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Cake on a Leaf

November 29, 2000|BARBARA HANSEN

It's worth a trip to V'Valerio's Family Bakeshop just to see the rustic presentation of bibingka, the golden brown rice flour cake of the Philippines. Each bibingka is baked on a piece of banana leaf, which adds a delicate flavor and remains attached, like a tropical doily, when the cakes are set out for sale. This bibingka is stuffed with cream cheese and a trace of coconut. Like most rice-flour pastries, it has a firm texture. Buy several for a dinner party dessert or serve them with coffee for merienda, the Philippine equivalent of afternoon tea.

Bibingka, $1.75 at V'Valerio's Family Bakeshop, 4627 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 662-6110.

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