Dessert and snacks made from cassava are very popular. It could be because it is easily grown all over the country. Just drop a couple of tuber of cassava in an empty plot of land, when you come back in three months time, it will grow and duplicate and there is nothing you can do to stop it. That is also why they are very cheap, and they are very important staple ingredients for many traditional dessert and snacks.
The same goes with coconut. They simply will not stop growing. In this snacks, we only use the grated flesh of the coconut for toppings, but it is a very integral part of the snacks. I have never seen these made or sold without their soulmate, the grated coconut.
Again, sold in every corner of any markets across town, it is very easy to make. Only three ingredients used. Cassava, gula melaka / palm sugar and grated coconut. Popularly known as “getuk” in Indonesian, it is the great grandmother of all desserts in our country.
You will need some cassava roots. They are turbular in shape, and you might want to wash them as they are always covered with earth.
To peel the cassava, press your knife about 0.25cm down the skin and pull the skin away by twisting the knife. Once you get the outer skin, all you need to do is to quickly pull the skin using the knife in one hand and turning the cassava with the other hand. You will end up with super white and smooth cassava
Halve (and quarter, if necessary) the cassava and get rid off the fiber in the middle. You will need to get rid off all of them, because they will give nasty textures to the cake. These are quite inedible, not that you will die or anything, but it is as hard as leather boots.
Steam them in a double steamer pot until soft. The end result will be something like mashed potatoes, very buttery.
This is the laborious part. We made this the traditional way (I might need sometime to try the other modern way, using electrical kitchen appliances), which requires a big wooden mortar and pestle.
Start pounding mercilessly until you end up with smooth paste. Coarse and lumpy textured is also nice in my opinion, but I will get sneered by my family. So I pounded and pounded and pounded.
When you have reached the desired textured, add the palm sugar into the mortar. It would really help if I have shaved it before adding, that would really be the smart move. But no, I just dropped the whole thing and tried to kill it with the pestle. Add some salt on this stage too.
Half way through working on the cassava mixture, the sugar will melt and mix with the cassava pulp.
Keep working on it until they are all mixed well.
Lightly butter plate. Place the cake in it. Not a pretty sight? Wait for it.
Shape them into a rectangular shape (or round) with thickness of 2.5 cm by using your hand, lined with plastic. Cut them into squares with plastic knife or plastic cutter. A knife covered with plastic sheet can also do. It sticks mercilessly to stainless steel surfaces or metal surfaces.
And freshly grated coconut for toppings.
Generously sprinkle the coconut on top of the cake and serve with ice tea. Or bubble tea. Or ice coffee.
Since the grated coconut is not cooked, this cake has to be consumed within 6 hours of making. If you want to refrigerate, leave the toppings off them. Uncooked grated coconut can go stale longer than that.
Indonesian Cassava Cake with Grated Coconut, Getuk
1 kg cassava
200 g palm sugar (gula melaka or gula merah), shaved
1/2 tsp salt
100 g grated coconut
Steam cassava for 30 minutes until soft.
Process them in a mortar and pestle, to desired consistency. Add palm sugar and salt, continue working on it until everything is mixed well.
Prepare a plate or pan, butter generously. Place the cake mixture on the buttered pan and shape it into square or round, flat top.
Generously sprinkle with grated coconut on top and cut into squares.