The cake that we call Bikang or Bingka Ambon in Indonesia, is a honeycomb cake. A variety of Honeycomb cakes, baked and steamed, are traditional snacks in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. In Indonesia, we know at least two baked varieties, i.e Bikang Ambon and Kueh Sarang Semut. In China the steamed version: Pak Tong Koh, is quite popular while in Malaysia and Indonesia the baked Kueh Sarang Semut (caramel flavour) is quite popular.
The other Indonesian Honeycomb cake, Bikang Ambon, is in fact more popular than the Kueh Sarang Semut, however it is rarely referred as Honeycomb cake. So when Google searching for recipes, Bikang Ambon recipes will only come up if we use Indonesian language or if we call its specific name, not the generic i.e. Honeycomb cake. Bikang Ambon is quite similar with the Vietnamese Honeycomb cake: Banh Bo Nuong. There are two key differences between Vietnamese Banh Bo Nuong and Bikang Ambon: Banh Bo Nuong is green colored and pandan flavored by adding pandan pasta to the batter; and the other key difference is the way in developing the honeycomb texture: most of the Indonesian recipes used yeast, while the Vietnamese used baking powder.
As this was my first attempt to bake a Honeycomb cake, I combined the Indonesian and Vietnamese recipe. I used both yeast and baking soda. Here is my recipe:
2 cups tapioca flour
1 cups coconut cream
1 cup sugar
1 sachet dry yeast
1 tsp baking soda
6 lime leaves
1 tsp salt
Pre heat the oven at 160 centigrade or 320F and line a 20″baking pan with baking paper and grease.
In a small bowl put 2 table spoon of warm water with 1 tsp sugar and the yeast.
In a pot, heat coconut milk with half cup of the sugar, salt and lime leaves. Stir until all sugar dissolved and infused by the aroma of the lime leaves. Do not over boiled, as it will break the coconut milk. Set aside.
Manually stir the eggs with the remaining sugar until just mix.
Shift the tapioca into the egg and stir to mix.
Gradually add the warm coconut milk and the yeast, using a whisker stir to mix to make smooth bater.
Leave the bater in a warm place for 30 minutes and the bater will become foamy.
Add the baking powder and stir to mix it thoroughly with the bater.
Pour the batter into the baking pan and put into the oven for 50 – 60 minutes