A slice of Sweet Potato Bebinca on a cake knife.

Sweet Potato Bebinca: Goan Pudding Cake

Bebinca is a traditional Goan dessert, an egg and coconut milk pudding popular during the holidays. This Sweet Potato Bebinca come from Nik Sharma’s cookbook, Season, and this version is what he calls a “mock bebinca” that is fragrant with a touch of nutmeg.

A slice of Sweet Potato Bebinca on a cake knife.
Sweet Potato Bebinca: Goan Pudding Cake

Bebinca is a traditional Goan dessert, an egg and coconut milk pudding popular during the holidays. This Sweet Potato Bebinca come from Nik Sharma’s cookbook, Season, and this version is what he calls a “mock bebinca” that is fragrant with a touch of nutmeg.

Slice of  Sweet Potato Bebinca on a dessert plate.

When I first heard from my friend Nik that he was writing and photographing his first cookbook, I knew without even seeing it that it would become a wild success. And when he sent me a copy, each page was a true reflection of him, from the foods and flavors, to, of course, his distinct photography.

Season by Nik Sharma.

My copy of Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, is already dog-eared, and while it has been sitting on my desk, a constant reminder of all the recipes I am eager to try between my own work commitments, the accolades have been pouring in from all over the globe, just as I had expected.

I’m not at all surprised.

A peak inside Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food by Nik Sharma.

A peak inside Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food by Nik Sharma.

Nik takes us along his journey, from his childhood in India to graduate school in the Midwest and a budding career as a molecular geneticist in Washington, DC where he met his partner, to their move together to San Francisco. As I read his story, I couldn’t help but remember all those moves I’ve also made, grad school and love-finding included, finding myself on the West Coast with a memory box full of flavors. We all have these life journeys that shape us, and I love that I can see it clearly in every recipe in Nik’s book.

Sweet Potato Bebinca on a wooden platter.

While I may have lots of recipes bookmarked to try, there was only one that could be the first, and it is this Sweet Potato Bebinca. I remember Nik messaging me when he had to make a Filipino Bibingka for a friend and how he mentioned there was a Goan Bebinca — while they have some similarities, they’re quite different and I had to try his bebinca to understand it better.

A traditional Goan bebinca is an egg and coconut custard dessert, usually with many layers. Nik’s version is what he calls a “mock bebinca” flavored with mashed sweet potatoes and nutmeg. If I had to describe it, it’s like my sweet potato pancakes meets pumpkin pie meets Filipino bibingka or cassava cake. And while it’s delicious year-round, there’s something especially autumnal about it, making it perfect for Thanksgiving.

A slice of Sweet Potato Bebinca

And like the foods that tug at our heartstrings, it’s the kind of dessert that coaxes nostalgia and seasons our life, in more ways than one.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Quintessential Filipino Cooking for review. All opinions, are of course, my own. There may be affiliate links in the post, see my Disclosure page to learn more.

Sweet Potato Bebinca

Bebinca is a traditional Goan dessert, an egg and coconut milk pudding popular during the holidays. This Sweet Potato Bebinca come from Nik Sharma's cookbook, Season, and this version is what he calls a "mock bebinca" that is fragrant with a touch of nutmeg. 

A slice of Sweet Potato Bebinca on a cake knife.
5 from 1 vote
Print This
Course Dessert
Cuisine Goan, Vegetarian
Keyword bebinca, coconut, dessert, Goan, sweet potato
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people
Author Nik Sharma

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (2-3 large sweet potatoes)
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted, plus more for the baking pan
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup jaggery or muscovado sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 13 1/2-oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the sweet potatoes to remove any dirt, pat them dry with paper towels, and poke several holes in them with a fork for the steam to escape. Put the potatoes in a baking dish or on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast until completely tender, 35-45 minutes. Cool completely before handling. Peel the sweet potatoes, discard the skins, and puree the flesh in a food processor. Measure out 1 2/3 cups and set aside, saving the rest for another purpose. (The sweet potatoes may be roasted 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.) Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

  2.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan with 2-inch sides with parchment paper and grease lightly with butter. Put the pan on a baking sheet.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cooled roasted sweet potato purée, eggs, jaggery, maple syrup, 6 tablespoons butter, nutmeg, turmeric, and salt until smooth. Add the coconut milk and flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth, with no visible streaks of flour.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and put the pan, still on the baking sheet, in the oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The pudding should be firm to the touch in the center and light golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven, and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Wrap the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight, to set.

  5. Once the bebinca has set, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, flip the pan onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and tap gently to release. Peel the parchment off the top. Invert onto a serving dish, and peel off the second sheet of parchment paper.

  6. To serve, with a sharp, serrated knife, cut the chilled bebinca into wedges. Store the leftover bebinca, wrapped in plastic wrap, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

Recipe reprinted with permission from Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, by Nik Sharma (Chronicle Books, 2018).

Comments

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  1. Martin

    I usually do not buy cook books but after trying this recipe, I just had to order Nik’s book

    Reply
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