement it well.
- Coconut Bulgur Breakfast Porridge: Yet another delicious incarnation.
Toast the coconut and mix in the sweetner. Toast the bulgur till fragrant. Then directly in the baking pot, mix all the ingredients –except topping– with a wire whisk adding 12 oz water. The mixture will be thin– the bulgur thickens when cooked. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.