Tapioca or cassava is a tropical root and I believed most Singaporean and Malaysians are very familiar with this root. In fact, I grew up with this familiar childhood root.
When I was young, my parents planted some tapioca at the sides of our house. When she felt like preparing tapioca cake, she would asked my elder brothers dug out the roots, de-skinned and used a traditional grater to grate the tapioca….As grating tapioca was rather tedious and in the 1970’s when there were stores selling grated coconut for the preparation of coconut milk., she brought the de-skinned tapioca all the way to the grated coconut seller and asked for his favour to grate for her….Not many years later, coconut milk seller also started to sell grated tapioca as a side item…..
Therefore, tapioca cake is not something new to me.. I saw my late mum prepared this all the time. Just like most other traditional recipes, there were no formal record of the quantities used..However, I can remember clearly the consistency of the batter before the batter was steamed. The baked version was not common until the availability of household ovens many years later. However, there were still those who baked the cake using charcoal ovens.
If you are interested to have the steamed version of tapioca cake, you can refer to this post: My Mum’s Tapioca Cake–Steamed Tapioca Cake Or Kuih Ubi Kayu (木薯蒸糕）
In my humble opinion, this is a rather simple cake to prepare. You just need to mix and bake. However, it takes a rather long time to bake the cake depending on the size of your baking tin and some observation is needed to assess whether it is done.
Many Facebook Group members were surprised to see that the tapioca cake is smooth.. Yes it is smooth and fine because I used a blender to blend it finer and ensure even mixing. If you manually grate or using store bought grated tapioca, the texture will be slightly coarser and there are possible signs of uneven mixing. Not to discourage readers who do not have the blender and food processor, taste of course will still be the same.
The texture of this cake is definitely not hard and as you can see later the watery batter in the illustration picture. That is the type of consistency that I remembered when I saw my late mum prepared it. Unlike other recipes, I did not let the grated cassava drip until dry or squeeze out all the juices before baking. In my humble opinion, this is not necessary and I have never prepared any tapioca that is bitter.
As for the colour of the cake, if you are using yellow coloured tapioca, the colour will be naturally yellow. For white coloured tapioca as in this illustration, the baked cake can be rather pale and some recipe call for the use of yellow colouring. However, I have added custard powder for colouring, flavouring and enhancing the binding of the cake.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: Prepare an 7 “ square baking tray of tapioca cake
1 kg or tapioca
220 grams of castor sugar
200 grams or ml of coconut milk
100 grams of fresh milk
60 grams of melted butter
2 tablespoons of custard powder
Drops of vanilla (optional)
Note that in this illustration, I have used a 6’ square baking tin, though it is tall but it need at least 20 minutes extra to bake the entire cake.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Line a 7’’ baking tray with baking paper or grease the tray well with cooking oil.
Cut the tapioca in small chunks. In a food processor, blend the tapioca until as fine as you can. Transfer the blended tapioca to a blender, add all the other ingredients (eggs, custard powder, sugar, coconut milk, milk, melted butter, vanilla essence) and blend until as fine as possible.
Transfer the batter to the lined or greased baking tin. Baked in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 45minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out clean. Note that the centre of the cake is rather difficult to bake, you have to insert the skewer a few times and at a few places. The timing of baking will depend on individual oven and the size of your baking tray. The bigger the size of the baking tin, the thinner the cake, the faster is the baking time.
COOL COMPLETELY before slicing. It will take about at least 3-4 hours before you can slice the cake nicely with a greased sharp knife. It is best to let it rest overnight before slicing. After slicing, if you cannot finish eating the cake within the day, store in the refrigerator and re-bake the cake at 100 degree Celsius until the cake is warm before serving.
Is it not a simple cake to prepare as I have only 2 illustration pictures to share? Using a blender have the advantage of preparing a cake of finer texture. But if you do not have a food processor or blender, you can always buy ready grated tapioca sold in the stores or use manual grating like what my late mum did…
If you are satisfied with the texture of this cake, in your next attempt, feel free to explore more by adding a bit more coconut milk, cheese, eggs etc.. or possibly you would like a cheesy cassava cake.
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
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