No fiesta in our family passes by without this delicious filipino kakanin dessert. For the newbies of this Filipino dessert sapin- sapin are layered and colored confections of sticky rice, ube and squash cake topped with latik (caramelized coconut milk). Food historians claim that this delicacy originated in Abra, in the northern part of the Philippines. The original sapin-sapin are separate segments of blue, white and yellow color that are just put together. However most of the sapin-sapin we buy in the market is the shortened version were different colors were added but no flavor at all. This is my auntie’s famous sapin sapin recipe. And of course she used to sell them on the street when she was still young.
2 Cups of glutinous rice flour (galapong)
1 ½ Cups of white sugar
1 ½ Cups of cooked and mashed squash
1 ½ cups of cooked and mashed ube (violet yam)
4 Cups of coconut cream
food coloring yellow and violet
½ tsp anise extract
some banana leaves
In a bowl mix your flour, with your sugar, pandan extract, anise extract and coconut milk. Mix them until it becomes homogenous. Line your round pan (preferably about 9 inches in size) with your banana leaves. Divide your flour mixture into three portions. Add the squash and yellow coloring on the first, the ube and purple coloring for the second and nothing for the last one. Preheat your steamer for about five minutes. Pour the yellow color first on your round pan and let it steam for fifteen minutes. Then followed by the violet one, let it steam for fifteen minutes. And lastly the third one also for another fifteen minutes. Sapin sapin is done when it becomes firm. Let it stand. Served it with roasted coconut and sugar on the top before serving. You can make variations of this dessert by replacing the squash with langka and adding some macapuno on the white segment instead of just plain galapong. Enjoy!