Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Bingka Labu – Kabocha Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cake Recipe

Ingredients to prepare bingka labu – Indonesian kabocha pumpkin and coconut milk cake.

Indonesian bingka is a magical cake where the cake batter transforms itself during baking into two parts, an outer crust, and an inner custardy portion.

Imagine a pie, if you will, with no need to separately prepare the pie dough, and the pie filling. With one bingka batter, you will get the pie filling and the pie dough in one go!

And just like pie, bingka comes in many variations: sweet potato, cassava, potato, pumpkin, and so on. Since I have some kabocha pumpkins that needs to be used up, let’s bake some bingka labu (Indonesian kabocha pumpkin and coconut milk cake)!

Bingka labu batter, poured into an 8 inch round pan, garnished with sesame seeds, and ready to be baked.

Bingka labu batter, poured into an 8 inch round pan, garnished with sesame seeds, and ready to be baked.

What you need to prepare bingka labu

A bingka cake does’t require a lot of ingredients. You only need:

  • kabocha pumpkin flesh, to be steamed and mashed
  • all-purpose flour
  • coconut milk
  • coconut oil (or melted unsalted butter)
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • salt
  • toasted black and white sesame seeds, for garnish and totally optional
Bingka labu, just out from the oven.

Bingka labu, just out from the oven.

Which pan size to choose

For this recipe, I choose to use an 8-inch round cake pan. For this bingka labu recipe, you can choose from four different cake pans, so hopefully you already have one of these at home:

  1. a 7-inch square cake pan
  2. an 8-inch round cake pan
  3. an 8-inch square cake pan
  4. a 9-inch round cake pan

If you choose option 1 or 2, your baking time is 60-75 minutes, or exactly as written in the recipe.

For option 3 or 4, your baking time is only 45-60 minutes, but your will end up with a shorter cake.

Bingka labu, cooled to room temperature, and cut into serving slices.

Bingka labu, cooled to room temperature, and cut into serving slices.

Wait until the bingka is completely cool before cutting and serving

The only visual indication you get that your bingka is properly baked is from the crust that has developed while baking. Once you see that a uniform crust has developed and the color of that crust is golden brown, your bingka is probably done.

The center of the cake will remain very soft and custardy when the cake is hot, especially so when it is just out from the oven, so you need to be patient and let the cake cool completely in the pan.

Once the cake is at room temperature, gently remove the cake from the pan, and cut into serving slices. You should notice that the kabocha pumpkin center is firm, or very close to firm, with no leak.

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Kabocha Pumpkin Yokan Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

(1) Ingredients for kabocha yokan: kabocha, agar-agar powder, and sugar. (2) Mashed kabocha and boiled agar-agar. (3) Kabocha yokan mixture from mashed kabocha and boiled agar-agar. (4) Kabocha yokan poured into a loaf pan to set.

Do you know that kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) is sweeter than your average pumpkin, even sweeter than butternut squash, and therefore, perfect to be turned into sweet treats? One of my favorite wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) is yokan, and today we’ll be making some kabocha pumpkin yokan. 🙂

What is yokan?

Yokan (羊羹) is one type of Japanese traditional confectionery/sweets (wagashi) made from a paste, agar-agar, and sugar. Most yokans are sold in a block and then cut into small slices/cubes to be enjoyed.

Some of the popular ingredients in Japanese yokan:

  • red bean/azuki (小豆). This is the most common yokan you will find in Japan. Most often added into yokan as red bean paste, though some yokan also contain sweetened whole beans. I have previously shared my recipe for mizu yokan
  • white bean (白いんげん豆). Probably the second most popular yokan ingredient. This will naturally have a white color and is the reason why many flavorings are added to this, such as green tea (緑茶, or 抹茶), black tea (紅茶), coffee, and even white miso (白みそ).
  • chestnut (栗). Mostly scattered into red bean yokan.
  • sweet potato (サツマイモ)
  • pumpkin/kabocha (カボチャ)
  • persimmon (柿)

As you can surmise from the ingredients, yokan is vegan-friendly, and completely gluten-free too. So this is a perfect treat that almost everyone can enjoy. 🙂

A loaf of kabocha pumpkin yokan.

A loaf of kabocha pumpkin yokan.

What are the ingredients for a kabocha pumpkin yokan?

You will need:

  • 500 gram kabocha pumpkin meat
  • 1 teaspoon agar-agar powder. I use Now Food agar powder.
  • 100 gram (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

If you need help to prepare a whole kabocha pumpkin, please read my detailed guide from this simmered kabocha in shio koji article.

Cut fully set kabocha yokan into serving slices.

Cut fully set kabocha yokan into serving slices.

How to prepare yokan?

1. Kabocha puree.

First, steam kabocha meat until soft enough to be mashed. Use a fork, or a food processor, to turn the steamed kabocha into kabocha puree.

2. Prepare agar-agar.

Boil together water and agar-agar in a small pot, then add sugar and salt and boil until sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Mix kabocha with agar.

Remove the pot from heat, then stir in kabocha puree into the agar-agar mixture until smooth.

4. Let the yokan set.

Pour the mixture into a loaf pan (I use an 8″x4″ loaf pan), use a spatula to smooth the mixture, and then chill in the fridge until set. About 1 hour.

Slices of kabocha yokan. Yokan is the perfect healthy treat for a cup of Japanese hot tea.

Slices of kabocha yokan. Yokan is the perfect healthy treat for a cup of Japanese hot tea.

Serving yokan

When you want to serve the yokan, gently run a thin blade around the loaf pan to loosen the yokan, then cover the pan with a plate and flip. The yokan become loose and drop on the plate.

I cut one loaf of yokan into 16 pieces, and serve each person with a hot cup of tea and two pieces of yokan.

Any leftover yokan can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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