Bebinca is a multi-layered, ghee-laden, coconut milk-infused pudding from Goa. The Bebinca Christmas recipe is also something many people somehow end up ruining in the kitchen.
We thought why not share a simple yet famous Bebinca Christmas recipe with all our readers.
Christmas, weddings and special occasions in a Goan home are incomplete besides this delicious dessert.
In the coastal state, if you go to any well-known restaurant—Martin’s Corner, Souza Lobo, Viva Panjim—that prides itself in traditional cuisine, bebinca would be listed on their menu.
It is cut into thin slices, slightly heated and served with vanilla ice cream.
Also recognised as ‘bibik’, this Portuguese-influenced dessert is undisputedly the most famous sweet delicacy in the state. It makes exclusive appearances on every occasion, be it a wedding, Christmas or any different feast.
This certainly has earned Bebinca the sobriquet of ‘Queen of Goan Desserts’.
However, its origin is still shrouded in mystery. Some legends claim that a much lot like other confectionaries of the convent (doces conventuais in Portuguese) Bebinca was also invented by Portuguese nuns in the 17th century.
But what stands out is their zero-waste baking approach.
Contrary to most baking ingredients that use egg whites, right here the yolks take the limelight.
Using egg whites to starch clothes used to be a frequent practice of the colonizers which is still conventional in parts of Old Goa.
As a result of this, most people, lots like the Portuguese nuns of Santa Monica Convent in Old Goa, would end up with an excess of leftover egg yolks. Legend has it that Bebinca got here to be an answer to leftover yolks.
These stories and an outstanding historian Fatima da Silva Gracias’ book, Cozinha de Goa: History and Tradition of Goan Food, states that one of these nuns from Santa Monica Convent used to be known as Bebiana.
She invented a seven-layered pudding the use of leftover yolks to symbolise the seven hills of the historical town of Goa and Lisbon.
This pudding was once then despatched to the priests, maybe those residing in the Convent of St Augustine—the Order to which Santa Monica belonged—who though impressed, pointed out that seven layers weren’t enough for them. They suggested Bebiana to make bigger the dessert’s dimension to accommodate at least a dozen layers.
Today, this pudding is recognised as Bebinca in her honour and boasts from 7 to as many as 16 layers.
Bebinca Christmas Recipe:
Egg yolks – 12 nos.
Thick coconut milk- 750ml.
Dark palm jaggery- 250gm.
Refined flour- 200gm.
Salt- ¼ tsp.
Nutmeg- ½ tsp.
Ghee or Butter to brush each layer after baking.
(Instead of nutmeg, one can use cardamom powder 1tsp or vanilla essence 1tsp).
Preheat oven at 180°C to 200°C. Note the top heating coil is in use as we need each layer to caramelise before adding the next one.
1.Whisk in the egg yolks till creamy.
2. Add in the coconut milk, grated nutmeg and salt to the yolks and mix well.
3. Add in the flour and mix well till all the lumps are dissolved. Now divide the batter equally into two batches.
4. Add powdered sugar in one half and grated dark palm jaggery to the other half.
5. Brush ghee to a baking pan and ladle out one batter and bake till the top caramelizes. Remove the pan, brush ghee on top and ladle the other batch of batter in pan and bake till the layer caramelizes.
Bake the cake in layers with sugar batter and dark palm jaggery batter alternatively till all batter is used. Remove the cake and brush the top with ghee. Let it cool at room temperature. De-mould and cut into desired shapes. The process is long but the result is amazing.
They say the recipe of bebinca is difficult and most don’t get it right in the first try. But if you follow every step of the recipe, you will get it right in first go. Even I tried it for the first time.
If you try this recipe, I will be glad to hear from you about it.