If you're Filipino, there's a good chance that you've had cassava cake before. While it's typically enjoyed during the holidays, you can make it at any time.
If you've never had it before, or are just looking to learn more about it, read on for the frequently asked questions.
Cassava is a starchy root vegetable or tuber, similar to potatoes and yams. It is also known as yuca, manioc, or mandioca. Yuca is not the same as yucca, which is a plant family.
Tapioca starch which comes from cassava, is the same ingredient in tapioca pearls used in bubble tea, taho (tofu with sago and syrup), or buko pandan salad.
Yuca or cassava has a subtle taste. Its bland flavor makes it versatile as an ingredient.
The texture is similar to potatoes but slightly more firm and sticky when cooked.
In the Philippines, cassava cake is a favorite. You can also make steamed cassava cakes like pichi-pichi and cassava suman.
Add them to bilo-bilo (sticky rice balls in coconut milk) or cook them in coconut milk and sugar. Cassava can also be mashed, fried, boiled, or made into chips.
Did you know that boba pearls are made of tapioca starch from cassava?
Cassava flour is different from tapioca flour. Cassava flour is made from peeled, dried, and ground cassava roots.
Tapioca flour uses only the starchy pulp, containing less fiber than cassava flour.
Choose ones that are firm and free of blemishes or soft spots. Make sure there are no cracks or signs of mold.
The best way to check is to break off the tip of the yuca to see the inside. It has to be white with no black specks (or lines) and discoloration.
Yuca is available fresh or frozen in Latin and Asian markets. Most well-stocked grocery stores in the U.S. also carry frozen yuca.
Store cassava or yuca in a cool, dry place for up to a week. However, it is best to use them sooner for best taste and texture.
They can be peeled, soaked in water, and refrigerated for a few days. Be sure to change the water daily. You can also freeze them to prolong their shelf life.
Take a sharp knife and cut off both ends of the cassava root. Cut them into smaller pieces. Make a vertical slit through the skin deep enough to lift the thick, brown layer or peel.
Alternatively, you can peel the skin off with a knife. If there are any black spots or discolorations, remove them. Cut the cassava into quarters lengthwise to remove the fibrous, woody core.
When properly handled and cooked, cassava is not poisonous. It's a staple in many parts of the world, including the Philippines, Africa, and South America.
Cassava comes in sweet and bitter varieties, both containing hydrocyanic acid, which can cause cyanide poisoning. Bitter varieties contain more acid and are potentially fatal if eaten raw or undercooked. It's important to cook cassava properly before eating.
Consuming raw cassava is dangerous since it contains naturally occurring forms of cyanide and can be toxic when eaten.
The sweet variety, typically sold in the US, has less cyanide content and is removed by peeling and cooking. The bitter type must be soaked and cooked for hours before it can be eaten.
While you can always grate by hand with a box grater, a food processor is simply more convenient. To finely grate cassava in a food processor, use the shredding blade attachment at first.
Shreds won't be fine enough. You then switch to an "S" blade attachment and pulse them for 8 to 10 seconds until the pieces are very fine and appropriate for cassava cake.
You will probably get a stomachache if you overeat cassava. Cassava is high in carbohydrates and can cause digestive problems when eaten in large quantities.
Cassava cake is popular because it's inexpensive, delicious, and easy to make. It's also gluten-free, so it's a good option for gluten intolerant people.
Although cassava may have health benefits, desserts like cassava cake are high in calories. Consume in moderation, as with any food.
Yes, you can make cassava cake in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within a few days.
You can freeze it to extend its shelf life. Defrost before serving and microwave as you wish.
The two are different and cannot be used interchangeably. Condensed milk is sweetened, while evaporated milk does not contain sugar.
The texture of condensed milk is also thicker and creamier than that of evaporated milk.
Cassava cake is naturally gluten-free. Cassava or yuca is free of gluten by nature. The same is true for coconut milk and condensed milk.
Cassava cake can last up to 5 days in the fridge. Reheat them before serving, they taste better that way. You can freeze them to prolong their shelf life.
Yes. It is recommended to refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours of being out at room temperature.
In my experience, cassava cake can last longer than that; however, it depends on a lot of other factors. When in doubt, refrigerate.
You can prevent the cake from sticking to the pan by generously coating it with butter or cooking spray.
You can also use parchment paper to remove it easily from the pan. If the cake sticks to the pan, run a blunt knife around the edges to loosen it.
I hope that this post has answered your questions and that you will be inspired to make it. It is so easy to make with just five ingredients!