Bebinca, a renowned Goan dessert, is a rich layered pudding with a unique texture and delightful flavors. Introduced by the Portuguese, it embodies Goa’s colonial past and multicultural influences. During my time in Goa, I learned from local bakers and home cooks, witnessing the meticulous process and dedication involved in perfecting Bebinca. Inspired by Goan preparations like Serradura and Alsande Tonak, I reimagined the dessert with innovative twists, such as hazelnut sawdust and savory cremeux. Goa’s reputation for cashews influenced the addition of coconut and vanilla-coated cashews, sprouted kidney beans, and tender coconut ice cream. This dessert pays homage to Bebinca’s timeless allure and celebrates the vibrant cuisine of Goa, blending tradition with personal culinary perspective.
Yield: 6 servings
- 10 egg yolks
- 500 g granulated sugar
- 750 ml coconut milk
- 200 g refined flour
- 5 g ground nutmeg
- 250 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 75 g dark black caramel (treacle)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F). Line a half hotel pan that is at least 4ʺ/10.16 cm deep with aluminum foil.
- In a mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and foamy. Add the coconut milk to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Gradually fold in all the flour and nutmeg, ensuring they are well incorporated. Gently fold the melted butter into the yolk and coconut mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed.
- Divide the mixture into two parts and add the dark caramel to one part to create a darker color. Pour 250 grams of the lighter batter into the pan. Bake for approximately 12 minutes at 392°F (200°C), until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool and then pour 250 g of the caramel batter on top of the baked layer and bake again, as before. Repeat the process, alternating layers of the light and dark mixtures, making a total of 7 layers to achieve the distinct white and brown layers. Cool layers completely, then freeze for at least 12 hours.
- Remove from the freezer and cut the cake into rectangular slices that are approximately 4.3ʺ x 1ʺ (11cm x 2.5cm).
Charcoal & Espresso Waffle Tube
- 200 g eggs
- 368 g granulated sugar
- 60 ml milk
- 2 espresso shots
- 106 g unsalted butter, melted
- 112 g refined flour
- 4 g salt
- 4 g activated charcoal powder
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined and the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk, espresso shots and melted butter to the egg and sugar mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Sift the refined flour, salt, and activated charcoal powder into the wet mixture. Stir until you have a smooth batter with no lumps.
- Preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Grease the waffle iron with a small amount of oil or melted butter to prevent sticking. Pour a portion of the batter onto the preheated waffle iron and cook until the waffle is cooked and crispy. Remove the cooked waffle from the iron and, while still warm, cut them into rectangles measuring 4.3ʺ x 1ʺ (11 cm x 2.5 cm).
- Take a 0.4ʺ (1 cm) diameter tube or cylinder-shaped object and roll the warm waffle rectangle around it to form a tube shape. Hold it in place for a few seconds to allow it to set. Let the waffle tubes cool completely on a wire rack to maintain their shape.
- Using a piping bag filled with melted dark chocolate, carefully pipe the chocolate into the hollow center of each waffle tube, ensuring it is completely filled. Hold each waffle tube upright and gently rotate it to allow the chocolate to coat the interior evenly, forming a layer of chocolate lining. Once the chocolate has coated the inside of the waffle tube, pour out any excess chocolate, allowing it to drain out completely. Place the chocolate-filled waffle tubes on a wire rack or parchment-lined tray and allow to set. This can be done at room temperature or by placing the filled waffle tubes in the refrigerator for a short time. Once the chocolate filling is set and has formed a solid coating inside the waffle tubes, they are ready to be used.
- 100 g heavy cream
- 60 g sweetened condensed milk
- 20 g toasted hazelnuts
- 20 g feuilletine
- 20 g milk chocolate
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream and condensed milk. Whip the mixture firm peaks.
- In a separate bowl, crush the toasted hazelnuts along with the feuilletine to a coarse texture.
- Melt the milk chocolate and temper. Pour the tempered milk chocolate into the crushed hazelnut and feuilletine mixture. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly coated with chocolate. Spread the mixture onto a silicone mat or parchment paper and allow it to set at room temperature until firm.
- Once the mixture has set, break it into smaller pieces and transfer it to a blender or food processor. Pulse the mixture until you achieve a fine powder consistency. This will be the hazelnut and feuilletine powder.
- Prepare the charcoal waffle tube by using a piping bag or spoon to alternate layers of the whipped mixture and the crushed hazelnut and feuilletine powder. Continue layering until the tube is filled, ending with a layer of the whipped mixture on top.
