January 20, 2006
This popular cake may be served as a dessert. It uses grated cassava or yucca, which is probably the more familiar term for it. Frozen grated cassava is available in most Philippine or Oriental groceries here in the US. But back in Manila, I remember grating the boiled yucca ourselves, which was a real challenge. Using the frozen kind and defrosting it in the microwave makes it so convenient. It's considered a rich cake with coconut milk and condensed milk in the mixture but it's not very sweet. The topping is a mixture of coconut and condensed milk, poured on the baked cake, then broiled for a few minutes. Another popular merienda or snack using the grated cassava is the pichi-pichi, which are small portions of cooked grated cassava rolled in fresh grated coconut. Sometimes these come in pastel colors and are a standard dessert in gatherings and parties. They're also commonly sold in markets in the Philippines along with the puto, cuchinta ( a glutinous rice cake ) and other local meriendas or snacks.