Inutak ~a dessert from Pateros~


This is a childhood favorite and hails from Pateros, Philippines. My grandmother would buy this merienda from a lady who would come with her salakot to protect her from the midday sun. Resting at her waist, a flat bamboo carrier covered with banana leaves to keep the Inutak warm and moist. When she uncovered the banana leaves, you would get a whiff of this fragrant, layered gelatinous dessert: a creamy coconut cream on top browned to give it a deeper coconut flavor, and the Ube layer underneath–soft and melts in your mouth goodness. The recipe below offers a heartwarming result. The key to achieving the pillowy consistency is not to overcook the mixture.

2 cups glutinous rice flour

1/3 cup Ube purple yam powder

4 cups  (about 3 of the 13.5 fl. oz. cans) of coconut milk

200 ml (1/2 cup) coconut cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Banana leaf

 Browned coconut shavings as garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a non-stick pan, combine together rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. Mix until smooth under medium heat on the stove. Turn off the burner and divide into two equal portions.


2. Using another non-stick pan under medium heat on the stove, add one portion and mix in the purple yam powder. Cook while continuously mixing until a thick, smooth gluey paste consistency is achieved. Turn off the burner and set aside once cooked like the consistency above.

3. Line a llanera pan or a 10 inch round pan with banana leaves. If leaves are not available, rub a teaspoon of vegetable oil to grease the pan. Pour purple mixture first, then the white mixture. Press to flatten and even out.


4. Pour the coconut cream on top, then bake in a 355°F preheated the oven for 10 minutes then bring heat up to broil setting then cook until top is golden brown with some darkened spots all over.


5. Sprinkle with browned coconut shavings if desired.

Cooking notes:

If you can get fresh coconut shavings, by all means, use it as your garnish. Browning them will take a bit longer, but once cooked–it is incomparable to the packaged ones you can buy. Also, the banana leaves are sometimes not available. The banana leaves impart an aroma and flavoring unique to this dessert. We would get them fresh, covered in banana leaves to keep them warm. The consistency after cooking should be smooth like a soft creme flan.

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