DISHING UP THE HOLIDAYS: Margarita “Marge” Manzke’s bibingka cake

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Marge takes a quick break from bread making.
Marge takes a quick break from bread making.

Every Monday for the next several weeks, we’re talking with a range of people — from restaurant chefs to home cooks —

about holiday food traditions from different communities throughout Southern California. It’s a series we’re calling “Dishing Up the Holidays.” So far we’ve heard about chile roasted turkeymac and cheeselatkes and Galette des Rois.

This week we bite into bibingka!

Margarita Manzke — better known as Marge — is the pastry chef and co-owner of the L.A.

restaurant Republique.  She spends her days making croissants, sticky buns, and other mouth-watering pastries, along with fresh-baked breads.  But she says when it comes to the holidays, she misses a rice cake known as bibingka that she used to eat, growing up in the Philippines.

Credit: Kguirnela/CC

Bibingka (Filipino rice cake)—from Marge Manske

 1 cup rice flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup coconut milk

¼ cup fresh milk

1 piece salted duck egg, sliced

3 pieces raw eggs

Pre-cut fresh banana leaf

Grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the rice flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Set aside. Cream butter, then gradually add sugar while whisking. Add the eggs. Then whisk until ever ingredient is well incorporated. Gradually add the rice flour, salt, and baking powder mixture. Pour in the coconut milk and fresh milk and whisk for another one to two minutes.

Line a cake pan or baking pan with the pre-cut banana leaves. Pour the cake batter into the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and top it with sliced, salted duck egg and grated cheese. Return the cake to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top turns a medium brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.  Brush the cake with butter and sprinkle some sugar on top. You can also top with grated coconut. Serves 4 to 5.