- 4 g cloves
- 2 g coriander seeds
- 7 g peppercorns
- 7 g poppy seeds
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium potato, chopped
- 100 g fresh coconut, grated
- 8 g granulated sugar
- 3 g red chili powder
- 150 g kidney beans, soaked
- 200 g water
- 100 ml heavy cream
- 60 ml milk
- 135 g superfine granulated sugar
- 135 g whole eggs
- 7 g gelatin sheets, bloomed in 60 ml water
- 135 g unsalted butter
- 30 ml lemon juice
- Red food coloring
- In a pan, dry roast the cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns and poppy seeds. Grind the roasted spices into a fine powder.
- In a separate pan, heat some oil and sauté the chopped onion and potato until golden brown. Add the grated coconut, sugar, red chili powder and the ground spice powder to the pan. Mix well. Add the soaked kidney beans and water. Cook until the beans are tender, and then chill over an ice bath.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cream, milk, and sugar and cook to 360°F (82°C). Add the whole eggs and stir continuously. Add the bloomed gelatin to the mixture and stir well. Allow the mixture to cool to 105°F (35°C), then add the butter and blend it with a hand blender until smooth.
- Sieve the mashed alsande (kidney beans) and add 300 grams it to the butter cremeux. Finish with lemon juice and blend until smooth. Use a touch of red food coloring.
Vanilla & Coconut-Coated Cashews
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 60 ml water
- 5 g vanilla extract
- 250 g raw cashews
- 100 g shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- Pinch of salt
- 454 g dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cashews and the sugar syrup, stirring well to ensure all the cashews are coated. Spread the cashews evenly on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cashews are golden brown and toasted. Stir them once or twice during baking to ensure even browning.
- While the cashews are baking, spread the shredded coconut on another baking sheet and toast it in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until it turns lightly golden. Keep a close eye on the coconut as it can quickly burn. Remove both the cashews and toasted coconut from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.
- Once the cashews have cooled, melt and temper the dark chocolate. Enrobe cashews in the tempered dark chocolate, coating them entirely, then sprinkle the shredded coconut over them, pressing gently to adhere the coconut flakes. Allow the chocolate and coconut coating to set at room temperature or refrigerate for a short time, until firm.
- Once set, gently remove the coated cashews from the baking sheet and store them in an airtight container.
Tender Coconut Ice Cream
- 200 g tender coconut flesh (fresh or canned)
- 100 g coconut purée
- 200 g heavy cream
- 150 g whole milk
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 3 g ice cream stabilizer
- 100 g dark chocolate (for coating)
- In a blender or food processor, combine the tender coconut flesh, coconut purée, heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar and ice cream stabilizer. Blend until you achieve a smooth and well-incorporated mixture.
- Pour the ice cream base into a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 185°F (85°C). This step helps to activate the stabilizer and pasteurize the mixture for better texture and safety. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Once the mixture has cooled, cover it with plastic wrap, ensuring the plastic wrap touches the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
- After the mixture has chilled, process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the mixture reaches a soft-serve consistency.
- Transfer the churned ice cream into demi-sphere silicone molds, filling them to the top. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Freeze for at least 6 hours.
- Once the ice cream has hardened, remove the molds from the freezer. Use a melon baller or a small spoon to carefully scoop out a portion from the center of each demi-sphere, creating a hollow cavity. Return the hollowed semispheres to the freezer and let them freeze for an additional 1-2 hours to firm up again.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or over a double boiler until smooth and melted. Remove the frozen demi-spheres from the freezer. Dip each one into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off. Place the coated demi-spheres on a parchment-lined tray or baking sheet. Using a hard brush, lightly brush the surface of the chocolate-coated demi-spheres to create a brushed effect, resembling a coconut’s texture. Return the coated demi-spheres to the freezer and let them freeze for an additional 1-2 hours or until the chocolate coating is firm.
- Freeze-dried raspberries
- Micro chervil
- Sprouted kidney beans
- Gently place a warm slice of Bebinca on a plate, ensuring it is positioned neatly. Carefully position the charcoal waffle tube filled with hazelnut serradura on top of the Bebinca slice. Using a round piping tip, pipe the Alsande Cremeux onto the waffle tube. Halve the Vanilla & Coconut- Coated Cashews and artfully assemble them on top of the Alsande Cremeux.
- Arrange sprouted kidney beans, micro chervil, and freeze-dried raspberry crisps on top of the Alsande Cremeux. Complete the presentation by placing a portion of mimicked tender coconut ice cream alongside the ensemble.
(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
About Ruchit Harneja
Ruchit Harneja is the Executive Pastry Chef of Musaafer at The Spice Route Company in Houston, Texas. Inspired by his mother’s love for desserts and mindful of their family’s diabetes history, Chef Ruchit embarked on a journey to create health-conscious Indian desserts. His neoteric approach to Indian desserts, infused with superfoods and heterodox pairings, has established a new benchmark for contemporary Indian sweets.