A Cassava Cake Straight From Cotobato

A cassava cake straight from Cotobato. So how did it differ from our Indang version?

whole cotobato cassava cake

The first sight obviously showed the difference. This was relatively darker. A cream looking center and a chocolate like edges. Slicing to equal parts revealed the inner portion. It was also darker. The color difference might be due to use of brown sugar like muscovado and coconut sugar, and or long and low temperature baking which caused maillard browning reaction.

It basically taste like cassava cake that I usually buy but the toppings made the difference. It was a mixture of milk and cheese. It was not too sweet. My sense of taste wasn’t able to determine the type of sugar used.

The cassava cake was made by Wiw’s Foodhaus and Refreshment.

wiw foodhouse and refreshment

The Pan Fried Cassava Cake

It was my mom’s favorite recipe when we were still kids. It is the budget and quick version of regular cassava cake, the pan fried cassava cake.  It is a great alternative if llaneras and steamer are not available, the cook is short on budget and the people around are bored of nilagang kamoteng kahoy.

pan fried cassava cakeThe ingredients are grated cassava, a little sugar and oil. Wash cassava. Remove the peels, see “How to Make Cassava Chips” for peeling instructions. Grate. Mix sugar. Get a half cup then fry on little oil. Turn both sides until both surfaces are crispy golden brown. Repeat until all mixture is consumed. A non-stick Teflon pan is recommended to prevent sticking.

It may result to different texture and appearances.

1) Crispy golden brown outside but oily soft inside. The case if too much oil was added to pan and the lump of cassava mixture was placed when the oil temperature was not hot enough or the fire was too low to compensate the sudden temperature drop.

2) Burnt. The fire was too high or the attendant leaved it in pan for too long. Perhaps watching his favorite television drama or anime. Please pay attention next time!

3) Raw center. A result of too thick cake. Cooking it longer might result to burnt surface. Thicker lumps should be cooked slowly over low fire but might result to next…

4) Tough. Cooking over a very low fire for prolonged time. It allows excessive moisture evaporation resulting to toughness.

5) Any crazy combinations of above items.

I have never tried cooking one yet so no exact parameters were provided.

How to Make Sweetened Suman Taro/Gabi

I did try the cassava suman procedure for making the taro version. The sugar and grated taro mixture was too fluid that it was flowing out of banana wrapper. I devised a procedure with a slight modification.

Here it goes…

1) Get taro corms. Avoid corms with grown shoots or cut apex. Corms with apex removed probably had grown shoots too. Those are not recommended for cooking purposes.

2) Wash to remove adhering soils and dirt. Peel off the skin and immediately soak in water to remove latex and prevent browning.

3) Grate on stainless steel grater. Weigh. Mix one part sugar for every two parts grated gabi. Adjust ratio according to taste preference.

4) modification comes here: Place the mixture in pan over a low heat. Stir continuously until a jam consistency is attained.

5) Get banana leaves, should be young, whole or with few teared parts. Softened it by heating gently over flame. Cut to desired sizes.

6) Wrap portions in banana leaves. Scoop out mixture. Place on banana leaf. Roll. Then fold all four sides to close.

7) Arrange neatly in casserole. Half fill with water. Place weight on top to prevent bulging of banana wraps. Boil for 30 minutes or until done.

Boiling suman directly in boiling water never did well. Taro gelatinization was slow that it allowed water to break through. Only the superficial layer was hardened. The inner part remained soft due to water absorption.

Corrections made:

Proceed to step “5 & 6” after step “3”. Arrange in a double boiler and steam for 30 minutes.

Or

After step “3”, place the mixture in llanera and steam for 30 minutes or until a consistency similar to taro cake is achieved.  Proceed to step “5 and onward”. In step “7”, 15 minutes boiling is enough.

————

As suggested by dennis. Thanks to you friend!

Marvin,

Glad that you like the Taro Cake (suman na Gabi). I noticed that you only steamed it for only 30 minutes.And you did not put coconut cream (gata sa niyog). I would assume for the short steaming is your time constraint. hehehe. Antok na. This would make your taro cake more delicious and have a longer shelf life if a longer cooking/steaming has been done.

To eliminate the fluid in making the taro cake, you can do either the following:

1) after grating, place the grated taro in a clean cloth and squeeze most of the liquid (slimy fluid) or

2) sun dry it for several hours.(I would like to try total sundrying to attain the powder form – for purposes of storing). Maybe you can experiment on it too Marvin and post the end result.

In this way you eliminate most if not all the liquid or moisture content of the grated taro.

Best to use as sweetener is granulated sugar. But also good to use coco honey/syrup for diabetic individuals, though, you will not attain the consistency of dryness in wrapping.

Again, you can try it some other time at balitaan mo ako.

Thanks,

Dennis

The Taro/Gabi Cake

Dennis told me, a suman made of taro tastes good. I tried figuring out how it’s made. Maybe a procedure similar to regular rice cake or a method of cassava suman.

Cassava suman. A piece of nilaib banana leaf is rolled to form a tube. The tube is then held vertically. Bottom end is closed by folding. Filled with a mixture of grated cassava and sugar. Again, the top is closed by folding the leaf. Several filled tubes are arranged in  a cooking vessel. Half filled with water then boiled until cooked.

nilaib – pass over a flame shortly to give a soft texture.

I decided to follow the cassava suman. I guessed it was more appropriate cause they are both root crop. Peeled gabi and washed it thoroughly. Added 250 grams sugar in 560 grams grated taro. Sugar was added gradually until it reached the acceptable sweetness. It was acceptable at 250 grams. Mixed it thoroughly and tried the above mentioned cassava suman procedure.

While packing, I noticed the solution was too fluid. It was oozing out from banana leaves. Adding cornstarch absorbs some water and gives a dough like consistency. Partially cooking it in pan might also solved it. Starch will undergo slight gelatinization giving more solid texture. However, it was getting late and I was getting sleepy. Instead, I transferred the mixture in llanera and steamed it for 30 minutes.

taro cake

It was great. The original taro taste, sweet and slightly milky.

Tips to prevent browning reaction:

Peel the taro thicker. Browning reaction was more intense on outer part near the peel.

Refrigerate before grating. Cold temperature seems slowing down the reaction.

Grate fast and mix sugar immediately.