Konkan Cafe’s Bebinca

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‘This dessert is to swoon over and definitely the best version I have tasted anywhere’, says Christine Manfield, the Australian chef and food and travel writer. ‘If you think the cake is rich enough in itself, it is usually served with thick cream – I’ll leave that option to you!’

From Christine Manfield’s book ‘Tasting India’, with photography by Anson Smart.

Serves 10


1kg caster sugar
750ml coconut milk
20 egg yolks
2 teaspoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
250g ghee, melted
Toasted almond slivers


1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Combine the castor sugar and coconut milk and stir until dissolved. Beat the egg yolks until pale and creamy, then fold into the coconut-milk mixture and mix thoroughly.

2. Add the flour, stirring constantly so no lumps remain. Stir in the nutmeg and cardamom.

3. Set a deep baking dish about 12 centimetres in diameter over a medium heat and drizzle in 1 tablespoon of ghee. When it is hot, pour in one cup of the batter. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for about eight minutes until brown.

4. Remove from the oven, add another tablespoon of ghee and pour over another cup of batter. Return to the oven and bake until brown. Repeat this process until all the batter is used up and the bebinca has many layers, decorating the last layer of batter with a few toasted almond slivers before baking. Remove from the oven and turn the dish upside down onto a flat plate so the bebinca cake slides out. Cool, then cut into thin slices to serve.



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