Enjoy this delectable kakanin from Pateros that is made from glutinous rice flour, rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and ube halaya. It is sticky and yummy!
Native Filipino 'kakanin' are delicacies made primarily of glutinous rice or flour, coconut milk, and sugar enjoyed as snack or dessert. These are always present during special occasions or holidays. Because of Filipino ingenuity and love of sweets, some provinces even created their own specialties, such as Laguna's Espasol, Royal Bibingka of Ilocos, Pampanga's Moche, Suman Moron of Leyte, and Inutak of Pateros.
What is Inutak?
Inutak is a delicious native treat known to have originated in Pateros or Taguig. It is made of glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, rice flour, sugar, and ube halaya. It is a type of tiered rice cake, similar to Sapin sapin. Although it is less well-known than other Filipino rice cakes, it still raked attention with its soft, sticky texture and classic flavors.
Inutak was derived from the Filipino word 'utak', which means brain, as the caramelized top has a vague resemblance to the surface of a brain and also shares a creamy, gooey texture.
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Ingredients for Inutak
- Glutinous Rice Flour - known in Filipino as galapong, it is the base of the Inutak that gives it that sticky and stretchy texture.
- Rice Flour - added to the rice cake base to give it more structure. It's also used in the topping, along with coconut milk, to give it that wrinkled, brain-like appearance.
- Coconut Milk - gives the dish its creamy and milky flavor. Canned coconut milk was used in this recipe as it is more convenient, however freshly-pressed coconut milk still delivers the best flavor.
- Ube Halaya - It is a popular delicacy in itself but adds wonderful flavor and color to the dish. In a pinch, you may also use ube jam or ube powder.
- Sugar - I used granulated white sugar to make the Inutak. As an alternative, you can use caster sugar or light brown sugar.
- Salt - to balance the sweetness of the dish.
- Vanilla Extract - enhances flavors in the Inutak and imparts a sweet aroma as well.
- Ube Flavouring - this is optional. You may add it if you want a more intense purple yam flavor.
- This recipe made use of a baking dish for easier and faster preparation. However, llaneras can also be used to produce smaller portions that are ideal for gifting or selling.
- Always grease or butter the baking dish or llaneras you are going to use to make removal of Inutak easier.
- When spreading the rice cake on the pan, a silicon spatula works best. Lightly grease your spatula as well, so the mixture won't stick to it.
- Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Inutak when broiling it to avoid it from burning.
- If oven is not available, you may use a blow torch to char or caramelize the top of the Inutak. Dry heat stovetop cooking is also an option. Preheat a lidded pan on high heat. Arrange the baking dish or llaneras on the wire rack. Reduce to medium heat and continue to cook until the top is golden (about 50-60 mins).
- If you don’t have ube halaya and can’t be bothered in making some, simply cook the rice cake with the caramelized crust and top it with ube-flavored ice cream before serving.
Serving and Storing Inutak
Allow inutak to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy it any time of the day with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Serve it in llaneras or on plates covered in banana leaves for a more authentic look.
Place leftovers in an airtight container or simply wrap the llaneras in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Allow the Inutak to cool at room temperature before storing it.
Enjoy inutak cold or reheat in a 360F/180C oven or toaster for 6-8 minutes to restore its original texture.
- Brush a 1.5-2L rectangle or square baking pan or 3 llaneras with butter or oil. Set aside.
- ½ cup rice flour, 1 cup glutinous rice flour, ½ cup sugar, ½ teaspoon saltIn a large bowl, sift together rice flour, glutinous rice flour, sugar, and salt.
- 2 cans coconut milkTake ½ cup of coconut milk and set it aside. Pour the remaining coconut milk into the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extractTransfer to a pan and turn the heat to medium. Stir regularly until it becomes a thick sticky paste. Add the vanilla extract and then turn the heat off.
- ½ cup ube halaya, 3-4 drops ube flavourTake about ½ of the mixture and transfer it to a bowl. Add the ube halaya to the bowl and mix. Add some drops of ube flavor as needed.
- Transfer this to the prepared baking dish or divide it equally among the llaneras. Grease a spatula with oil and use this to spread and even out the mixture if too sticky.
- Add the remaining white paste on top spreading it out evenly.
- 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon rice flourAdd 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon rice flour to the reserved ½ cup coconut milk. Heat in the microwave or stove-top just until warm enough to dissolve the sugar.
- Pour this on top of the cooked mixture.
- Place on the highest rack of the oven and bake at 200ºC/400ºF until the top becomes bubbly and brown spots form.
- Remove from oven and let it cool down a bit before serving.