Easy Rice Cooker Biko (Bibingka) Recipe – Filipino Rice Cake

Growing up, we called it “bibingka”, which loosely, means describes a rice cake.  The filipino rice cake can be made with various ingredients in different styles such as rice flour, corn, cassava (my mom’s specialty!), etc.  I learned the term “Biko” later on in life from Philippine born friends from other areas in the archipelago (I was born and raised in the states), describing the rice cake made with sweet rice and caramelized brown sugar.

SIMPLE is best: glutinous rice, water, sugar, coconut milk (and a pinch of salt)

**Note: glutinous rice aka sticky rice aka mochigome – this is not regular rice!
It is a particular short grain rice that requires soaking before cooking.   
I try to find Sho Chiku Bai brand premium sweet rice, if not, I will get some from a Thai grocery store.  I’m making this for a work potluck tomorrow.  My technique utilizes the rice cooker to make things as easy as possible for this busy girl…  I also use less sugar than originally called for and if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add macapuno strings (young coconut) to the brown sugar coconut caramel glaze (which is also really sweet already).  You can find this is a jar in a Filipino or asian grocery.  For the rice cake itself, I use raw sugar.  For the topping, I like to use brown sugar if I have any on hand for a deeper molasses flavor and color. 

classic style biko made with dark brown sugar

I made this one last night with raw organic sugar hence the lighter color. I also mixed in macapuno strings into the glaze, and added even more on top after it was baked for more sweetness

RICE CAKE INGREDIENTS:
2 cups glutinous rice
3 cups of water
1/2 can coconut milk
1/3-2/3 cup sugar (you can use white sugar, raw organic turbinado sugar, or brown sugar)
Pinch of salt to taste

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:
1/3-2/3 cup sugar (you can use white sugar, raw organic turbinado sugar, or brown sugar)
1/2 can coconut milk
Pinch of salt to taste
Optional: macapuno strings, toasted coconut

METHOD:
+ Place rice and water in a rice cooker and soak for a few hours to overnight (I do this the night before or in the morning before work).
+ Mix in half the can of coconut milk and the sugar (more or less depending on desired sweetness).  Add a little bit of salt to balance the flavor.
+ Turn on rice cooker in COOK mode.
+ Grease a 9×13 pan (smaller pan for a thicker cake, I use coconut oil to grease the pan).  If you want to add a super authentic touch, line the pan with a banana leaf.  
+ Pour cooked the rice into the prepared baking dish and even it out.
+ Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
+ In a small saucepan, combine the remaining coconut milk and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt to taste.  Add macapuno strings if you’re feeling fancy.   
+ Pour the topping evenly over the rice in the pan and bake until topping has thickened (about 25 minutes).
+  Cool completely before cutting.

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