Wingko Babat – Sticky Rice Snack

This is wingko babat; a gluten-free rice snack from the north coast of Java, I learn online (here is nice post about it). Originally, wingko babat comes from Lamongan, East Java.

When I was a child I had tasted this cake once, but never thought of it again. Until a friend came to surprise me with his homemade wingko babat when I gave a cooking demonstration at the Amsterdam ‘Huishoudbeurs’. This recipe I had to have! And this dear friend mailed me his way of making a wingko babat right away. Trims!

Oil
I have followed the steps and ingredients of the recipe as much as possible and converted the measurements into grams. In the original recipe ‘a dash of oil’ is added, but I leave it out because I already use full fat butter. If you like to add a tablespoon of oil, go a head. It will make the cake more juicy and chewy.  

Types of recipes
A wingko babat comes in many forms. You see them round, baked in a pan like a thick cake, or cut into cubes out of an oven baked wingko babat. The recipes are quite different but always contain sticky rice flour and sugar.

Earlier I’ve made a light version of wingko babat cake with pandan; without butter or coconut milk.

Wingko Babat with pandan and without coconut milk

Christmas version
But today I’m making a real Christmas version. This wingko babat recipe includes butter, coconut milk, and an egg. Because of the egg the cake rises a little bit in the oven and becomes crunchy from above and sticky, soft on the inside.

A wingko babat is 100% gluten-free, because it is made from ketan flour: sticky rice flour.

This cake is enough for 8 people and ready in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 400 ml of coconut milk
  • 400 grams of white caster sugar
  • 250 grams of ketan flour (sticky rice flour)
  • 100 grams of grated coconut
  • 50 grams of full fat butter
  • 2 sachets of vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  1. Melt the butter on low heat
  2. Mix the egg well (5 minutes)
  3. Add the vanilla and caster sugar
  4. Add the coconut milk and salt
  5. Use a spatula to mix in the rice flour gently, in three batches
  6. Do the same with the grated coconut
  7. Pour into baking dish covered with baking paper
  8. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on the top
  9. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius

Do not get me wrong: this is a very heavy cake. You cut (at least I do) neat cubes or strips off the cake. I keep the bites small and mouth sized. 

Less sugar
A less sweet wingko babat can be made easily. Just halve the amount of sugar to 200 grams and the cake is still very tasty, I know from experience.

Ketan flour
Ketan flour, also known as sticky rice flour, is made from a type of rice that contains a lot of starch, which makes the granules stick to each other.

The ketan flour is used in all kinds of Asian snacks that have to be soft, sticky and firm. In Japan, for example, mochi is made from sticky rice. The Indonesian version of mochi is klepon; green spheres filled with Javanese sugar. Ketan flour works well in cakes too. The structure becomes sticky and spongy.

klepon

Preparation
I mix the egg very well with a hand mixer. I beat the egg for at least 5 minutes. Then I add sugar and vanilla sugar and continue to mix.

In this photo I make a wingko babat with 200 grams instead of 400 grams of sugar.

Melt butter
I melt the butter and let it cool for a minute or 5 before I pour it into the batter. I like to use melted butter because it is easier to mix into the batter. 

A teaspoon of salt goes through this wingko babat. This is important, because otherwise the cake will be dull in flavor (and only sweet).

Then the coconut milk can be added and the batter becomes thin. I mix at full speed for about 1 minute.

Spatula
I now stop mixing with the machine and use a spatula to mix the flour and the grated coconut through the batter. I mix the flour in three steps. Rice flour does not form lumbs quickly, but if you add everything at once it will.

The batter is now thick and grainy (because of the coconut). It still runs off the spoon; it is like thick custard.

This I pour in my baking tin that I have covered with baking paper. 

I sprinkle some black sesame seeds over the top; to make it look fancy.

Now it’s simple: place the cake for an hour and 5 minutes in the oven at 160 degrees celsius.

A nice brown surface means that it is done. You can insert a skewer in there to see if it is done. But because of the ketan flour something will always stick to the skewer. But if it is not grainy, just a smooth and shiny residu, the cake is done. 

I let the wingko babat cool down on a cooling rack. I cut it into strips or cubes. We eat this deliciously sweet, chewy coconut snack with a pot of Chinese lapsang Souchong tea. Selamat Makan!

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