Ongol-ongol is a traditional Indonesian cake. It has a slightly chewy texture, a sweet fragrant aroma, and we always serve it with grated coconut.
If this is your first time trying an ongol-ongol, you may find that the texture is very different than a typical baked cake using flour, butter, egg, and sugar.
If, on the other hand, you are familiar with Malaysian kuih or other Indonesian traditional steamed cakes, then you won’t be surprised by the texture when you take a bite. 🙂
If you live near an Asian grocery store, it should be easy to find all the necessary ingredients to prepare this simple and lovely cake. I also think this is a nice introduction to Indonesian more traditional cakes/snacks. 🙂
Ingredients for Indonesian steamed cassava cake
1. Grated cassava
I usually get a packet of frozen grated cassava. A one-pound (450 gram) packet is the perfect amount to make this cake.
If you get fresh cassava, you can peel and grate the root. I choose to use frozen grated cassava since this makes the recipe easier to tackle.
2. Coconut milk
Please use canned coconut milk and not boxed coconut milk. In the US, boxed coconut milk is thinner than canned coconut milk, and the viscosity is closer to fresh milk.
3. Agar powder
You will need a 7-gram pouch of agar powder for this recipe. I prefer to get a small bottle of agar powder that I can use for multiple recipes.
4. Grated coconut
You should be able to find packets of frozen grated coconut in a well-stocked Asian market. You can also buy a fresh mature coconut, crack it open, and grate its flesh.
If you live in Indonesia or other Asian countries, you can buy a fresh mature coconut from a market and has the seller open and grate it for you. 🙂
We use pandan leaves to impart their lovely fragrance to the grated coconut. If you can’t find any, it is okay to omit this, and your grated coconut will still have a fresh coconut aroma.
6. Sugar, salt, and vanilla
Prepare and steam the cassava cake
Prepare a steamer big enough to fit an 8-inch round pan. Fill the steamer pot with enough water for an hour of steaming, and start boiling the water while preparing the cake batter over medium heat.
Stir grated cassava, coconut milk, vanilla, agar powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
Once the steamer is ready – the water is boiling, and there is plenty of steam – place the pan in the steamer and steam the cake for 50-60 minutes.
Remove the cake from the steamer and set it aside to cool and firm up. You can chill the cake in the fridge to cool it faster.
Prepare and steam grated coconut
I highly suggest steaming the grated coconut on the day you plan to serve the cake since the grated coconut usually spoils faster than the cake itself.
Mix grated coconut with salt in a steam-proof bowl, top with knotted pandan leave, and steam for 15 minutes.
Serving the cake
There are two ways to serve this cake:
Cut the cake into small half-inch pieces, place in a mixing bowl, add the grated coconut, and toss to coat the cakes evenly.
Cut the cake into 2-inch pieces, arrange them on a serving tray/platter, and sprinkle the top with grated coconut.
Option 1 is more suitable for daily snacking or informal gatherings, and option 2 is better when you want a lovelier presentation. The cassava cakes will be delicious regardless of how you present them.
Make a layered cassava cake
You can turn this cake into a three-layer cake, with a different color for each layer, typically red, green, and yellow (plain). We call this a kue lapis singkong (layered cassava cake).
I suggest going with a 6-inch round pan if you want to turn this into a layer cake. The layers will be too thin in an 8-inch round pan.
To make the layered look, divide the batter into three portions. Add a drop of red food coloring to one batter, add a drop of green food coloring to another batter, and leave the third batter plain.
Pour the first batter into the cake pan and steam for 15 minutes to get the first layer. Pour the second batter over the first layer and steam for another 15 minutes. Finally, pour the third portion to create the final layer and steam for 20 minutes.
Untuk info lebih lanjut,