As far as Asian desserts go, inutak may be one of the lesser known ones, but it is a delicious treat regardless. It's a Filippino sweet comprised of rice cakes cooked in sweetened coconut milk, often with ube yam powder, to make it purple, until slightly caramelized on the outside. Then, it is served in glasses with a scoop of vanilla or ube ice cream. Fun fact: inutak came from the Tagalog root word “utak” which means brain, first because it has that same consistency and next it that when it broils the top rises to the top and shapes into a brain form.
Inutak: Filipino Rice Cakes in Coconut Milk [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour
- 1/4 cup purple yam (ube) powder (see notes)
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Natural purple food coloring
- Vegan vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Banana leaf
- In a mixing bowl combine together glutinous rice flour, sugar, salt, and coconut milk. Mix it well until free of lumps. Divide into two equal portions.
- On one portion, mix the purple yam powder and add purple food color to achieve a deep purple color.
- In two separate non-stick pans, pour both mixtures. Cook while continuously mixing until very thick in consistency, oily and smooth.
- Pour purple mixture first in a 7-inch banana-leaf-lined baking pan, then the white mixture. Press to flatten and even out.
- Pour coconut cream on top then bake in a 355°F preheated oven for 15 minutes then bring heat up to 445°F set to grill or broil mode then cook until top is golden brown.
- Let it cool, then serve with vanilla ice cream on top.
Ube powder or banana leaf can be found online or in any well-stocked Asian grocery.