Written by Nichelle Fara-on, B.S. in Political Science III.
This Art Research sought to feature famous Traditional Cassava Cake Bakers in Dumalag, Capiz. The researcher would like to discuss the different methods, techniques, ingredients of the traditional bakers and also discuss how the skills of baking cassava cake have affected their lives.
Cassava Cake is one of the most famous and enjoyed delicacies or kakanin all year round by pinoys. It is generally made from grated cassava or “kamoteng kahoy”, combined with coconut milk, butter, eggs and topped with a creamy milk mixture. Mostly cassava cake is baked in rectangular cake pans or circular tin molds just like with what is used in making “Leche flan”. Cassava crop, the main ingredient of the said dessert, is abundant and part of the native cuisine in the Philippines. Ingredients of the famous dessert are really accessible as they could be bought even in small stores. (Gallardo, 2014)
Dumalag or “Gugma Town” is one of the municipalities/ rural areas of the Province of Capiz. The people in Dumalag, or the Dumalagnons, have made Cassava Cake one of the favorites and highly enjoyed dessert which is present in every occasion. There are modern bakeries in the town that have specialized the baking of the cassava cake, but the researcher would instead feature or focus on traditional cassava cake bakers of Dumalag as these individuals deserve to be recognized to what they do.
Traditional Cassava Cake Bakers of Dumalag, Capiz
Background of the Baker: Susan Faeldog/ Manang Susan
The first traditional baker that is featured in this art research is Mrs. Susan Faeldog, 61 Years old. She is a native of Brgy. San Rafael, Dumalag, Capiz. She is famous in her barangay in making Cassava Cake for over 16 years. She bakes and sells it herself. Manang Susan would sell it to the nearby elementary school in her barangay and sometimes she roams around in her community with her basket full of Cassava Cake, may it be under the scorching heat of the sun or under the rain, only to find buyers of her Cassava Cake.
When the researcher asked her how she got into the business, her answer was “Tungod sa Kapigaduhon, Ne. Sang una kay wala man gid ako gaobra sang buhi pa akon asawa. “ Furthermore, according to Manang Susan she started selling after she lost her husband, she has to make a living for her two children since then. She has to make sure that her children could eat three times a day and she can’t rely to no one else as she was the only one capable of working during that time. Manang Susan had to find a way to make some more money because being a farmer doesn’t guarantee you a money always. Manang susan also shared that she likes to cook, and sometimes she would experimnent in cooking food. She further added that it was her friend who introduced to her how to bake cassava cake,, her friend insisted that she should sell cassava cake in their place as it could generate additional income for her family. She took the opportunity to learn as the procedure of baking cassava cake is not that complex and that all the ingredients that are used are locally available in her place and in the town market. As time passes by, she said, her baking skills gets to improve and improve. She shared also that it makes her happy knowing that there are a few be people who appreciate her cooking skills.
Manang Susan would wake up early in the morning, about 4 am, to get started with the baking. All the ingredients are prepared and should be complete the night before. After preparing and mixing all the ingredients Manang Susan, at around 5:30 am, would go then to the nearest bakery to let her cassava cake cook in the oven, then at around 6:30 the cassava cakes are ready, she will just have to cool it down for about 45 minutes and repack it to a small plastic. Then at around 8:30am, she would roam around her barangay with her basket full of sliced cassava and sell it. Usually her first stop is the elementary school in the barangay and then to a construction site located in the Barangay.
1/2 kilogram grated cassava (balinghoy, kamoteng kahoy), 1/4 kilogram refined or brown sugar, 1 medium can of evaporated milk, melted margarine, 3 beaten eggs, 2 cups Coconut Milk, Grated Cheese
- Combine the grated cassava , ½ cup evaporated milk, cheese, butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
Technique: If possible, stir the ingredients in one direction to make it more consistent.
- Add the 3 cups coconut milk in the bowl where the mixed ingredients are. Mix the ingredients again along with the milk.
- Grease the baking pan then pour-in the ingredients that you mixed together
Tip: You can put caramelized sugar as the base of the cassava cake
- Bake for about 45 minutes (at 350 degrees Fahrenheit).
Tip: According to Manang Susan steaming the Cassava Cake for 1 hour is also applicable if oven is not available, but texture the will vary.
- Take it out from the oven and set aside.
Background of the Baker: Mrs. Webina Faeldonea or “Nay Bina”
The second baker featured on this art research Paper is Mrs. Webina Faeldonea, she is 64 years old a resident of Brgy. San Roque, Dumalag, Capiz, She is known for her Made-to-order Cassava Cake. Not only people from our town order her special Cassava cake but also people from the neighbouring towns of Dumalag as well order for special occasions. According to Nay Bina she makes 10 to 20 Cassava Cake Orders a day during Christmas Season and also if the date of the town fiesta is fast approaching. But in normal days, she makes 2-5 Cassava Cake Orders. She is baking Cassava Cake for already 15 years, and according to her she has mastered the skill of baking one of the famous delicacies in town. She has learned baking from the cooking books that she had bought a number of decades ago and she said that she has only modified the ingredients used
- 1 kilo grated Cassava or Kamoteng Kahoy
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 4 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 table spoon vanilla essence
- 2 large eggs
- Mix the following ingredients: Grated cassava, sugar, evaporated milk and vanilla
- Mix well the ingredients
- Pour in 9x14x2 inches baking pan(previously brushed with liberal amount of margarine)
- Bake for 30 minutes (350®C)
For the toppings
- Beat the eggs well
- Mix coconut milk, sugar, condensed milk
- Mix well and pour on top of the cassava
- Bake it until the toppings turns brown but do not burn
- Tope with grated cheese for extra flavor
Each of the two bakers has their own techniques and uses some different ingredients in making cassava cakes. Their modes of selling are also different; one has to sell it to people by roaming around while the other sells in a made-to-order condition. The availability and accessibility of the ingredients have encouraged both bakers to pursue the business of Cassava Cake Baking. Many people love their cassava cakes, as each has their own regular costumers that patronize their products. Both of them improved their baking skills as time passes by, and this kill has changed the lives of the artists. The additional income generated from selling the cassava cake has help each of them to survive from their day-to-day life.
Traditional Cassava Cake Bakers Info
Name: Webina Faeldonea
Address: Brgy. San Roque, Dumalag, Capiz
Contact no.: 09487088840
Name : Susan Faeldog
Address: Brgy. San Rafael, Dumalag, Capiz
Contact no.: n/a
Gallardo, S. (2014). Cassava Cake: Origin and Benefits.
Retrieved from: https://juankakanin.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/cassava-cake-origin-and-benefits/ Date Accessed: November 14, 2014